UNMAN, WITTERING AND ZIGO (John Mackenzie, 1971)

Preposterous British boys’ school mystery, with the new instructor being told by the polite bullies who make up his class that they murdered his predecessor and will do the same to him if he doesn’t give them good grades and place their bets. Nobody seems to believe him when he tattles, including wife and headmaster; but after the boys, who insist on being called “the men,” arrange and attempt to execute her gang-bang the teacher’s wife is inclined to re-evaluate her husband’s story. The real question is: What did the headmaster know, and when did he know it?
     Pure crap.
     The director, John Mackenzie, at least had The Long Good Friday (1980) ahead of him. David Hemmings, five years earlier the wonderful star of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup, had before him an expanding waistline and death by heart attack at 62, the result of a life of overindulgence.
     The title refers to the last three names on the alphabetical class roster, but Zigo, you should know, has been ushered away to a quiet asylum or has committed suicide. He never appears in the film.

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