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The Mistresses of Dr. Jekyll (1964)

El secreto del Dr. Orloff (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 1964 (Spain)
A mad scientist creates a hideous monster to carry out his murderous plans.

Director:

(as Jess Franck)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) (as David Kühne) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Andros (as Hugh White)
Agnès Spaak ...
Melissa
...
Rosa
Magda Maldonado ...
Amira (as Magda MacDonald)
Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui ...
Dr. Conrad Jekyll
...
Juan Manuel (as José Rubio)
Pastor Serrador ...
Inspector Klein
Marta Reves
Daniel Blumer ...
Karl Steiner
Luisa Sala ...
Inglud Jekyll / Ingrid Fisherman
Manuel Guitián ...
Ciceron
Mer Casas ...
Conrad's Girlfriend
...
Club Owner
José Truchado ...
Policeman
Juan Antonio Soler ...
Witness
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Storyline

The teenager Melissa travels from her small town in Austria with the Spanish Juan Manuel, who flirts with her, to the creepy castle of her uncle Dr. Conrad Jekyll in Holfen to spend Christmas with him and her aunt Inglud. Melissa's father Andros has mysteriously died at the house of his brother Conrad sometime ago. Now she has just reached majority and Conrad intends to transfer the inheritance to her. Melissa is received by the servant Ciceron and she meets the strange Inglud. Then she meets Conrad in his laboratory, where he secretly carries out a sinister experiment. Melissa wants to get information about the death of her father but she is ignored by Conrad and Inglud. In the past, Andros and Inglud had a love affair and Conrad surprised them and killed Andros. Now, Conrad has turned Andros into a killer zombie controlled by ultrasonic radio wave and uses him to kill women with easy life. Inspector Klein is investigating the murders but has no clue. Will Melissa find the truth ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

1964 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Orloff's Monster  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Connections

Followed by El siniestro doctor Orloff (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
When Franco still cared
29 November 2004 | by (Montreal) – See all my reviews

If you've suffered through some of the hack work Jess Franco cranked out in the last two decades, you may find it difficult to believe that he once took some pride in his craft and evinced a certain mastery of cinematic technique, as well as a modicum of discipline. "Dr Orloff's Monster" is a case in point. Despite the title, it bears no direct relation to the creepy and perverse opus, "The Awful Dr Orloff", which put the director on the map back in the early 60s. However, it shares the same doom-laden aura -- with the expected (but always riveting) kinky asides -- that so resemble that earlier picture as well as the German Edgar Wallace 'krimi' series which was reaching its peak at the same time.

The picture is rife with carefully-executed camera angles and atmospherics, something that would become anathema to Franco's slash-and-burn methods of the 80s. The best scenes are reminiscent of (dare I say) Lewton and Franju. It builds up a strong pathos for the title character, thanks to a subtle, wordless portrayal that evokes Cesar in 'Cabinet of Dr Caligari' and Christiane in 'Eyes without a Face' (such homages were a Franco specialty). There is a particularly poignant sequence in which the zombie stumbles about near his own tombstone in a bleak, wintry cemetery. No matter what depths Franco's movies plunged to, they always offered a few wonderfully oddball cabaret scenes in smoky jazz or rock bars, and this is no exception. One singer performs a wacky, rhythmic Latin ditty that must have sparked the imagination of the members of the retro band 'Les Rita Mitsouko'. (These cabaret scenes were a welcome staple of the Euro-thriller genre of the 60s, also perking up the krimi series, several of the campier works of the Italian Gothic revival, and especially the outlaw melodramas of Jose Benazeraf.)

There are already foreshadowings of the director's latter-day carelessness -- a few too many zooms, cutting from the middle of one scene to another, and a general neglect of motivation. And, of course, he'd end up doing the revenge plot to death. But overall, this one (along with the much more perverse 'Sadistic Baron von Klaus') comes highly recommended for Franco skeptics and genre fans alike. Surprisingly, this film was immediately followed by his magnum opus, the delirious 'Succubus' (aka 'Necronomicon'), which in its pseudo-sophisticated Radley-Metzger-like style is miles removed from the Gothic horror of his early work.


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