High School Hellcats (1958)

This is a film that might have shocked some viewers back in 1958, but seen today it just seems laughable. It’s supposed to be an exposé about wicked high school girls, but it never is particularly wicked…just silly.

The film begins with a new girl in school, Joyce, being asked to join a gang at school. Almost all of the gang members look and dress like young débutantes and their idea of being tough was downright silly. As part of the hazing, the leader of the ‘Hellcats’ picks out three really bad things to make this new girl do–to prove she’s tough. The first involves having her come to school…wearing pants!!! Such wickedness!! Then, they have her ask a boy out…in front of his girlfriend!!! These girls are practically anti-Christs!!! Then, they have a wild party where they all have a tiny bit of alcohol to drink…and then play blind man’s bluff–during which the leader ACCIDENTALLY DIES!!!! Well, that’s what you get for playing blind man’s! I think that’s how the Manson gang started!! Oh, the depravity!. Then, the girl’s do what anyone would do when someone dies accidentally–hide the body and pretend it never happened and hope it all just blows away!! The only thing moderately evil that even occurs is when the dead girls’ friend, Connie flips out during the last five minutes of the movie threatens to ‘shut up’ Joyce…just like she did the gang leader!!! Actually, this final twist wasn’t bad…but the rest of this was just stupid…and great for laughs.

I think a better title would be “Debutantes Run Amok…just a teeny, tiny bit”. Bad but funny…very, very funny. And like most teenage exploitation films of the era, it both blames problems on bad parents AND has actors in their twenties (and possibly older) play teens. I highly recommend it…if you like bad, bad films.