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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days of Halloween 2014: Day 8



 
Week #2: Weird Werewolves
Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory (aka Lycanthropus)
1961
Paolo Heusch (as Richard Benson)

Dr. Olcott (Carl Schell) is a disgraced medical professional who has taken up teaching biology at a girl’s reform school.  Some of the students are quite infatuated with him, but much of the staff have issues with his questionable past.  Once victims start showing up in the woods, apparently savaged by wolves, Dr. Olcott finds himself at the center of the accusations.  It gets worse for him when it’s discovered that Dr. Olcott has been researching lycanthropy and it has implications in the death of his wife years ago. One of the students, Priscilla (Barbra Lass) is determined to uncover the truth.

The title, Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory, is the film’s biggest handicap. It promises some lurid sex and violence when the film contained is actually a densely packed mystery. As far as protagonists go, Dr. Julian Olcott is kind of a dud. I wish the film would have kept its focus on Priscilla, she makes a solid heroine and the story noticeably picks-up the pace when she’s active. The black and white cinematography sets an eerie mood and helps cover-up the obviously small budget. Thanks to some second-rate dubbing, trying to unravel the mystery is even more confusing than it needs to be. The werewolf itself is actually pretty interesting looking, I’ve always preferred the wolf-man look to the more canine-headed variety.  Go into this one expecting something more atmospheric and slightly smarter than the title would suggest and you might be pleasantly surprised.

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