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The Awful Dr. Orlof [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)

Conrado San Martín , Diana Lorys , Jess Franco    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Jesús Franco, Spain's crazed cult auteur, had made a couple of features before The Awful Dr. Orloff, but this infamous thriller (reportedly Spain's first horror film) gave birth to Franco's brand of erotic horror and surreal madness. The story of a mad surgeon who kidnaps and disfigures beautiful showgirls in an attempt to restore the face of his scarred daughter is right out of George Franju's Eyes Without a Face. The style, however, is a mix of foggy Universal monster movies and sexed-up Hammer horror, which Franco pushes to the limits of Spain's 1960s censorship restrictions (and beyond). Gaunt, hollowed Howard Vernon plays the sadistic surgeon Orloff (a role he revived in a number of sequels), and Ricardo Valle dons a phony but freaky mask to play his grunting, blind, bug-eyed henchman, Morpho, who has a savage habit of taking a big bite of the victims.

It's a smooth, elegantly orchestrated thriller with handsome sets and vivid locations, and the fogbound cobblestone streets, dark alleys, and eerily empty mansions create a genuinely spooky ambiance. He also tosses in a wild, creepy, thoroughly modern experimental score. Franco went on to direct more than 150 films under a dozen pseudonyms, most of which make the brief flashes of flesh and perversity here look tame, but this trendsetting landmark is still considered one of his greatest. Image's new widescreen edition, mastered from a gorgeous French print, is reportedly restored but contains some abrupt transitions and jump cuts. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

Featurette: “The Horror of Orlof” (15 min) - one of the last on camera interviews with director Jess Franco (shot not long before his death), Interviews with former friends and collaborators discussing Franco’s legacy (broken out into several segments among these new Franco releases), ALL NEW Audio Commentary by Tim Lucas, Trailers and much more!

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared silly Dec 5 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Love the Gothic Castles and the characters are amazing including a monster named morpho who has a bugged out eyeball and scares the daylights out of beautiful women.
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4.0 out of 5 stars CREEPY "MORTHO" LIVES...On Dvd Jan. 11 2003
By Hugo
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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3.0 out of 5 stars OK cult horror flick Nov. 14 2002
Format:VHS Tape
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 GRAND OLD EUROSHOCKER..... Oct. 29 2002
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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