Mystery ... intrigue ... actresses sounding like they're having an orgasm while being attacked by a monster ... this was what good film-making was all about in the fifties and sixties. Lycanthropus has all of this and more.
After murders begin to occur at a reformatory school, the students and indeed some of the teachers begin to suspect (rather randomly) that a werewolf is responsible. It quickly becomes a mystery to discover who the werewolf is, with several red herrings thrown in before the real killer is revealed to the audience.
This movie is noteable as being probably the first Italian werewolf movie ever made. It was released as "Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory" in the US with the usual crappy dubbing, which is always good. The over-acting on screen coupled with the vocal over-acting will mean plenty of entertainment for fans of those awful old B-movies. However, aside from a couple of key scenes, it's not quite bad enough to be good. The guy who plays the creepy janitor reminded me a lot of Peter Lorre, so his performance was quite enjoyable, but basically there's not enough content here to fill the entire ninety minutes. There are large segments which are just plain dull.
It's pretty much an average B-movie, good for collectors and genre fans.
The werewolf makeup here is pretty neat (see bottom photo), and it actually reminded me a lot of Jack Pierce's "Werewolf of London" design, which in some respects was actually better than the more well-known "Wolf Man" makeup. After all, werewolf effects hadn't really improved much in the thirty years since "Werewolf of London" was released, and in many films it had actually gone downhill, especially on the low-budget ones.
The werewolf mythology was fairly standard ... some guy is experimenting with some kind of serum, or trying to extract the glands of a wolf. I can't really remember, but the plot probably doesn't make much sense anyway. The transformation sequences involve simple cut-aways with varying amounts of makeup in each shot, or the actor simply turns away from camera and when he turns back, he's changed. Nothing as innovative as the "Werewolf of London" transformations, but ah well.