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El Secreto del Dr. Orloff

Dr. Orloff's Monster
Dr. Jekyll's Mistresses

Spain / Austria / France 1964
produced by
Marius Lesoeur for Eurociné, Leo Films
directed by Jess Franco
starring Hugo Blanc (as Hugh White), Agnès Spaak, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, José Rubio, Luisa Sala, Pastor Serrador, Perla Cristal, Manuel Guitián, Ramón Lillo, Jess Franco, Magda Maldonado, Marta Reves, Danel Blumer, Mer Casas, Rafael Hernández, José Truchado, Juan Antonio Soler, Javier de Rivera, Julio Infiesta, Julia Toboso, Maribel Hidalgo
screenplay by Jess Franco, based on a story by David Kühne (= Jess Franco), music by Daniel J. White

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Melissa (Agnès Spaak) pays a visit to her uncle, Doctor Fisherman (Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui), a scientist who lives in an old castle, not knowing that Doc Fisherman was actually the man who killed her father (Hugo Blanco) long ago because daddy had an affair with Fisherman's wife Ingrid (Luisa Sala) ... but not only that, Fisherman is also quite mad - a mad scientist, so to speak - and he has revived Melissa's father and ucontrols him via ultrasonic sounds to use him as his zombie slave to kill several women, mostly showgirls of one kind or another, Fisherman first gives necklaces to - why exactly Fisherman wants those women dead and why he uses a zombie for exclusively this purpose is never quite explained.

When zombie-daddy stumbles upon Melissa though, he starts to develop a little bit of a will of his own (though by and large he remains a mindless zombie), while Melissa (who never knew her father who died before her birth) more and more starts to realize there's something wrong in Doc Fisherman's castle, and ultimately she asks her boyfriend Juan Manuel (José Rubio) to watch over her ... and not a moment too soon, because ultimately Doc Fisherman attacks Melissa, but she is saved by her zombie dad, who kills Fisherman. Juan Manuel, misjudging the situation, tries to shoot the zombie but is instead himself almost killed by him. Then the zombie gets away and roams the streets ...

Juan Manuel and inspector Klein (Pastor Serrador), who is investigating the case, convince Melissa to act as lure for the zombie since she is the only one who seems to be safe with him, and ultimately she lures him into an ambush where Juan Manuel can properly shoot him, hitting his one Achilles heel at the back of his neck ...

 

The script of Dr. Orloff's monster might be silly, a somewhat mindless collection of pulp horror clichés that - brought into a context - make rather little sense. The resulting film however is a pretty impressive piece of genre cinema, showing cult- and trash-director Jess Franco on the top of his game: Every shot seems to be carefully set up, there is hardly a camera angle that is not at least interesting, many of the camera movements are nothing short of inspired, and most of the set-ups are so flashy they seem amazingly fresh even more than 40 years after the film was made. Plus the sets help give this one a properly creepy atmosphere, with added nightclub performances and a bit of topless nudity to spice things up a bit.

So if you are not put off by the silly script (that is actually quite exhilarating if you don't take it too seriously - I'm sure Jess Franco didn't), this one's a real treat, probably one of the best (and most underrated) European horror flicks of the 1960's.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD