School that Couldn’t Scream (1972)

SCHOOL THAT COULDN’T SCREAM (1972)
aka Cosa avete fatto a Solange?, What Have You Done to Solange

Article 3556 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-17-2011
Posting Date: 5-10-2011
Directed by Massimo Dallamano
Featuring Fabio Testi, Cristina Galbo, Karin Baal
Country: Italy / West Germany
What it is: Krimi giallo

A teacher at a Catholic girl’s school is having an affair with one of his students. When a brutal murder is committed, it turns out his lover is having psychic visions that may lead to the identity of the killer. But the killer knows, and will not be stopped…

I went into this expecting the usual Italian giallo experience, but was surprised to see krimi regular Joachin Fuchsberger in the cast. Shortly after this I discovered that the story was based on a novel by Edgar Wallace, making this indeed a cross between the krimi and giallo forms. Stylistically, it’s a lot more similar to a giallo, though it’s actually pretty light on the gore and keeps the heavy stylistic touches in check. Truth to tell, it doesn’t need them; as a mystery, I found it very exciting and gripping. It’s one of those movies that holds up very well when you go back to earlier moments in the story with the knowledge you gain at the end; I particularly liked how the final explanation of the murders dovetails nicely with an early character moment in which the teacher’s lover resists a seduction by him. The movie is full of little telling details like this; in fact, I can’t think of another giallo that did as good a job at keeping me focused on the story as this one did. It’s definitely not for children; the murders, though not explicit, are nasty, and the revelations are very adult. This is an extremely effective merging of genres.

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