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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bad Girls From Valley High
Bad Girls From Valley High
Universal // R // March 22, 2005
List Price: $27.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Daniel W. Kelly | posted April 13, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
I've heard mention that Bad Girls from Valley High is in the tradition of films like Heathers and Jawbreakers, but it doesn't exactly have the spirit…evil spirit, that is…of those films.

The Story:
The blatant title of this movie is as uninspired as the overall execution. I was hoping to love this film that promised to be like some of my favorite mean spirited flicks, but I ended up feeling that this was more of a spoof of those, and not a very funny one at that. See, we have the Huns, an exclusive clique of girls at Valley High—Danielle (Julie Benz), Brooke (Monica Keena), and Tiffany (Nicole Bilderback). A year ago, they pulled a "Jawbreaker", and SORT of killed Charity, who was dating Drew (Jonathan Brandis), the guy Danielle desires. Now, Danielle thinks she has her chance, but new exchange student Katarina (Suzanna Urszuly) from Romania (basically Transylvania) shows up on the scene and steals Drew away. You can't help but notice that Katarina bears a striking resemblance to "Heather" Wynonna Ryder. Danielle and the girls want to teach Katarina a lesson. But these girls have little of the cruel streak of girls from the other movies I mentioned. The meanest thing they do is bring Katarina shopping at the mall and attempt to max out her credit card. Soon after, bad things begin to happen. And in The Craft fashion, Danielle's hair begins falling out, after it turns gray. And the other girls suffer physical deformities as they begin to age rapidly. And they begin to uncover signs that Katarina may be enacting a supernatural revenge for Chastity. At the same time, their teacher (Christopher Lloyd) is up to something, following the girls around and spying on them. This allows Lloyd to do some physical comedy—some of the corniest slapstick physical damage-inducing accidents ever filmed that are just never funny. Unfortunately, most of the jokes aren't funny either, including attempts at farting and peeing gross outs. There are, though, a few instances that did make me laugh out loud, but it was few and far between. And then there's the small role by the late Janet Leigh. It was actually disturbing to watch most of her part in the film, because she played a nearly dead woman in a convalescence home, and she looked like a corpse. Fortunately, she comes very much to life later, and saved the movie for me with her short appearance. Gotta love her for never turning her back on her horror fans, which is probably where her daughter got it from. Other than that, there are the typical characters that are mostly just there because they need to be, including the jock and the geek. Most of the performances by the teens are incredibly uninspired. It all seems very routine. And there's the typical house party scene, with a bad band playing in someone's living room. In terms of raunch, there's not much of anything. It's all pretty sterile, although there is a funny, girl-on-girl kiss that took me by surprise and was one of the few moments that made me laugh. Really, the film isn't unwatchable, just don't expect anything intense or worthy of a second look (other than Janet Leigh's performance).

The DVD

Video:
The 1:85:1 anamorphic transfer shines. The color is rich and vibrant, the tint is perfect, the darks are deep and add gorgeous contrast and depth to the image. Picture is sharp as can be. The only real problem is noticeable—if tiny—specs throughout the film.

Sound:
Another good job, this time with the Dolby 2.0 surround track. Quality is crisp and clear, left/right separation and travel is clean, with an added rear speaker ambience. The bass is pristine, not too high or low. The only issue here is the output level. The sound needs to be cranked to hear.

Extras:
The ONLY and I mean ONLY extras you get are 2 deleted scenes. The menu has to options: Play (movie) and Deleted Scenes. The box proclaims this disc "includes hilarious deleted scenes." I promise you, that's exaggeration. One scene is obviously a Psycho shower scene nod…most likely because Janet Leigh is in the film, but it's been done dozens of times before, even in a movie WITH Janet (remember her line about cleaning the shower drains in H2O?) The two clips run a short 2 minutes.

Final Thoughts:
Bad Girls from Valley High has none of the dark humor, crass comedy, or cruel intentions of the movies that it seems to want to emulate, including Jawbreakers, Heathers and The Craft. While you can sit through it without too much pain, you're better off just watching one of those again.

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