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Movie Review: Bad Girls from Valley High

Drew (played by Jonathan Brandis) is finally emptying out the high school locker of his deceased girlfriend. It has been one year since Charity Chase's death, and the school now needs the locker for a mysterious foreign exchange student named Katarina. Oddly enough, as Katarina enters the classroom, the light above her head burns out. Then the teacher (played by Christopher Lloyd) asks if she would tell the class a little about where she's from, and we learn that she lived in Romania. Know what else is in Romania? Transylvania!

Drew and Katarina hit it off well fairly quickly, much to the dismay of fellow student Danielle (played by Julie Benz), and her two friends Tiffany (played by Nicole Bilderback) and Brooke (played by Monica Keena). It's not long before we discover that the three girls actually had a hand in Charity Chase's death. You see, Danielle wanted to be Drew's boyfriend, and their selfish not-so-though-out plan to make that happen accidentally led to the death, for which they then blamed on a suicide. They even went so far as to write the suicide note.

But now Danielle's 18th birthday is coming up, and Drew is still not her boyfriend. But as they try to come up with a way to drive a wedge between Drew and Katarina, the three girls begin to notice weird things that start to happen. Such as when they try to take a picture of Danielle so that they can paste her face onto an embarrassing photo, only to discover that her face is the only part of the picture that didn't come out. Or when one of them sneaks into the nurse's office to steal Katarina's address, only to discover that it's the address of a cemetery. Or worst of all, the strange things that are happening with their bodies, like the moles, the white hair, and the loss of bladder control!

So the girls eventually come to the conclusion that Katarina is really the ghost of Charity Chase, but now what are they going to do about it? How do you kill a ghost? Well, according to Danielle, in order to kill Katarina, they have to kill Drew so that Charity and Drew can be together forever. Will they really kill two more people just to release the curse that is upon? Oh yeah, and why is the teacher constantly surveilling the three girls?

This movie feels like it was made specifically for Saturday afternoon television, so I really don't understand the R rating. It says it's because of "some sexual content", but I don't remember any sexual content. Hm, unless they count that one dream sequence when Drew and Katarina... and later Danielle... were in bed under the covers, but there was nothing sexual going on. Plus, there was no nudity, only one bad word, and all the violence was slapstick. So ignore the rating, and just consider this a PG movie.

I thought this movie was bad, but then maybe I just didn't get it. The back of the DVD case calls this film a "screamingly funny thriller", but I beg to differ. First of all, there were no thrills. How can it be a thriller if there are no thrills? There is no feeling of suspense, or even danger. And secondly, it isn't funny, much less screamingly funny. Now, it's true that there were some scenes of slapstick that were pretty funny, most of which involved Christopher Lloyd, but there weren't very many of those scenes and they just didn't feel like they fit with the rest of the same movie.

And the DVD itself isn't very well done either. There are two deleted scenes, no commentary, no making-of featurette, no cast bios, I mean there's not even a scene index here! The back of the case says it "includes hilarious deleted scenes", but the deleted scenes are no more hilarious than the movie and are easily forgettable. So yeah, if your a teen and enjoy Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Charmed, then perhaps you'll enjoy this flick, but for the rest of us, just go rent something like Mean Girls or Heathers, as they're much better films.

Bad Girls from Valley High is being released by Universal Home Video on DVD starting March 22, 2005, and stars Julie Benz, Monica Keena, Nicole Bilderback, Jonathan Brandis, Aaron Paul, and Christopher Lloyd. At one time it was also known as "A Fate Worse than Death".

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