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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Awful Dr. Orlof - DVD Review
STORY: When beautiful music hall entertainers begin to disappear under mysterious circumstances, Inspector Tanner is summoned to investigate. His resourceful fiancée decides to help him by attracting the attention of the diabolical Dr. Orlof -- who, with his blind henchman, Morpho, is using the skin of slain women to restore the beauty of his disfigured...
Published on July 7, 2000 by D. Holt

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars OK cult horror flick
Another cult horror "classic" from Jesus "Jess" Franco. This one concerns a doctor who drugs attractive women in order to remove their skin to graft onto the face of his disfigured daughter, he has found he needs live skin from live women as dead skin is no good for his purposes.
Orlof's assistant is a hideously disfigured, bug-eyed blind man in a Dracula cape named...
Published on November 14, 2002 by BD Ashley


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Awful Dr. Orlof - DVD Review, July 7, 2000
This review is from: The Awful Dr. Orlof (DVD)
STORY: When beautiful music hall entertainers begin to disappear under mysterious circumstances, Inspector Tanner is summoned to investigate. His resourceful fiancée decides to help him by attracting the attention of the diabolical Dr. Orlof -- who, with his blind henchman, Morpho, is using the skin of slain women to restore the beauty of his disfigured sister, Melissa!
PICTURE: 4/5 Image has given Jess Franco's "The Awful Dr. Orlof" a nice looking transfer at 1.66:1. The picture is sharp and blacks look good and solid, but in some scenes the blacks look a little on the gray side. I saw 3 vertical lines on the print and i did not notice any film grain. To spite a couple of flaws on the print, I think the picture looks the best the film will ever look.
SOUND: 3/5 The sound is 1.0 Mono English and French. The english track sounds good and clear, but i heard a couple of pops and the track distorts sometime when the music comes on. Overall, not a bad sounding track for a 26 year old film.
EXTRAS: 2/5 This is where the disc is a let down. You get not thing. But you do get some great liner notes from Tim Lucas.
OVERALL: 4/5 IMO, The Awful Dr. Orlof is a classic! If you like the old gothic films of Hammer, Mario Bava and Universal, then you should like The Awful Dr. Orlof. Even though this disc does not have any extras, it's still worth the buy to see this cool film.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GRAND OLD EUROSHOCKER....., October 29, 2002
This review is from: The Awful Dr. Orlof (DVD)
I love this movie. Awful acting and all. There's atmosphere to spare and a morbid story that moves. A mad surgeon uses his disfigured mind-controlled "slave"---Morpho---to kidnap women to use in fiendish skin graft experiments to restore the ruined face of his beloved daughter. Set at the turn-of-the-century, his laboratory is the basement of an old castle surrounded by a moat. In this European version, there's a few [breast]shots here and there. But it's the delirium of the entire movie that keeps me going. Hysterically awful at times but so lovable as a relic of a bygone genre that I have to rate it high. The music is a cacophonus clanging that just adds to the lurid aura of Morpho stalking the women as his "master" waits nearby. Delicious b&w photography is preserved wonderfully on DVD. Jess Franco was noted for his sexy shockers but this is my favorite of them all. Dubbing is bad and this works just fine as well in making this a true-blue "Euroshocker" that to me defines itself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CREEPY "MORTHO" LIVES...On Dvd, January 11, 2003
By 
Hugo (HOUSTON, TEXAS United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Awful Dr. Orlof (DVD)
When I was a boy they would show this movie very late saturday nights on TV and I'd stay up way past bedtime just to watch Gothic Horror Euro-movies like this and BLACK SUNDAY(a.k.a. "The Mask Of Satan")which terrified and scared me to death. I grew up, but I never forgot those two, amongst several other OLD gothic horror flicks I've been lucky to find on Dvd these past couple years. I always thought the terrifying "Mortho" was a vampire! All I know and have never been able to forget is that I was Mortho-fied with fear and terror at the site of him. I'd be so terrified laying in bed when the lights were out because I feared seeing his face on the ceiling if I opened my eyes. He still seems quite creepy after all these years. This movie is a CLASSIC of its genre and a 'must have' for collectors. It is a gem of a remaster in classic B&W, mostly filmed at night(it seems), nevertheless, it's a well made atmospheric movie. More of a "thriller" than a "horror" flick. Nice to have just for the memories of loving scary movies as a child...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's All Right Here..., December 14, 2007
This review is from: The Awful Dr. Orlof (DVD)
THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF is the masterwork from the sinister mind of genius, Jess Franco. This movie contains all of the elements for a perfect movie. We get the mad doctor himself, played by the skeletal Howard Vernon. Then there's Orlof's blind, evil assistant, Morpho (Riccardo Valle), who hunts down and kills the women that the doctor needs. Also included are the police inspector Tanner (Conrado San Martin), dancehall babes, and some peek-a-boo scenes that are quite memorable! I almost forgot to mention the Doctor's disfigured sister, Melissa, who spends the entire movie on her back- in a cage! There's even a nice dark castle to boot! Yep, this movie has all the ingredients for a cold, clammy night's viewing! There are many movies w/ similar themes that would go together w/ Orlof to make quite the mega-marathon. I suggest THE HEAD, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE, HUMAN MONSTER, BOWERY AT MIDNIGHT, ATOM AGE VAMPIRE, ATOMIC BRAIN, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (after all, what was Buffalo Bill trying to do?) to name a few. TADO has many influences, and has influenced many others. Highly recommended...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Coming of one of the most Prolific Genre Directors......, October 13, 2001
Seen now, some 40 years later, Jess Franco's "The Awful Dr. Orloff" (1962), is a bizarre homage, an S/M twist on the Universal horrors of the '40's (1944's "House of Frankenstein") and producer Val Lewton's horror/noir ( also 1943's "I Walked With a Zombie") to Master Director Terence Fisher's semi-goth Hammer excursions (1958's "Horror of Dracula"). "Orloff" is imbued with fog shrouded camera lenses prowling the cobblestone streets of unknown, syphilitic European villages interspersed with a venereal cohesion of flesh and fantasy.
In 1962, prolific director Franco (credited in "Orloff" as Jess Frank) began a wholly new, wholly subversive subgrenre of horror cinema, merging (long before David Cronenberg) medical science and terror (and, to a certain extent, eroticism in the 'roughie' vein) with varied yet gruesome results. "The Awful Dr. Orloff" isn't far off the stalk 'em/slash 'em realm and could even be seen as a precursor to Roy Ward Baker's pseudoperverse 1971 Hammer produced "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde". The difference is , however, Orloff (played with understated glee by Howard Vernon) pursuing women (usaully nightclub performers/prostitutes) beautiful enough to provide the skin needed for grafting onto his horribly scarred daughter rather than murdering them for their pituitary glands. Orloff's desire to help his daughter is not driven by her wish to be beautiful but by his sinister urge to make his sexual object attractive.Orloff is assisted by a blind, yet perverse, henchman named Morpho (Riccardo Valle) who, previously, fell under the scalpel of Orloff years before in the name of 'science'. Morpho can't see but he can sniff out women, indulge his sexual profondo rosso fantasy by drawing their blood through biting them on the neck (vampiric yet he's no vampire) then hand the body over to the doctor for more nefarious mayhem.Orloff's foil is an innocent police detective named Tanner (Conrado San Martin) who's more smitten with his fiance Wanda (Diana Lorys) than solving the rash of serial killings that's plaguing his little village. In fact, Wanda is more hell bent on ridding the village of the murderer than Tanner - so she decides to find the killer herself. And what better bait. Wanda's face is flawless - perfect for Orloff's daughter. Somehow Wanda figures out that Orloff needs someone like her so she dresses herself up like a 'shamelss hussy', and, of course, is kidnapped by the strange Morpho. Wanda's boredom with Tanner becomes a turning point for the woman to indulge herself in a masochistic relationship first with Morpho, then with Orloff himself - a twisted man who relishes in his own sadistic behavior. The triage - Wanda, Morpho, and Orloff - become embroiled in a classic manage a trois relationship based on edgy sexual posturing and unulfilled desire. The audience becomes participating voyeurs while Franco exploits Wanda's body in a quick shot of Morpho ripping her shirt open, fulfilling adolescent fantasies fueled by Hammer's Dracula bodice-poppers.
"The Awful Dr. Orloff" is Franco's first step in a long string of bizarre cinematic sexual excursions that promote forbidden urge fulfillment (including, but not limited to, 1967's "Besame Monstruo", 1967's "Succubus", 1970's "Vampyros Lesbos") - almost akin to the Brazilian films of Jose Mojica Marins (specifically 1966's foray into sexual madness, "Tonight I Will Make Your Corpse Turn Red"). Marins, who is a truly venal filmmaker, makes Franco's films seem positively Disney-like in their biazarre expulsion of sexual innocence. Where Marins seems to be fulfilling his own warped fantasies through his films, Franco ignites his movies with pop culture references (scoring them with groundbreaking lounge tripping soundtracks and incorporating hyperactive, yet pointless, car chase scenes in his later movies) and an obvious affection toward the Grand Guignol of Shirley Jackson novels and Universal Studio horrors.Franco recently stated a desire to remake "The Awful Dr. Orloff" utilizing up-to-date filmmaking techniques and refurbishing his flawed script. Its an interesting notion but the 1962 feature is, at best, a historical film adressing timely taboos (incest, immoral medical procedures, sexual oppression and scant nudity) thus paving the way for entrees into cinematic psychological darkness explored by Mario Bava, Dario Argento and, eventually, George Romero and David Cronenberg.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Grade: B+ 90%
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4.0 out of 5 stars AKA The Diabolical Doctor Satan, May 6, 2001
By 
Peter Shelley "petershelley" (Sydney, New South Wales Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This 1962 Spanish French production directed by Jess Franco is clearly inspired by Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face, with the same story of a surgeon who grafts the skin of beautiful women onto the ruined face of his daughter. Franco's skill as a visual storyteller are perhaps stronger than the script he has to overcome. The dialogue scenes that might ordinarly be accepted in another genre, here seem extended for this kind of horro pic, with a particularly long scene of the surgeon and his mistress reminiscing about how he helped her escape from prison. (We aren't told why was in prison, but considering that she is only around as the voice of reason, we don't mind when she is removed). Although the place where the action takes place is unnamed, Franco succeeds in creating the European world of the vampire, with night scenes in the rain, cobbled unpopulated roads, horse driven carriages, figures wearing voluminous capes, and the surgeon having a disabled servant. He also gives the soundtrack a cacophanous mix of discordant sounds and musical instruments, as if an orchestra is tuning up in the forest, and uses tight framing and editing. The victims of the surgeon all frequent the town "cabaret", with it's Blue Angel Marlene Dietrich style mode of performers, which gives the suggestion that they are immoral and therefore disposable. When the surgeon comes across the girlfriend of the inspector of police, who he considers the double of his daughter, the plot becomes their mutual game of chase - he pursuing her for her face, and she pursuing him to catch him. Franco may be making a point about the worth of women, apart from the value of their bodies, and reinforces it by presenting the Inspector as incompetent, a man who prefers to go to bed to sleep rather than read a note written for him by the girlfriend when she is in peril. When he has a public police sketch artist session, the swiftness with which the artist draws is played for laughs, though the scene is salvaged somewhat by a cut from the sketch of the surgeon to a shot of the man himself. Franco also intercuts other bits of humour - a madman's confession to the Inspector, a joke when the girlfriend uses a drunk's advances to rescue her from the surgeon with an onlooker commenting "I don't know what she sees in him", the idea that the voluptuous girlfriend could pass as a ballet dancer!, a mirror's reflection of a spiked drink, and the Inspector's "I don't need your irony" reply to an insult from someone he is questioning. The film's end is somewhat abbreviated, with someone who was seen on a tower suddenly at ground level, and the fate of the surgeon and his daughter unsatisfying and lacking the horrifying end to Franju's title. However Franco comes close to being both as bizarre and, as Pauline Kael noted in her review of Eyes Without a Face in 5001 Nights at the Movies, a demonstration of "the simple effects of horror movies that don't make intellectual claims".
