Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory (1961)


Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory Storyline

Dr. Julian Olcott, a science teacher with a mysterious past, arrives for his new job in an institutional boarding school for female troublemakers. That night, intern Mary Smith, who is blackmailing another teacher, Sir Alfred Whiteman, with some love letters, is slaughtered. The detective in charge of the investigation attributes the crime to a animal, while her mate Priscilla believes that Sir Alfred killed her. Over the next few days, other deaths happen at the school, reducing the list of suspects.—Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory Movie Reviews

An Underrated B&W Horror Gem

Everything is almost perfect in this underrated horror movie, except the stupid theme song, which was probably added for American distribution only. The scenes in the woods are atmospheric and thrilling due to competent cinematography. The main plot (who is the werewolf stalking a girls reformatory?)might be simple, but it is supplemented with an intriguing subplot of prostitution and blackmail centered around the reformatory. No surprise that the script is by Ernesto Gastaldi who wrote some of the masterpieces of Italian horror cinema in 1960s.

Girls will be Girls

******SPOILERS****** Italian film about a werewolf on the loose in and around a young women reformatory thats much better then it’s comical US title “Werewolf in a girls dormitory” suggest.

Dr. Julian Olcott, Carl Schell, is given a job at the reformatory as a science teacher after six years of not being able to find any work as a doctor. After he was tried and acquitted of the death of a young woman that he was treating. Dr. Olcott soon becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a girl at the school after his first day on the job when Mary, Mary McNeeran, is found savagely murdered outside the grounds of the school.

Her gruesome death indicates that Mary was attacked by wolves that have been seen roaming around the woods nearby. With traps set up to catch the killer, or killers, he always avoids them and it becomes obvious that he’s not any animal but some kind of insane lunatic who like to tear people apart like a wild beast.

With everything being done to kill or capture the person or beast being totally ineffective the staff and inmates of the reformatory as well as the people of the surrounding town are in a state of panic. Thinking that the murderer is living among them and suspecting anyone who’s new in the area like Dr.Olcott.

There are some deep secrets about the girl who was murdered and who murdered her by the owners of the reformatory Mr & Mrs. Whiteman Maurice Marsac & Anni Steinert and the caretaker Walter Geoffrey, Luciano Pigozzi. Walter who was suspected of the murder of Mary jumped to his death when he was caught trying to suffocate her friend Sandy, Grace Neame. It was Sandy who had a number of incriminating letters between Mary and Alfred Whiteman.

Mr. Whiteman killed himself when he was confronted with those letters by Dr. Olcott and Priscilla, Barbara Lass, another girl in the reformatory and also a very good fiend of Mary. And his wife Shenna Whiteman was then herself murdered by the killer for knowing too much about who was involved in Mary’s murder by giving her an overdose of drugs.

“Werewolf in a girl’s dormitory” keep it’s audience guessing until the last fifteen minutes or so to who the killer or killers are. The movie has very good atmospherics as well as action in the scenes of the attacking werewolf who was much faster and more frighting that you would expect unlike in many other other werewolf movies. Where he’s both slow and lumbering with all that makeup on.

Luciano Pigozzi steals the movie with his Peter Lorre look-alike portrayal of the creepy caretaker and everyone else’s acting in the movie is above average as the staff and inmates of the girls reformatory. Don’t let it’s title fool you, the movie is much better then it sounds.

Needed Some Editing

There is something bleak and disjointed about this film. First of all, I appreciate the fact that it has an interesting story and a few obstacles thrown in the viewers path. The movie is as much psychological as it is horrific. I don’t like slasher movies and am bored with them, especially the ones out of the era where this movie appeared. It turned out to be kind of an atmospheric werewolf movie. It’s deliberately misleading at times. Characters are there for no other reason than to confuse us. But it plays by the rules. The main female figure is quite pretty. The rest of the girls seem rather the same and there’s a stuffy restraint all around. Nevertheless, there are some attacks, pretty good special effects, and an interesting conclusion.