The Catholic School

Director: Stefano Mordini
Year Released: 2021
Rating: 1.5

At an all-male Catholic high school, the lads engage in hostile antics (like breaking a classmate's glasses), whip each other, panic over the possibility of being gay and embrace right-wing beliefs; one day, three of them kidnap two young ladies, Donatella Colasanti (Benedetta Porcaroli) and her friend Rosaria Lopez (Federica Torchetti), take them to a house in San Felice Circeo and rape and torture them.  This is based on a real-life incident that took place in 1975 which was clearly a tragedy, but unfortunately it's not very good at re-telling the story: there are too many characters, none of them are remotely well-developed and the "explanations" for their abhorrent behavior aren't exactly convincing (sexual anxiety, Oedipal issues, etc.).  The actual assault on both women is a deeply chilling sequence, however, and shows the influence of Salò - which, coincidentally, was released the same year these crimes were committed.  Speaking of Pasolini, if he were alive today this would have been his dream cast: lots of waifish youngsters with pimples and curly hair.