Sunday, July 16, 2017

Schoolgirls in Chains (1973)

Myriad grotesque horror-movie tropes permeate Schoolgirls in Chains, an ugly (and yet quite dull) story about two brothers who kidnap young women, chain them to the walls of their basement, and force the women to participate in twisted “games.” The story also has elements of incest and necrophilia, because the muscular brother, Frank (Gary Kent), slept with his mother while she was alive, and now keeps her rotting corpse propped up beside him in bed at night. Meanwhile, the simpleton brother, John (John Parker), digs “playing doctor” with the captive ladies, as in forcing them to ingest mysterious pills and stabbing them with needles. The tone of the movie is so inappropriate that during one scene of John poking a young woman’s behind with a syringe, the soundtrack features a peppy version of “London Bridge Is Falling Down” played on a whistle. And that’s not the only time happy music accompanies some vignette of vile behavior. Your guess is as good as mine whether this represents an attempt at humor, blatant incompetence, or outright perversion. In any event, Schoolgirls in Chains is so grimy it’s probably not worth analyzing too closely. Some of the acting is passable, though a few performances are quite weak, and the way the filmmakers regularly circle back to leering topless scenes says a lot about where they imagined their movie fitting into the marketplace. Even if Schoolgirls in Chains wasn’t made by men who hate women, it was certainly made for men who hate women—or at least men who find cathartic release in channeling their aggressions through skanky cinematic fantasies.

Schoolgirls in Chains: LAME


Marc said...

It may not have been the first to exploit that phrase, but the "worst to come" line definitely brings to mind the fairly appalling "Mari, Seventeen, is Dying" poster for Wes Craven's "Last House on the Left," which came out the year before this film. And I say that as an admirer of "Last House." You couldn't say you weren't knowing what you were headed into if you saw that poster before buying your ticket!

Cindylover1969 said...