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Awful Dr. Orlof, March 8, 2010
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This review is from: The Awful Dr. Orlof (DVD)
ORLOF is best known for having kicked off the trend in surgical Horror that stained the B-Movies of the 60s and 70s, hitting bottom with flicks like DR BLOOD'S COFFIN. Jess Franco's earliest and arguably best film offers a dark Gothic shocker is constructed as an amalgamation of many pop culture influences, but it also adds its own unique charm while ramping up the sex and violence. The premise has been lifted from the French classic EYES WITHOUT A FACE, where we find a doctor and his malformed apprentice kidnap women to steal there skin in order to graph it on to his burnt sister. Unfortunately, many of the strong performances are lost in the poor English dubbing, but the visual expressionism more than makes up for it. Vernon's stern, dignified Orlof balances menace and charm as he seduces women in the nightclubs of Paris, only to dismember them moments later. Orlof is a shadowy character, which Franco expresses visually through stark contrasts and lighting that transposes his sinister personality on screen. The blind, hulking Morpho also adds an intimidating presence as he silently stalks the streets with his dull, lifeless gaze. Most impressive of all are the beautiful settings in both the empty Paris streets lit by lamplight and the looming Gothic castle Orlof calls home. This is a strong Spanish Horror classic that is worth seeking out!

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK cult horror flick, November 14, 2002
By 
Another cult horror "classic" from Jesus "Jess" Franco. This one concerns a doctor who drugs attractive women in order to remove their skin to graft onto the face of his disfigured daughter, he has found he needs live skin from live women as dead skin is no good for his purposes.
Orlof's assistant is a hideously disfigured, bug-eyed blind man in a Dracula cape named Morpho. It would have been cool if Franco had teamed up Morpho and the hairy huchbacked freak from his later film SADISTEROTICA for another movie.
More surrealism, effectively eerie visuals and a creepy soundtrack make this a nostalgic experience for horror fans Remember this was made only a mere 2 years before Herschell Gordon Lewis's groundbreaking (if you can call it that) BLOOD FEAST although ORLOF is in B&W and BF is in "Blood Color".
For a while THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF is interesting, but it's also pretentious and rather harmless by today's standards. The movie also ends rather abruptly,it's still well worth a look but I expected it to be more gruesome given the subject matter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Ghastly Movie.....!!!!!!!!!, July 3, 2012
This review is from: The Awful Dr. Orlof (DVD)
This ghastly movie is pretty heavy going. But I still like it. It is a real Gothic classic. Great exteriorsof a Gothic castle. I noticed Franco finds great locations, and these European "chateaus". See "Virgin Among the Living Dead" and "Eugenie de Sade".

Moreover, who or what is this "Morpho"???? Who is "Morpho"???????? He seems to be a conglomeration of all the classic monsters: Frankenstein, The Mummy, vampires (and perhaps Dracula), and zombies. And for being blind and lobotomized he can get around pretty well.

At the very end there seem to be some typical Franco ambiguities, and jump cutting. Orlof's beloved daughter Melissa who has been kept in a glass case for the entire movie,which lends speculation as to what condition she is in to begin with, expires for vague reasons.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Horror film Without any Fright, February 12, 2014
This review is from: The Awful Dr. Orlof: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film has nothing outstanding or even average about it, on the whole, it is the work of a very immature director who only wanted to make a film for money on the quick. The plot, or the tedious 1 & 1/2 hour worth of filler, is absolutely ridiculous. Insane dialogue is scattered in long tedious shots. The acting is atrocious, most of the actors look like they belong in some cheap cabaret on a skid row area of town, they can't express true emotion that the roles demand. Take for example the lead inspector, he is an insincere and unbelievable character whose inability to solve the obvious murder case is incredulous. I sat there bored to death, and the other reviewers said it was 'scary'. Nothing at all was frightening about this, the dumb monster is played by a guy in rubber make-up and he's also blind, someone should have just torched him.

The ending is not only expected (heroine saved, monster killed) but abrupt and absurd, the lead inspector shoots the monster while it is holding the heroine from about 80 yards while it is up on the castle balcony. Avoid this if you can, it isn't worth anything.
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The Awful Dr. Orlof: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
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