SCHOOL OF DEATH (1975)
aka El colegio de la muerte
Article 4501 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Pedro Luis Ramirez
Featuring Dean Selmier, Sandra Mozarowsky, Norma Kastel
What it is: Odd little horror thriller
An orphanage/boarding house sends out girls who reach a certain age to become experimental subjects for a mad doctor. When one of the girls in the orphanage spots a former resident who was believed to be dead, the police are called in.
The movie seems fairly obvious to begin with; it’s a “sadistic girl’s school” movie mixed with a mad scientist flick. However, the movie unfolds in an unexpected fashion, the details that hover around the edges of the story are pretty interesting, and after a while I found myself wondering just what the story was leading to. It wasn’t until I was well into the movie before it occurred to me that the movie had just the feel of a krimi, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like that coming out of Spain in the seventies. The deliberate pacing does sometimes slow things to a crawl, but that was only a minor problem for me. I ended up quite liking this one, and it does have one very unexpected but rather satisfying twist towards the end. I always like it when a movie surprises me, and this one does.