Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF (aka Gritos en la noche/L'Horrible Dr. Orloff/1962. Director: Jesus [Jess] Franco.

With the assistance of the mute, disfigured servant Morpho (Ricardo Valle), Dr. Orloff (Howard Vernon) kidnaps young woman whom he uses in experiments to try to restore the beauty of his horribly scarred daughter, Melissa (Diana Lorys). Inspector Tanner (Conrado San Martin) is assigned to the case, in which several women have disappeared and descriptions are circulating of two sinister men. His fiance, opera singer Wanda (also played by Lorys), has seen the killer and stupidly decides to try to trap him on her own. Very reminiscent of Eyes without a Face, made two years earlier, almost to the point of being an imitation of it, The Awful Dr. Orloff is atmospheric and beautifully photographed by Godofredo Pacheco. There is full frontal nudity, much grabbing of naked breasts, and the film was undoubtedly considered sick for its day. The performances are adequate, but aside from the moody and poetic visual look of the film, this isn't especially memorable. Still, it's a lot better than many of Franco's movies [Count Dracula]. A Spanish-French co-production. For some reason in this the opera "Faust" is attributed to Meyerbeer instead of Gounod.

Verdict: Nice to look at if little else. **1/2.

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