Sunday, October 03, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - Day 3 - Movie 2

You know those movies that have a scene where some teenagers are in a movie theater or drive-in watching a nondescript horror movie that seems somewhat genuinely creepy and hokey and almost completely made up at the same time? Werewolf in a Girls Dormitory (1961) is a perfect example of that type of movie.

I've actually wanted to see this for a long, long time, mostly because of that one still from this movie that used to always appear in monster movie books, magazines and adds for drive-in movies that weren't this one. I was prepared to be completely disappointed, but this movie was actually not too bad.

A doctor stripped of his license to practice is hired to teach science at a school for wayward girls. A plot involving blackmail soon rears its head, and one of the girls is murdered, allegedly by wolves. Three of the four other men who work at the school all act suspiciously, and even more suspiciously are actors who look a lot like Peter Lorre, John Carradine, and Walt Disney without actually being any of those men (though one wonders why they didn't just get John Carradine. I'm pretty sure he's never said "no" to a movie) start acting suspiciously. One of the girls and the new professor not only get chummy, but investigate on their own. More deaths follow, and a werewolf appears, but who is it and just what's going on?

This Italian/Austrian production features decent performances, particularly by the John Carradine stand-in, Curt Lowens (Cardinal Ebner in Angels and Demons (2009), and even the dubbing is done well enough not to impede the acting. Carl Schell (brother of Maximilian, and actor who played the Red Baron in The Blue Max (1966)) as the new professor is fairly bland as the handsome leading man. The make-up for the werewolf is only effective when shown quickly, or in shadows, otherwise it's rather lacking. This movie made for a surprisingly diverting viewing.

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