Take 5ive Girls…
No, this is not a follow-up to the 1969 series starring Liza Goddard and Peter Bowles, but a movie set at the rather sparse St Mark’s School for Girls which was shut down five years earlier when one of the pupils, Elizabeth (Krysta Carter) becamse possessed by the devil which made the kind ofgrowling sounds one might only find after they’ve ingested the strongest of curries, and then made the mistake of challenging him by basically shouting that she casts him out of her body and after a fair amount of commotion, she’s gone and all that’s left behind is a load of blood.
That’s not so good for the decidedly creepy Father Drake (Ron Perlman), a Catholic priest who seems to have a rather unhealthy session for naughty Catholic school girls. Still, it makes a change from them lusting after boys instead(!)
Now we’re back to the present and as the school is re-opened for the first time, there’s still a shit-load of strange and spooky things happening as five girls take up their places for the new term, led by blonde Alex (Jennifer Miller), brunette Mara (Jordan Madley) and blind, ginger Cecilia (Terra Vnesa). However, they’re in for a shock as they encounter Miss Pearce (Amy Lalonde, a very strict headmistress and formerly a pupil at the school in its hey-day.
The girls’ beds and desks are arranged facing each other like the points on a pentangle and they seem to learn nothing but how to say a ‘Hail Mary’ several times a day. As things move forward, the girls learn that they all have their own special talents, such as Leah, who can walk through objects in a wall, while Alex can throw objects across a room like a poltergeist or, similarly, draw them towards her.
Before too long, Alex hears some Latin language being spoken by the dead Elizabeth, as well as seeing her occasionally, there’s a creepy janitor called Virgil (James Kidnie) – who looks rather like Lost‘s Locke, the devil declares itself as having the name of Legion and just what exactly is up there on the third floor of the school that Miss Pearce doesn’t want anyone to know about? Well, while you do get to find out you’ll probably wished you hadn’t bothered because one thing you realise throughout 5ive Girls is that there’s a lot of suggestion that big things will happen but it never translates into anything in the least bit scary.
However, a worthy note must go to Amy Lolande who plays Miss Pearce, as she’s like an attractive version of Tamzin Outhwaite, but given the girls’ uniform attire, the fact that she strip-searches them upon arrival, it does, however, get into slightly dodgy territory when you end up with scenes like the dominatrix-style headmistress hitching up Alex’s skirt in front of the rest of the girls so she can cane her with a long, thick ruler.
Add to that a couple of brief moments of nudity and slight lesbian leanings and it merely hints at further titilation and nothing more than that.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen print is a clean and clear one, although there’s it doesn’t have a great deal to do other than portray a drab school for the majority of the time. The sound is in Dolby Surround only, which makes you wonder why they couldn’t stretch to a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundmix as it would’ve benefitted the times when it’s at least trying to give you the willies.
All that you get in the way of extras is a 2-minute letterbox trailer, which shouldn’t be watched first because it gives away part of the ending(!) and a 25-minute ‘making-of’ piece which mixes film clips with chat from the key cast members, the latter of which is really badly done because there’s a lot of film set clatter going on behind them while a spooky piece of music pounds away in the background. Excuse me, but how are we supposed to hear what they hell they’re saying?!
The disc comes with English subtitles and a measley 12 chapters, with the menus being a silent and static affair. After putting the DVD in, you’ll see it opens with a trailer for Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, but why isn’t this part of the DVD content itself and not stuck at the front like a VHS rental trailer?
Running time: 93 minutes
Studio: Momentum Pictures
Region(s): 2 (UK PAL)
Released: January 29th 2007
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Format: Widescreen: 1.85:1
Disc Format: DVD9
Director: Warren P Sonoda
Producers: Kate Harrison and Lewin Webb
Screenplay: Warren P Sonoda
Music: Craig McConnell
Father Drake: Ron Perlman
Alex: Jennifer Miller
Mara: Jordan Madley
Cecilia: Terra Vnesa
Leah: Barbara Mamabolo
Connie: Tasha May Currie
Miss Pearce: Amy Lalonde
Elizabeth: Krysta Carter
Virgil: James Kidnie
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.