leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh
The murder of a London schoolgirl leads to unsavory revelations about the students of an exclusive high school in this sleazy, well-crafted Italian-West German co-production. Italian gym teacher Enrico Rossini (Fabio Testi) is married to fellow teacher Herta (Karin Baal), and both work at St. Mary's Catholic School for Girls. Enrico is also engaged in an intense, flirtatious affair with a student, Elizabeth Eccles (Cristina Galbo), and while taking a boat ride with her on the Thames, she claims to see the flash of a knife from shore. He dismisses her fears, but the next day the body of young Hilda, another St. Mary's student, is found on the shore. Enrico incautiously goes to look at the body, and though all the teachers are interrogated by the police, he's singled out for suspicion by Inspector Barth (Joachim Fuchsberger). Reluctant to admit that he was near the crime scene because he fears that his relationship with Elizabeth will come to light, Enrico begins investigating on his own. A second student (Pilar Castel) is murdered, and then Elizabeth falls victim to the vicious killer immediately after admitting that she may have seen the killer, who was dressed in "a long black habit" like a priest. Ironically, Elizabeth's death, and the revelation that she was still a virgin, brings Enrico and Herta closer together, and she helps him track down rumors that the three girls were part of a clique who participated in lesbian experimentation and wild sex parties with older men. The group included a girl named Solange (Camille Keaton), to whom something terrible happened. Lust murder, Catholic school girls, lots of nudity and a general atmosphere of perversity helped make this nasty thriller a favorite of giallo fans. Although the source material is often said to be a crime novel by Edgar Wallace (1875-1932) an extremely popular author in Germany this does not appear to be the case. Even if it were loosely adapted from a Wallace mystery, the seemy sexual elements of the film's plot would have to have been invented by the scrrenwriters.