Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962)

Director: Jesus Franco

Starring: Howard Vernon, Conrado San Martin, Diana Lorys, Perla Cristal, Maria Laso, Venancio Muro

More info: IMDb

Tagline: You'll get an insight into the face of terror!

Plot: Dr. Orlof, a former prison doctor, abducts beautiful women from nightclubs and tries to use their skin to repair his daughter's fire-scarred face. He is assisted by Morpho, a deformed monstrosity who delights in biting his victims. Orlof had better hurry, though -- a young police inspector and his ballerina girlfriend are onto his sadistic practices.

My rating; 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

I've seen maybe a half dozen of Jesus Franco's pictures and this is easily the best one I've seen. Franco is now in his 80s with 192 directing credits (according to IMDb) and he's still doing it! Even the most rabid Franco fan will tell you that most of them are shit. They're also sleazy. That makes this picture even more watchable as it's not that bad and there's only a little bit of nudity (it's B&W nudity so there's an extra point just for that).

The story isn't anything you haven't seen before but what makes this picture work is the photography, both in the shot composition and in the movement. For that reason alone it's worth a look. The acting is fine as is the music but the cinematography is splendid. Before this I was pretty turned off by Franco's output as it has all been dull and lifeless but ORLOF is just the opposite. It might have something to do with being early in his career and in 1962 before the floodgates were open to cinematic sleaze. Regardless, fans of Eurohorror need to put this one on your list.

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