Blu-ray Review: Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory (1961)

November 14, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Along with new teacher Dr. Julian Olcott (Carl Schell)’s arrival at a school for delinquent girls comes a rash of werewolf related violence. Could our hero be the hairy-scary giving these troubled teens so much static? As the attacks continue we are introduced to a host of possible suspects, as well as a blackmail plot involving a lil’ of the ol’ teacher/student hanky as well as the panky. How do these elements relate to each other and will the werewolves reign of terror be stopped before the student body is used as a chew toy?

The biggest problem with Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory is the title itself. Now, there is a girl’s dormitory for sure, and also a werewolf… but you know damn well that title suggests all manner of sexy-time adventures peppered with some good ol’ blood draining at the teeth and claws of a fur covered maniac… but this isn’t that picture. Rather we get a moody, understated murder mystery that is more akin to Universal’s The Wolf Man from 1941 (in tone if not in excellence).

Is that a bad thing? That will depend. If you dig more on a slow burn type of fright flick, this one will satisfy, but if you wanted a full on tits n’ terror affair you will likely be disappointed. What should work for most of you horror hounds is the crude yet charming werewolf make-up on display; a real fang-banger with razor sharp teeth, and plenty of distorted features (created by what looks like 5 pounds of clay caked on the actor’s puss)… and a good amount of drippin’ drool!

Also of note is a great, Peter Lorre-esque performance from Luciano Pigozzi, whom you cool cats n’ creeps may recognize from his performance as Pag in Antonio Margheriti’s classic Reb Brown starring barbarian pic Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983).

Along with the main feature, ol’ sexy Severin have included some beastly bonuses on this Blu-ray release! First comes an entertaining and anecdote packed audio commentary courtesy of actor Curt Lowens and film historian/journalist David Del Valle. Following that we get an interview with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, the film’s Italian and US trailers, and an alternate opening sequence (which features that time tested classic tune; The Ghoul in School… which also appears briefly in the US trailer as well). Also included is a CD containing the film’s soundtrack.

If you love old school style creature features, Werewolf in a Girl’s Dormitory will be right up your arcane alley; it’s full of mystery, atmosphere, and yes, a lunatic lycanthrope as well!



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