|Index||7 reviews in total|
You can say a lot of things about director Jess Franco (including
negative things, mind you) but most of all, I'd like to think of him as
a very clever filmmaker who always damn well knew where there was some
easy money to earn! If there ever was a popular trend or franchise in
horror cinema, you can bet your bottom dollar that Jess Franco was part
of it or at least attempted to rapidly shoot a film that profited by
this particular trend. In the early 80's, when the teen-slasher was
immensely popular, Franco brutally hacked up young beauty queens in
"Bloody Moon" and in the late 60's already, he also took over the "Fu
Manchu" series. Here in this film, our beloved pal Jess further
exploits the successful horror character of the evil "Dr. Mabuse",
which was originally created by no less than the German top-director
"La Venganza del Doctor Mabuse" actually is one of Franco's better films of that period with delightfully twisted characters, stunning locations, truly beautiful camera-work and a terrific musical score. The story is of minor importance but it handles about the mean Dr. Mabuse and his accomplices stealing all kind of attributes from a National Research Institute (including female staff members) in order to complete his own, evil mind-control ray. Dr. Mabuse has this impressive and horribly scarred man-monster that kills for him while the entire police force desperately tries to catch him. This film is great and trashy entertainment, starring some incredibly beautiful cult-sirens like Ava Garden, Ewa Strömberg and Beni Cardoso...all wearing mini-skirts! The action sequences are a little grotesque, but Franco's directing is very stylish and surefooted. Many of Franco's later films suffer from overlong and tedious scenes but this effort is pure excitement from start to finish. Typical Franco trademarks also include that he makes references towards his earlier films (more particularly, "the Awful Dr. Orloff") and that he rewards himself with a small supportive role. Definitely one of the director's best films and simultaneously a great title to illustrate the class of early 70's euro-exploitation!
Vengenza del Doctor Mabuse, La (1972)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Jess Franco's stab at the Mabuse saga with Jack Taylor in the role. Dr. Mabuse and his Frankenstein-like monster assistant are stealing all the parts (and scientists) they need in order to build a deadly death ray. I had to view this film in Spanish without any subs so I missed out on a lot of the dialogue. Another problem is that my print was from a horrible looking 16mm copy so hopefully someone will release a remastered version with subs because I'd probably bump my grade up a half a star. The film is unlike many of Franco's films made during this period because it features no sex, no nudity and no real violence. The film is all style and you can tell Franco's putting all of his serious touches on the film. The music score is very good, the locations terrific and Taylor is pretty good in the title role. The monster creature is actually better than two feature films that feature the Frankenstein character. Franco plays a bit part in the film and Monica Swinn also shows up. The police in the movie are an interesting note because Franco films them in a Western type setting, which goes against the rest of the movie but perhaps this is better explained in the dialogue. The movie runs a fast 74-minutes and hopefully will see a legit release one day.
Another masterpiece by one of the ultimate godfathers of campy Euro sleaze - Jess Franco! This more indirect installment to producer Arthur Brauner´s "Dr. Mabuse"-series is silly, cheap, but also damn entertaining if you like hilarious trash movies! Especially the great 1970s flair blew my mind: 1970s style as far as the eye can see, plus a stunning psychedelic score complete this funny trashfest! The actors: Moisés Augusto Rocha as monster is the best second-class Boris Karloff-double I´ve ever seen. Franco´s all time favorite actor Jack Taylor is quite good as villain, however his sly helper Eva Garden steals the show whenever she´s on the screen! The director himself is wonderful campy with his role as police chief and German actor Wolfgang Kieling fills some gaps with an amusing performance in playing a drunk angler. Don´t expect intelligent dialogues or a demanding plot, because this is a perfect symbiosis of trash and fun! Just switch off your brain for 70 minutes, lay back and enjoy!
Doctor Mabuse strikes again in this highly-colored movie shot by Jess
in the mid-seventies, when he was still comitting marvels. This one has
almost everything you can expect from a spanish late night masterpiece :
evil doctor and his mindless Frankenstein-like monster, Monica Swinn as her
evil and sexy sidekick, a cameo by a screaming and cigar smoking Franco,
some cops dressed like laughable cowboys, a few sexy girls in mini-skirts
and the incredible camera angles and locations that has made old Jess
It's about doctor Mabuse's evil plans - plans I couldn't understand because the movie is in spanish - and the endeavours of humanity to stop him, Franco-style. Shot in the most unusual and strange locations of Spain, it is a visual treasure and the funny characters are, as always, very parodic. It may last only about an hour, but it will remain in your hearts and minds for a long long time...
Jesus Franco's movies are really strange:on the one hand they're really trashy and brainless,on the other hand they always deliver a good amount of sleaze and are simply fun to watch."La Venganza del doctor Mabuse" is an enjoyable trashy romp filled with bad acting,sleaze and nudity.The monster is extremely laughable and the characters(especially those stupid cops)are very funny.So if you like Franco or Spanish cinema give this one a look.
Jess Franco, I love his films (The Sadistic Baron von Klaus; Venus in
Furs), and I hate his films (Lust for Frankenstein; Female Vampire).
Sometimes I love and hate them at the same time (Oasis of the Zombies).
One of his best films is The Awful Dr. Orloff, a film that I re-watched
just a couple days before viewing Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse. The latter
film suffers badly in comparison.
Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse borrows a great deal from the first Orloff film. Mabuse (Jack Taylor) has both a female assistant and a hulking Frankenstein monster henchmen in the Morpho vein. Said monster ends up turning against its master because of love (or lust) for a woman. The climactic showdown between cop and monster in both Mabuse and the first Orloff film are strikingly similar. If that was not enough, both films rely on bums out fishing to provide the police with a clue to the villains' hideout. Oh, and of course, both films deal with the abduction of a stripper. Although, strangely, in the print that I saw, Mabuse had less nudity than The Awful Dr. Orloff.
I know that some Franco fans like the way his films intersect, but, to me, The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse shows a lazy director dropping in plot points from a movie he made better a decade before.
Finally, in all of the other Dr. Mabuse films, the man is a master criminal. He does not work for others! Yet, this Mabuse alludes to the trouble he and his cohorts will be in from "the organization" if they abandon the project. Mabuse as a mafia stooge. . . what a let down!
Jesus Franco's take on the Dr. Mabuse franchise...well that should sum
up pretty much how this movie is like. Jesus Franco is a director who
has always distinguished himself by delivering extremely bad and poor
movies. He's always fascinated with putting a lot of nudity and
explicit sexuality into his movies. He began early in his career by
making mostly bad horror flicks in the '60's and '70's but his career
has now reached a point that he's stuck to mostly soft-erotic movies.
In many ways his career parallels that of Ed Wood's, also not in the
least because of the comparable qualities of their movies. Who ever
gave him the green light to do a Dr. Mabuse movie? Fritz Lang is
turning over in his grave.
As you would expect, this movie has actually very little to do with the previous Dr. Mabuse movies. It features an extremely muddled story with all kind of oddness's over it and you just simply don't bother to try and understand what the story is all about. It's some extremely bad and disjointed storytelling within this movie. Often the scenes and different characters and plot lines just don't blend in with each other.
The characters (Really, a couple of cowboy cops?) and dialogs are often just horrible and simply laughable. And yes, of course the movie also features a couple of lesbian actions. A thing Jesus Franco also really seems obsessed with. The nudity and sexual content within this movie just seems terribly out of place and makes this more a 'dirty movie' than a real serious attempt by Franco. Not that I expected this in advance though.
Like a typical Franco flick, it's also a real cheap looking movie, with bad locations, laughable make-up effects (what was that monster creature all about?) and shot sequences without the use of any additional lighting, or anything of that sort. On top of that, Jesus Franco also felt to urge to compose the music for this movie. What an horrible, horrible choice that was.
Seriously only watchable for the fans of Franco-trash.
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