College Girl Murders is a lurid, colorful serial killer pic from the swinging 60s that follows a group of nubile young chicks as they get picked off one by one by a whip-cracking, scarlet-clad, hooded monk.
Prior to this release on DVD, College Girl Murders was is probably the most sought-after of the German Edgar Wallace (author of King Kong) “Krimi” series. This one is #8 in the series, and according to most accounts from experts on the subject it’s a strange cross between a horror film and an episode of Man from U.N.C.L.E. This is the first time it’s available in the U.S. on disc, so fans will definitely want to add it to the collection.
For the rest of us (having never heard of the “Krimi” series), College Girl Murders may be worth a look for curiosity’s sake but little else. Also known as The Monk With The Whip, this 1967 flick is basically a color remake of the superior 1965 black and white film, The Sinister Monk.
The characters are cardboard cutout, but fun none the less — you’ve got your coeds with bullet bras serving as fodder for the malicious Monk who not uses his white whip to break their necks, but as a backup he has also got deadly flesh-melting acid and poison gas with him (I hope the pockets in his robe are well-lined!). The college girls are quickly introduced and then bumped off whenever they open their booby-trapped Bibles; meanwhile, we’re presented with a cast of the usual suspects — the lecherous professor, the mysterious headmistress, the headmistress’s creepy brother, and more.
The killings are not that gruesome, but you do get a few dissolving faces and plenty of running and screaming. The villain is about as scary as he can be in his anonymous religious garb, but that pointy hat is just inherently giggle-inducing. And speaking of yuks, there’s a rather forced subplot involving a bumbling police inspector who, depite his lofty aspirations, can’t seem to get anything right.
The music and cinematography are good — the score is contrastingly jazzy and bouncy against the moody, fog-infused picture. The sets are fun; there’s an ominous cemetery and one of the possible villains has an elaborate dungeon/aquarium filled with deadly aquatic life.
Overall, I found College Girl Murders a bit slow and rather dated. However, fans of the series will definitely be happy they can finally get their hands on this disk, and it might also be worth a look for people interested in horror movies with a religious theme.
The DVD does not contain any additional release material, which is a shame — having a background on the “Krimi” series might have been helpful to some viewers.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson