Archive for July 16th, 2013


by Allan Fish

(Spain 1969 99m) not on DVD

Aka. La Residencia; The House That Screamed

General Franco’s school for girls

d/w  Narciso Ibáñez Serrador  ph  Manuel Berenguer, Godofredo Pacheco  ed  Mercedes Alonso, Reginald Mills  m  Waldo de los Rios  art  Ramiro Gómez

Lilli Palmer (Mme.Fourneau), Cristina Galbó (Theresa), John Moulder Brown (Luis), Maribel Martin (Isabelle), Mary Maude (Irene), Candida Losada (M’elle Desprez), Pauline Challoner (Catherine), Tomas Blanco (Father Baldie), Teresa Hurtado (Andrea),

It takes a brave man to wade through some of the Stygian depths of Spanish horror of the late sixties and seventies.  There were some cheesy, awful horror films made in Italy, too, of course, and in Britain and France come to that, but Spanish horror was a special brand of cheese.  There were a couple of worthwhile entries, however.  The Blood Spattered Bride made excellent use of its young women, Alexandre Bastedo and Maribel Martin and had a few choice shocks in the best manner.  Best of all was The Boarding School, surely one of the best horrors made in Europe at the turn of the seventies.

It’s set in Madame Fourneau’s school for wayward girls in France.  A young girl, Theresa, arrives there in the hope that she isn’t there for long.  She quickly becomes aware of the iron rule of its headmistress and of the prefects (more like young kapos) who she uses to do her ugly work for her.  Their latest victim of choice is Catherine, a rebellious but otherwise kindly girl, who is whipped for her disobedience.  Theresa does befriend some of the girls, but as girls begin to go missing, girls and prefects alike begin to suspect foul play.  Could it be the hired help the girls sneak out to have sex with every so often, could it be Madame Fourneau herself, or her hidden away son, the sexually repressed Luis, dreaming of girls and resorting to voyeurism to get his kicks? (more…)

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