Lilli Palmer owns and runs a school for wayward girls in France. Her absolute discipline has fostered a social order among the girls with rampant sex, lesbianism and torture the norm. ... See full summary »
Lilli Palmer owns and runs a school for wayward girls in France. Her absolute discipline has fostered a social order among the girls with rampant sex, lesbianism and torture the norm. Palmer also has an adolescent son (Moulder Brown) she tries to keep isolated from the young women lest he be tainted by sexual relations; She explains that he must wait for a girl "just like his mother". Meanwhile, girls are "running away" (being murdered) one by one, with their corpses and any evidence of their outcome not to be found. Beware cut versions; the film was shown back in the 70's on network TV chopped to only 76 minutes! Written by
Arthur Workman <email@example.com>
Señora Fourneau (Lilli Palmer) is headmistress at a finishing school for wayward girls, where she rules with an iron fist, punishing those who step out of line with solitary confinement and corporal punishment (her sadistic assistant Irene happily administering a good flogging); when students occasionally disappear, they are presumed to have run away, but in reality, the girls are being brutally despatched by a homicidal maniac who stalks the school grounds.
Given its lurid subject matter, La Residencia is a surprisingly restrained affair in terms of nudity and graphic violence, director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador dealing with his themes of repressed lust, lesbianism, sadism and incest in a far less sleazy and exploitative manner than many a Euro-horror of the same era. This reserved approach seems to have gone down well with the majority of reviewers here on IMDb, who commend the film for its subtlety, sense of style and haunting atmosphere, but who fail to mention just how dull it all is as a result. Hell, this film even manages to make a communal shower scene boring, the pretty girls remaining clothed as they wash themselves (!?!?).
A delightfully twisted final revelationin which we learn the identity of the killer and the reason for the murdersjust about makes it worth struggling through to the bitter end, but I'm definitely in the minority with this one: as far as I'm concerned, it could have done with less 'suggestion', and more in the way of actual blood and boobs.
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