La Residencia (The House That Screamed/The Boarding School /The Finishing School, 1969) or the German title
below - Das Versteck: Angst und Mord im Mädcheninternat ... aaah, cool. Fruktans skri - that was the Swedish one

German Colosseo Film DVD edition - long version with the kissing on the back etc.

WOW! That's a cool DVD sleeve. The Germans sure know how to make cool DVD sleeves

The long version is placed in the extras, and it's in widescreen and not 4:3 as the dvd meny says

 

Text below written 2016-09-09


"None of these girls is any good to you, you need a woman like me" - says Lilli Palmer's mother and gives her teenage
son Luis a kiss on his mouth. Never a smart way to raise a son, and especially not in a horror film

La Residencia has become something of a Holy Grail among genre lovers, everyone that has seen it in all it's glory on the big
screen (and i have, see below) wants to have it on a decently made DVD (i don't know if there's finally a blu-ray version of
it also?). The film is an exquisite very well made Spanish horror .... or maybe a gothic giallo perhaps .... that has gained a
legendary status for it's amazing atmosphere, for the cinematography from Manuel Berenguer, for the performance of the
German actress Lili Palmer as Madame Fourneau, for the great old house itself, the corridors and stairs and the ballet class
that makes you think of Suspiria. The door handle moving makes med think of Suspiria also, so Argento surely watched it.

Suzy Bannion in ballet class ... No sorry that was Suspiria, Isabelle (Maribel Martin) it is

The film has got a plentitude of different titles (as The House That Screamed, The Boarding School or The Finishing School)
and there's also a whole bunch of different versions from different countries containing and omitting different scenes, and this
is discussed on various genre sites on the net, and also there has been problems with the picture quality.
So how is this German, i guess pretty new, DVD then? The Picture quality is Good, the best i've seen on a DVD yet but not
perfect, still a bit grainy but much better than the awful Elvira's Movie Macabre release i had earlier, or my old VHS copy
of it .... a french 2nd generation dupe bootleg from the end of the 1980's where you had a hard time to see what happened.

The version to see in this DVD edition that's the long version found in the Extras, 101 min or correctly 100 minutes 35
seconds in PAL compared to the shorter 99 min version. It's not in 4:3 as the meny says but in a wide widescreen un-
anamorphic ratio of appr. 2.40:1 and with missing footage inserted from some other darker print, and with a bit better picture
quality than the shorter version. The shorter version is in an anamorphic widescreen and 1.85:1 (says the cover?) cut ratio.
So, it's pretty obvious which version you have to watch.

What's the difference from the somewhat shorter version? Madame Forneau's kiss on the whipped back of Cataline, some
moments from the shower with Cataline provoking Madame ... maybe (?) and the close up of her lips from the unappropriate
kissing scene between mother and son, and maybe something else.

Catalina (Pauline Challenor) with whipping marks on her back provokes Madame Fourneau in the shower

There's some discussion on the Net about the lost scene where Luis (John Maulder Brown) is helped out of his trap in the
boiler room by Theresa (Christina Galbo) and this scene seems to be lost forever. I have a vague feeling that this scene was
in the film when i saw it in a cinema at the end of the 1970's - but i could be wrong? (She let him out and then they talked a
bit, still in the boiler room, but i could be wrong. Would be nice if i could watch my old 1980's VHS and compare, but i don't
have a cassette player anymore).

Note October 2016: I watched this 1980's VHS with spanish audio and without any subs, but it was the same version
as the German 99 minutes one above and there were no Boiler room scene with Luis getting free

If there's a horror film that really, REALLY deserves to be restored to pristine condition on a Blu-ray, this film is it, and with
commentary tracks and lots and lots of documentaries and interviews with the ones still alive. That would be the Holy Grail
of Horror for me ..... OK, next to a fat commentary track to Phenomena with Jennifer Connelly that is, naturally.

Awful DVD release i watched in 2009

Probably a public domain copy from the TV series Elvira had sometime in the 1980's or so, with awful sound and a blurry
picture and also the shortened version without the scenes with lesbian vibes and the mother on son mouth kissing close-up.

The Following written in Swedish - about 1. my experience watching this film in the cinema in Stockholm a long time ago,
and 2. The Story after watching the short pisspoor Elvira version

...........................................................................

