“The Ghoul in School”

It’s all in a name. Several years ago I wanted to direct a play called Women’s Prison Christmas. I didn’t care how bad the script was, I knew the play would sell out due to the title. I mean, who the hell wouldn’t want to see a show called Women’s Prison Christmas?

PS: I’m still waiting to direct it. (AHEM!) I’m also waiting to direct Tonya and Nancy The Rock Opera. (IT DOES EXIST!)  A girl can dream…

So, with that out of the way, it should come as no surprise that this week I return to the blog with a lovely little 1961 movie called Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory. I stumbled across this “gem” of a film on a YouTube site called Full Horror. There appears to be a treasure trove of films like Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory for me to explore for weeks to come!  You’ll find the original Little Shop of Horrors by Richard Corman on there for example.

Clocking in at 1 hour and 23 minutes, Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory is an Italian film so it doesn’t have any recognizable faces or names, except perhaps one. Carl Schell, the hunky Dr. Julian Olcott, is the younger brother of Maximilian Schell (Vampires, Deep Impact).

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Isn’t he dreamy?

The trouble-making girls in the reformatory where he shows up to teach sure think so. Poor Dr. Olcott is trying to salvage a career – it seems as if he was put on trial for first degree murder – but luckily he escaped prison – he only lost his license. Now, at the reform school, he can’t practice medicine, but he can teach the girls science. And maybe the birds and the bees….

Why was he charged with murder? Well, he was helping someone who suffered from lycanthropy – the turning into a wolf during a full moon. That turned out poorly. But, as luck would have it, he appears to get another shot to make things right! The reformatory where he was sent is teaming with wolves – they howl all night. And beautiful little trouble-making girls such as Mary Smith, who blackmail teachers with whom she’s having affairs, suddenly turn up dead. At first everyone suspects the hunky Dr. Olcott. Later, they suspect Walter, a sad little man who helps out around the place, and who has secrets of his own. Then, as the body count continues to rise, suspicion falls on the professor who was blackmailed by Mary. Tension grows to a climax – and I don’t just mean finding out who the werewolf is. There is a lot of sexual tension between the hunky Dr. Olcott and Mary’s friend Priscilla. But, you know, nothing TOO overt… it’s not like Julian runs around with his shirt unbuttoned down to his… oh, wait…

This movie is full of bad dubbing, a weak script, and it is fairly easy to figure out who the werewolf is when you first see it onscreen. Still, the opening song “Ghoul in School” is pretty rad, and any movie that gets the MST3K treatment deserves a non-MST3K viewing first.  It makes the 2nd viewing all the more delicious.

 


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