St. Elizabeth’s Refuge seems like a place that helps the downtrodden women of Victorian England by placing them into the homes of the upper class where they gain fulfilling careers that last for their entire lives. Or, you know, they disappear forever.
Now, a rebellious charge named Leonore (Sandra Mozarowsky, Hitler’s Last Train) is trying to discover the secrets of this place and when a movie starts off with a girl’s brain being opened up and sliced against her will, you know that there’s nothing good here. Once her friend Sylvia (Victoria Vera, Monster Dog) becomes one of the missing, her mission becomes even more necessary.
The headmistress Miss Wilkins (Norma Kastel, Tender and Perverse Emanuelle) and her assistant Miss Colton have no problems whipping the girls into shape or pushing them into the unloving arms of Dr. Krueger (Dean Selmier, The Blood Spattered Bride).
More of a gothic romance than the exploitation movie that the first scene may leadd you to believe, School of Death takes its time to give you the rewards you’re looking for. But they’re there and worth the time.
Director Pedro L. Ramírez also made The Fish with the Eyes of Gold, a giallo more concerned with mystery than kills. If you liked that, well, this will be your speed. I kind of love that this movie sets up a totally pervy premise — sex slaves created through brain surgery — and then it’s pretty much a movie that could play on TV.
The Mondo Macabro blu ray of School of Death is the first time that this movie has ever been released on disc. It features a 1080p presentation from a new 4K restoration of the original camera negative, as well as commentary by Kat Ellinger. You can get it from Mondo Macabro.