Fruktans skri på Kvartersbion

Den här filmen har jag sett på en svensk biograf en gång, kanske inte så många som gjort det och ngt som avslöjar att jag inte
är ngn yngling längre direkt. Jag såg den flera ggr i slutet av 70-talet på Kvartersbiografen Hornstull i Stockholm som drevs av
den kufiske legenden René Reiss, och den svenska titeln var Fruktans skri (eller möjligen Fruktans skrik).
Den gjorde stort intryck och jag och mina kompisar såg den flera ggr, och detta trots att den var klippt av den då bestialiska
svenska filmcensuren. Scenerna med knivhuggen var kortade, Irenes handstump puts väck och man fick aldrig se vad Luis hade
på bordet uppe på vinden, såvitt jag minns, däremot kommer jag inte ihåg om scenen när Lilli Palmer kysser ryggen var med.

Nåja, som jag skrivit i samband med andra horrorfilmer så visade Kvartersbion på den tiden massor av repiga "trashfilmer" eller
snarare vad som idag kallas för klockren kultfilm, ett begrepp som inte existerade i Sverige än på den tiden (och knappast ens i
USA för den delen).
Vi såg filmer som Suspiria, Fruktans skri, Kvinna i cement (en Tony Rome rulle), Phantom of the Paradise m.fl. och filmerna gick
ofta av då de var så slitna. Jag tror (OBS vet ej) att det ofta kan ha varit kopior som gått land och rike runt på vischan och som
nu nått sista posten innan den slutliga vilan, i form av nedmalning hos filmbolaget och att dessa filmer därför kostade lite att visa.
I vart fall minns jag att färgerna, dekoren, de vackra flickorna och den tungt klaustrofobiska atmosfären med lesbiska undertoner
i La Residencia gjorde ett magnetiskt intryck på en. Lili Palmer is fantastic in this film.

Lili Palmer

Handlingen:

En ny elev anländer med hästdroska till ett på den franska landsbygden avlägset beläget internat. I praktiken ett fängelse för van-
artiga flickor som föräldrarna inte vill veta av. Den entusiastiska och tjusiga rektorn madame Fourneau (Lilli Palmer) visar den
snart 19-åriga flickan runt under det att rektorns hårt hållna 16-17 åriga son Luis (John Moulder Brown) följer efter.
Hon heter Theresa (Christina Galbo) och när hon anländer så har redan 3 flickor försvunnit från skolan, förmodat som rymlingar.
Hon vet heller inte ännu att Madame Fourneau regelbundet låter piska uppstudsiga elever eller att flickorna "i hemlighet" turas om
att göka med vedmannen när denne då och då besöker skolan. Eller att tre elever, på gränsen till lesbo bullies, styr de andra med
järnhand, och här övertygar verkligen Mary Maude som den elaka Irene.
Sköna Isabelle (den då unga Maribel Martin) som i hemlighet är ihop med Luis mördas i växthuset i ren gialli-stil, Luis som tjuvkikar
på flickorna när de duschar får hela tiden höra av sin ömma mor att ingen flicka är god nog åt honom och att han skall ha en kvinna
som hon - vem är mördaren? Ja, vem kan det vara, ingen direkt överraskning det.

Ett stort hus med unga kvinnor, brutala knivmord, scenen med balettlektionen, med flickan i den långa gången, med kökspersonal i
utrymmena intill och med de hårda stegen i korridoren av en hotfull kvinna - visst leder det tankarna till Argentos Suspiria.
Undrar om han medger en öppen influens av Residencia eller om han undermedvetet påverkats inför Suspiria. Vore kul att veta.
Nåja, den här usla suddiga kopian är i vart fall i widescreen, mono engelskt tal och ca 97 minuter lång. Man kan också, om man är
störd, välja versionen med Elvira som avbryter filmen för hånfulla kommentarer om nu ngn skulle utsätta sig för det (passar ju inte så
bra på en klassiker direkt, och detta är hädelse)

...........................................................................

This German DVD has a German and Spanish audio dub, but luckily also an English one Dolby Digital 2.0 and the sound quality is still
quite bad with cracklig noises to it, and that's a shame as the film also has got a beautiful soundtrack from Waldo de los Rios.
A widescreen 2.40:1 101 minute version (and a shorter anamorphic widescreen version 1.85:1), Extras:
A 5 minute long interview with John Moulder-Brown made in 2011 (and he looked just the same then 42 years later as in 1969),
a couple of different trailers for La Residencia from different countries, and a picture gallery

 

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