School of Death (1975)

  |  Crime, Thriller, Horror

School of Death (1975) Poster

Dean Selmier, Sandra Mozaroski, Victoria Vera. An 1899 London orphanage is the setting for this weird tale. There is a really cool looking monster-guy doing weird experiments on an ... See full summary »



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23 November 2016 | kannibalcorpsegrinder
| Highly enjoyable if disjointed effort
Going to a girls' boarding school, a detective attempting to find the cause of a number of strange disappearances finds the cause to be a disfigured doctor creating monstrosities out of the girls and tries to stop him from continuing his plans.

This here was quite the enjoyable sleazy effort. Among the more enjoyable aspects here is the fact that there's quite an enjoyably varied atmosphere present that works incredibly well here. That this one features such a wide-ranging series of influences, turning from Gothic chamber-piece to school-girl exploitation and then wrapping it all within the confines of a sleaze-riddled grindhouse effort makes this initially appear chaotic and schizophrenic but comes together so well that it becomes incredibly engaging. The scenes of the girls in the school, complete with the tyrannical overlord resorting to vile whipping, stabbing and other forms of punishment that's enhanced by the scenes of them in their school-girl outfits and less, give this the kind of grimy feel in conjunction with the other story lines throughout here. Bringing in the mad scientist who's also quite deformed with a hideous facial scar is a solid answer to the mystery about their disappearances, and the scenes of him strapping them down and operating on them in order to turn them into zombies offers a series of exploitation-style confrontations utilizing the wild machinery amidst all the crazed screaming. Once we learn the truth about the purpose of the operations to turn the girls into obedient zombiefied slaves for their owners' pleasure, it makes this fall nicely into the exploitation realm while the central investigation causes this to remain smooth and fast-paced weaving all the various plot lines along. Even the action scenes are fun here, with a great Gothic-flavored chase through the house as she tries to escape his clutches in various rooms to do so, the henchmen attacking the doctor at various points including burying him alive in a coffin or the big finale in the laboratory where everyone converges on the true mastermind behind their ploy which leads into a wild and chaotic sword-fight and chase through the building to get away which is all rather fun and exciting. While these here work well for the film, it does have one minor flaw running throughout here in that the disjointed and wildly careening storyline doesn't really give this one any real sense of identity. Incorporating so many elements and ideas from so many different sources is nice in that it manages to make it entertaining through it's unpredictability yet it also manages to go off into so many tangents that it doesn't come together clearly. There's little here that makes sense due to throwing so many different ideas together, and they fit together so loosely it's almost hard to tell what the original point was as it drops elements from one story to place another into it so on the whole this one is really disjointed. Still, it's really the only thing really wrong here.

Rated Unrated/R: Violence, Language and Nudity.

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Crime | Thriller | Horror

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