WEREWOLF IN A GIRLS' DORMITORY
Notes: Originally titled Lycanthropus. 83 minutes.
Priscilla: Barbara Lass (Polish actress who was Roman Polaski's first wife)
Dr. Julian Olcott: Carl Schell
Director Swift: Curt Lowens
Sir Alfred Whiteman: Maurice Marsac
Written: Ernesto Gastaldi (US lists Julian Berry)
Directed: Paolo Heusch (US lists Richard Benson)
Summary: A dog. Bars. Walter the caretaker lets Dr. Julian Olcott in, calling off the dog, Wolf. Militaristic gymnastics drilling is taking place outside, until one girl fakes a faint and the explanation is that she's "coming of age." A reference to an unseen "Dr. Benson" presumably nods to the director of this film.
The director of the academy, Mr. Swift, is expecting Olcott, who will serve as the new science teacher. Olcott has a dark, criminal past, but hopes to be "finding himself."
In a sub-Virgilian teikoskopia, girls note below that Lenore sees Mary wandering off but does nothing. They speculate about possible assignations, and maybe the new professor is involved. Mary actually meets an older professor in the woods and wants to end the relationship and has saved some letters. On her way back, she is chased, slashed, and killed. The older professor, Alfred Whiteman (who looks like Walt Disney) is accused by his wife Sheena of being "corrupt" and an "imbecile."
The coroner says wolves got Mary. Despite rendezvous suspicions, "the good name of the institute" is a concern. Another girl, Priscilla, reads a note of Mary's and reports her blackmail to headmaster Swift. In his office, she sees a document mentioning Olcott's first-degree murder past. Olcott teaches blood. Priscilla asks about the body of Mary. Later she opens a drawer to see letters received by Mary, unsigned. Swift insists Priscilla was placed here because of an incident in which she was protecting Mary from a sailor.
Wolf howls (Walter's dog). Walter takes Priscilla into the woods to a house where Sheena, alongside some chained dogs, suggests that Mary was a "common slut." Her husband is a philanderer but not an assassin. It's not her husband; it's not wolves. But she knows the identity of the murderer.
Olcott is wandering too. When Priscilla leaves, Sheena is chloroformed and injected. A werewolf attacks Priscilla on her way back to the school, but Wolf saves her.
Sheena Whiteman (1909-1961) is buried. After the funeral, we note that Walter has an arm problem (where he was bitten by Wolf during the attack??!!). At the tavern, it's clear that Alfred is in cahoots with Walter somehow, but when the townspeople accuse Walter of being the murderer, Swift saves him, insisting that Walter has had the hand problem since birth. Later, it seems that Olcott has a hurt right arm when another student, Sandy, grabs him. She brings this to Swift's attention. There's also a creepy servant, Tommy, hanging around.
Olcott explains his past and it involves lycanthropy. He loved a murderess with the disorder. She was committed to a mental hospital for the criminally insane. He discovered a temporary antidote involving pituitary gland control, but she overdosed and he was blamed.
Olcott and Priscilla confront Alfred with the letters. He shoots himself.
Lenore is experimenting with a dog, and the werewolf is chained to a pillar. She injects the creature before it nearly kills her. The werewolf is Swift, and Lenore is okay. She apparently can control the werewolfism somewhat with injections, but was too late that first night. She herself was "forced" to kill Sheena. The dog attacks Lenore and Swift can do nothing, chained. He unlocks himself and beats the dog to death with a pipe in rage and grief.
Lenore's class is cancelled and Walter's funeral is tomorrow. Swift loses it at the funeral, relatively speaking. On the night of the moon, Priscilla is out meandering. Wolf the dog takes her to a spot and digs up the body of ... Walter! So who was buried? Swift transforms, and Olcott fires two shots at him. He transforms back: "It's better this way. Without Lenore, I don't want to live." Lenore, of course, is in Walter's grave. "May God forgive me."
Olcott and Priscilla are left. "Well, now it's finished." Some moon comment. "Now the nightmare's passed."
Commentary: Maybe not until it's over does one realize that all the "victims" were reprehensible people -- except Lenore, I guess. The werewolf, while not targeting these wretches nor serving vigilante goals, is relatively noble and just unfortunate.