The Italian/German B horror flick Lycanthropos (1961) has had several titles in its English dub, including Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory, Monster Among the Girls, Ghoul in a Girl's Dormitory, & other titles.
With an international second-string cast, compared to most shlock horror from the drive-in era, this is a nice little film. But compared to films that are actually good, it scores vastly lower.
Having fallen into the public domain, the uncopyrighted film has been issued in many packages over time, & can be safely downloaded for free at archive.org.
The moody dark black & white cinematography is almost too good because it spoils what might otherwise be high camp value.
The mediocre but serviceable werewolf make-up; the combination of werewolf attacks & a real wolf attack; the non-surprise "surprise" of who the werewolf really is; the Peter Lorre-impersonating crippled pimp of a groundskeeper (Luciano Pigozzi, though credited as Allan Collins); the "romance" of the angst-ridden werewolf & his devoted girlfriend with her dungeon-like laboratory seeking a cure for her man's affliction; & the whole set up in a girls' reform school -- this all has the highest camp potential, but somehow isn't quite campy enough.
The reform school girl delinquents are cast a bit too old & fashion-modelish to have visual conviction. Why the title insists on calling the reformatory a dormitory is anyone's guess.
It can throw the viewer for a little while, because the women do dress like prisoners in their bland uniforms, while the reformatory itself & especially its surrounding gardens are like a private school for rich kids.
The misleading title & the ritzy gardens can make the viewer slow to realize these are indeed "bad" girls in a no-security reform school who come & go as they elect.
One surprise is the girls aren't really used for exploitation purposes, but play roles as serious as one can expect from a cheap horror film.
The central protagonist Priscilla (Barbara Lass) is one of the reformatory inmates who essentially serves as "detective" solving a crime after her best friend is killed seemingly by wolves.
As her friend was killed only after receiving a threatening letter from an unknown individual, Priscilla is unwilling to believe it wasn't somehow murder. For a presumed "bad" girl Priscilla remains morally centered through the whole story.
So, nothing gory, nothing sexploitative despite the girls reform school setting, & a script rather respectful of all its bland characters... The film almost begs to be taken at least halfway seriously as though mistaking itself for a tasteful upscale serious minded werewolf film. Which it is not.
Continue to the next werewolf movie:
Mad Monster (1942)
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl