Spanish horror with brilliant photography and functional direction
School of death or El Colegio De La Muerte is set in London , 1899 , it deals with a boarding house called ¨Saint Elizabeth Refuge¨(managed by Norma Kastel) of abandoned girls (Sandra Mozarowski , Victoria Vera) . The girls are tyrannically governed under three rules : Silence , discipline and obedience . But some of them are being kidnapped and lobotomized by a disfigured mad scientist and turned into zombie slaves . At the refuge arrives a doctor (Dean Selmier who provides the most exciting scenes when he's buried alive) to heal the orphans . Meanwhile , two Police Inspectors (Estanis Gonzalez , Angel Menendez) are investigating the strange deeds and murders .
This frightening movie is plenty of thrills , high body-count , plot twists and glimmer color in lurid images with acceptable results . Intrigue , tension , suspense appear threatening and lurking in every room , corridors and creepy interior and exterior . Interesting and suspenseful screenplay by the same director , Pedro Ramirez , the producer Alfonso Balcazar and the prolific Italian writer Sandro Continenza . Adequate make-up on a badly burned mad doctor who provides the screams , twists and turns . Functional , appropriate sets , being well filmed in the medieval city of Toledo and in Hammer style , full of foggy streets and bright night scenes. Colorful cinematography in Maria Bava wake realized by Antonio Ballesteros Jr , son of other magnificent cameraman , Antonio L. Ballesteros Sr . The motion picture was professionally directed by Pedro L. Ramirez , including a startling visual content and adequate narration , though being sometimes slow-moving. Ramirez was an expert on comedy , filming vehicles for the Spanish comic named Jose Luis Ozores such as ¨ El Gafe¨, ¨El Tigre Chamberi¨, ¨Los Ladrones Somos Gente Honrada¨, ¨Recluta con Niño¨ and directed two Chorizo Western for Alfonso Balcazar (who was screenwriter and producer of ¨School of dead¨) such as "Watch Out Gringo! Sabata Will Return" and "None of the Three Were Called Trinity" starred by Tito Garcia and Chris Huerta , both of them playing secondary roles in ¨School of death¨ . Rating : 5,5/10 . Acceptable and passable .
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