[box cover]

Dr. Orloff's Monster

Dr. Orloff's Monster (El Secreto del Doctor Orloff) is lower dregs Jésus Franco horror fare from 1964, more interesting as a piece of the larger puzzle of the director's career than on its own — as most of Franco's films happen to be. The film tells the unduly complicated (or probably incompetently thought-out) tale of a young student named Melissa (Agnes Spaak, sister of Catherine Spaak) who goes to her uncle's castle for Christmas vacation. Her uncle, Dr. Conrad Fisherman (Marcelo Arroita Jáureguio), is meanwhile conducting experiments with a human automaton (Hugo Blanco). Fisherman — a disciple of the mad Dr. Orloff from a previous Franco film — programs the "monster" to track down strippers to whom Fisherman has given a necklace that beams an attracting signal to the obedient slave. He then strangles the dancers. It's not clear why, but the cause may have something to do with Fisherman catching his wife sleeping with his brother many moons ago. The film's predecessor was a knock-off of Franju's Les Yeux sans Visage called The Awful Dr. Orlof, with only one "f" and known in Spain as Gritos en la Noche. However, as a "sequel," Dr. Orloff's Monster lacks the rich voice and dry wit of Howard Vernon as the villainous doctor trying to repair his daughter's face by killing strippers. As it stands, the movie serves Franco primarily as an opportunity to film various nude dance scenes and murders. This technically competent widescreen (1.85:1) and black and white movie comes in a fine transfer from Image Entertainment. The audio is in French with English subtitles, or alternatively dubbed into English, both in Dolby Digital 1.0. Extras consist of the Italian and French trailers, which are essentially the same, and 11 minutes worth of deleted and alternate silent takes, mostly footage of the film's first murder of a "sexy" dancer. Keep-case.
—D. K. Holm



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