Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory

Born from the same era of eerie atmospherics that brought us Black Sunday and Carnival of Souls, Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory strives for the same sense of dread that those films are championed for, albeit on a smaller budget and with a lesser reputation. However, if viewed as a companion piece to those two features, it's a modest success, boasting a few creepy moments and a relatively interesting story line. Although most potential viewers will be thrown off by the title (it sounds more like a playful skin flick than a straight-faced werewolf film), Euro-horror enthusiasts will enjoy the dark, wooded locale and the surprising amount of bloodshed (for the time period, that is).

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Set in a girls' reformatory, the story revolves around the attractive and stubborn Priscilla, a good girl who's been "locked up" for protecting her pal, Mary, from the advances of a lecherous sailor. When Mary's mutilated body is found in the woods (she's also a resident of this all-girl reform school), officials believe she was attacked by a rabid wolf. This unlikely story doesn't pacify Priscilla, who suspects that Mary's death may have something to do with a cache of love notes in her top drawer written by an unnamed school administrator. The not so innocent Mary was blackmailing this suitor into sneaking her off of campus for good and he may not have been the only staff member in her back pocket. Unfortunately, the answers aren't as easy as Priscilla would hope and a mysterious new professor with a dark past may be the only key to the identity of Mary's killer.

Despite obvious red herrings and some humdrum acting, many of this underrated feature's set-ups are pretty effective. For example, Mary's murder scene is admiradly done, featuring some surprisingly violent face scratching and a chilling shot of her lifeless corpse floating away in a stream. The shot is reminiscent of a similar sequence in Night of the Hunter, which, surprisingly, may have had an influence on the cinematography. A bar scene also possesses a certain realism that wouldn't be expected for a production with limited funds.

This sleeper is definitely worth a look. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Reviewed by Mdeapo

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