Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory

Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory (Italian: Lycanthropus) is a 1961 Italian horror film directed by Paolo Heusch.

Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory
Lycanthropus-1961-poster.jpg
Italian theatrical release poster for Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory
Directed byPaolo Heusch
Screenplay byErnesto Gastaldi[1]
Starring
Music byArmando Trovajoli[1]
CinematographyRenato Del Frate[1]
Edited byGiuliana Attenni[1]
Production
company
Royal Film[1][2]
Distributed byCineriz (Italy)
Release date
  • November 9, 1961 (1961-11-09) (Italy)
Running time
82 minutes[2]
CountryItaly[2]
Box office115 million

SynopsisEdit

Wolves have been seen roaming around a girls' reformatory, and when the girls begin to get murdered, suspicion focuses on both the wolves and on a handsome, newly hired science teacher, who might be a werewolf.

ProductionEdit

Werewolves in a Girls' Dormitory was shot in 1961 around Cinecittà Studios and Rome.[2] In the film, director Paolo Heusch is credited under the name Richard Benson.[3] One of the films screenwriters Ernesto Gastaldi explained that it was mandatory to give yourself an English name in Italian productions of the time because "that's the way the producers wanted it."[4]

The German actor Curt Lowens plays the werewolf in the film.[4] Lowens described the werewolf transformations as being shot in reverse starting with full make-up and shot in reverse with more elements of his transformations being removed, the whole process shot with dissolves taking over three hours.[4][5] Lowens described shooting the film as a choatic experience with actors all predominantly speaking different languages: French, English, Italian and German.[5]

CastEdit

  • Barbara Lass as Priscilla
  • Carl Schell as Julian Olcott
  • Curt Lowens as Director Swift
  • Maureen O'Connor as Leonore MacDonald
  • Maurice Marsac as Sir Alfred Whiteman
  • Luciano Pigozzi as Walter the Caretaker
  • Joseph Mercier as Tommy the Porter
  • Mary McNeeran as Mary Smith
  • Annie Steinert as Sheena Whiteman
  • Grace Neame as Sandy

ReleaseEdit

Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory was released in Italy on November 9, 1961 where it was distributed by Cineriz.[1][2] The film grossed a total of 115 million Italian lira on its theatrical run.[2] The film was shown in the United States on June 6, 1963 where it was distributed by MGM.[2]

The American version of the film adds the rock song "The Ghoul in School" to the opening credits written by Marilyn Stewart and Frank Owens.[1][2][6] The song had vocals by Adam Keefe and was released on a 45 RPM record distributed by Cub Records.[6]

It was released on DVD in the United States by Retromedia and Alpha Video.[2]

ReceptionEdit

From contemporary reviews, The Globe and Mail stated that the film was "disfigured by bad dubbing and a silly attempt to establish the locale as the United States, it might have been a very respectable specimen of the horror school"[7] A review in the Monthly Film Bulletin reviewed an 81-minute dubbed version of the film titled I Married a Werewolf, describing it as a "grotesque horror film" where "a certain relish can be derived in the early stages from the unspeakably foolish dialogue; but there is really nothing else on any level which one can possibly recommend."[8]

Danny Shipka, author of Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France 1960-1980 stated the film "won't convert any fans to the genre", due to a slow pace and poor dubbing in the English-language version.[9]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Curti 2015, p. 64.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Curti 2015, p. 65.
  3. ^ Curti 2015, p. 66.
  4. ^ a b c Curti 2015, p. 67.
  5. ^ a b Curti 2015, p. 68.
  6. ^ a b McCallum 1998, p. 234.
  7. ^ Morriss, Frank (September 30, 1963). "Dubbing, Locale Make Werewolf A Beastly Film". The Globe and Mail. p. 11.
  8. ^ "Lycanthropus (I Married a Werewolf), Italy/Austria, 1961". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 30 no. 366. British Film Institute. July 1964. p. 107.
  9. ^ Shipka 2011, p. 29.

ReferencesEdit

  • Curti, Roberto (2015). Italian Gothic Horror Films 1957-1969. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-1476619897.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Shipka, Danny (2011). Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France 1960-1980. United States: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0786448883.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • McCallum, Lawrence (1998). Italian Horror Films of the 1960s: A Critical Catalog of 62 Chillers. United States: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0786404353.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External linksEdit