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The College Girl Murders (1967) is a spooky and fun mystery thriller, that keeps you guessing. Loosely based on a story by Edgar Wallace, the plot features a whip wielding hooded killer, a number of wicked kills, an assortment of attractive young women, and a mysterious criminal mastermind that is behind all the mayhem.
A scientist develops the formula for a new poison gas, and turns it over a mysterious mastermind. The scientist's reward is death, as a figure dressed like a monk, in red robe and hood, snaps a whip around his neck. Frank Connor (Siegfried Rauch), an inmate doing time in prison, is recruited by the mastermind to act as a hit man, and employs the poison to kill a young woman. The murder brings the police, led by Inspector Higgins (Joachim Fuchsberger), and his slightly daffy superior Sir John (Siegfried Schurenberg), to the women's college the victim was attending. Soon the monk makes an appearance at the college, and other students and members of the staff begin to turn up dead, leaving the police baffled and confused. This college is the kind of place where the instructors get involved with students, and Martin Denver (Harry Riebauer), the brother of headmistress Harriet Foster (Tilly Lauenstein), is also partying with the young ladies.
Set in Britain, dubbed in English, and directed by Alfred Vohrer, The College Girl Murders is a krimi, a German production that features mostly German actors. This is a fast paced tale with a large cast, a high body count, some stylish kills, and a number of surprise twists. The mystery angle is played up nicely, as the identity and motives of the unknown mastermind arranging the various murders, is kept well hidden until the end. Credibility is rather low, and the tone may be less than deadly serious, but overall this is a twisted and entertaining little tale. Many of the peripheral matters make little sense, such as a college that has no classes except for swimming, a top secret underground headquarters complete with crocodiles, and prisoners who routinely leave prison like one of Hogan's Heroes. Still, the overall atmosphere of mystery, sleazy behavior, and attractively attired women like Uschi Glas, Grit Boettcher, Suzanne Roquette, and Ilse Page, may be sufficient to hold your interest. The film also features a cool score by Martin Bottcher that adds some suspense, and when appropriate, also helps keep things pumping along.
If you like krimis or giallos from the 60's with a high body count, a dash of humor, and some goofy elements, The College Girl Murders may be of interest. The Dark Sky edition features a pretty good quality widescreen transfer, with some rich saturated colors.