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Melissa (Montserrat Prous) leads a miserable life: She has been
paralyzed from birth, lost her father at age 10 under mysterious
circumstances, and now, at age 20, her aunt Flora (Kali Hansa) and her
stepsister Martha (Loreta Tovar) keep her locked up in her room most of
the time, waiting for her to go crazy or die so they can get their hands
on her inheritance. It's only thanks to Melissa's uncle Henry (Jaume
Picas), who has accepted her as his own daughter, that the women restrain
Enter Doctor Orloff (William Berger), a prominent
scientist who promises to cure Melissa - but he actually has an agenda all
of his own since Melissa's father stole his wife, Melissa's mother.
Anyways, eventually uncle Henry is killed, and Melissa is convinced she
has committed the crime, even remembers killing him - but in her memories
she can walk, which is impossible, right?
Melissa believing that she has
killed her uncle of course plays right into the hands of Flora and Martha,
as they figure it now wouldn't take much for her to be pushed over the
edge and into insanity. However, Matthews (José Manuel Martín) by and by
gets a pretty accurate picture of what's going on, and he packs Melissa
into a car and makes a getaway with her. The car breaks down though, and
while Matthews tries to fix it, Melissa goes into a trance, actually does
get up, walks around the car ... and slits Matthews' throat. Flora and
Martha are hot on her heels, and they get her back to the mansion right
after the murder, and prepare for her to be picked up and put in Doctor
Orloff's care. And once Melissa is gone, Flora kills Martha to not have to
share the inheritance. Then though Melissa returns to the mansion to kill
Flora under the hypnotic control of Doctor Orloff, who wants to have his
revenge on the entire family because of losing the love of his life to
Melissa's dad. Onle when all others from Melissa's family are dead does
Orloff prepare to kill Melissa as well, with an exceptionally slow and
However, the weird goings-on in Melissa's mansion
have not gone entirely unnoticed: Next-door neighbour musician Sweet Davey
Brown (Robert Woods) has long taken an interest in Melissa, and was
probably the only one who showed her compassion, ever, and after she just
got shipped away to Doctor Orloff just like some animal, he decided it was
time to do something and reported everything to the police ... and
ultimately, he and police inspector Warren (Edmund Purdom) save Melissa
just in time from the hands of the evil scientist ...
Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff is certainly not Jess Franco's best film,
not his most explicit, most erotic, most perverse, most whatever - but
it's so much fun: Basically, the plot follows all the rules of a pulpy
old-fashioned murder mystery, including an overconvoluted basic storyline,
far-fetched plottwists and plot devices that suspend disbelief beyond
breaking point. But it's all done in typical Jess Franco-style that
involves sexy women in revealing outfits (though there's next to no actual
nudity in this film), hypnotic camerawork, trippy sequences, attention to
unusual details, great use of existing architecture and the like, all
garnered with a typical 1970's flair that includes fashion and colours.
And thus, even though it will be haqrd for one to denie this is a silly
movie, you'll probably enjoy it all the same ...