Dr. Orloff's Monster
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Melissa, an attractive Austrian college student, travels to Holfen to spend the Christmas holidays at the castle of her uncle, Dr. Conrad Fisherman, but the mood she encounters there is hardly festive. Her uncle's behavior is cold and furtive, and her Aunt Ingrid is perpetually drunk, trying to forget the night so many years ago when Conrad caught her making love with his brother Andros (Melissa's father) and murdered him. Melissa's chance discovery of a photograph of her late father, whom she never knew, awakens her curiosity about the past, just as Dr. Fisherman, a disciple of the mad Dr. Orloff, awakens the corpse of Andros as a human automaton with a high-frequency command to kill! This is the full length version with sequences shot especially for French audiences.
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Top Customer Reviews
The introductory material here helps to better explain the relationships between Jekyll, his wife, and his brother. The Spanish version deletes most of the female nudity, but since the murder victims are usually nude or near-nude when the robot killer strikes, that makes the murder scenes pretty hard to follow. Fortunately, that is not a problem with the French edition.
"Dr. Orloff's Monster" is not a great classic of the horror genre, but it is an entertaining excursion in the European Gothic mode, and worth a look. The print used by Image for the DVD is quite good.
Dr. Fischer uses Orloff's secrets to turn his own brother into a radio controlled zombie, as payback for sleeping with his wife. For no obvious reason, the good doctor also uses his robotic brother to murder several local nightclub tarts. I guess his wifes infidelity took a rather large toll on his sanity. To complicate matters Dr. Fischer's grown niece comes to stay, and has no idea her reanimated father is lurking about the family castle.
Dr. Orloff's Monster is a fairly solid entry from Franco's B/W period, and displays a lot of polish that Franco would soon abandon in favor of non-linear, seat-of-the-pants production techniques. I think he must have taken in a couple Bergman films, because there is a lot somber moody photography, dissolves of angst-ridden faces, and a general aura of depression throughout the film.
My guess is that some will find it dull, even with the added spice of nude scenes from the Euro-version. I rather liked it's low-key, dreary atmosphere and had no problem with the deliberate pacing.
This Image DVD looks pretty good and shows some of the nicely realized B/W cinematography. The nude scenes have a little jitter and appear to be taken from a slightly lesser source, but it's not a glaring contrast.
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