High School Hellcats (1958)

High School Hellcats

director Edward L. Bernds
viewed: 09/08/2014

This piece of 1950’s teensploitation has a great moment in its opening, with tough girls in the ladies room, smoking and threatening violence.  Sadly, that moment belies most of the rest of the picture.  It’s mostly tepid rebellion with a very pedantic moral lesson driven home throughout.

The Hellcats are a girl gang (made up of all the girls it seems) led by lead hellcat, Connie (Jana Lund).  She hazes the new girl Joyce (Yvonne Lime) by tricking her into wearing slacks to school (Oh no she DIDN’T!!! Am I right?!)  She bosses the kids around, but you see, these kids are just looking for family and leadership.  Their parents are not involved with their lives enough, going to work or playing bridge, leaving them to eat sandwiches!  That’s why these girls are out of control.

They do throw a party where booze is around and the lights go out for a game of groping.  Only wouldn’t you know it, Connie falls down some stairs and breaks her neck.  And it turns out that the house they are in was broken into because the people that lived there were out of town.

Really, inside the group, the problem is Dolly (Susanne Sidney) who has her own Machiavellian scheme to take over the gang.

Well, not every exploitation flick lives up to its genre.

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