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The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966)

Miss Muerte (original title)
Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 15 February 1967 (USA)
Woman seeks to avenge her father's death by using a local dancer, with long poisonous fingernails, to do her bidding.


Jesús Franco (as J. Franco)


Jesús Franco (original screenplay) (as David Kuhne), Jean-Claude Carrière (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Estella Blain ... Nadia
Mabel Karr ... Irma Zimmer
Howard Vernon ... Dr. Vicas
Fernando Montes Fernando Montes ... Philippe
Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui ... Dr. Moroni (as Marcelo Arroita)
Cris Huerta Cris Huerta ... Dr. Kallman
Alberto Bourbón Alberto Bourbón ... Policeman (as Albert Bourbon)
Guy Mairesse Guy Mairesse ... Hans Bergen


Woman seeks to avenge her father's death by using a local dancer, with long poisonous fingernails, to do her bidding.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Last Word in Shock! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »



France | Spain


French | Spanish

Release Date:

15 February 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Diabolical Dr. Z See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Followed by Only a Coffin (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Visually Impressive Gem from Franco
25 July 2018 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966)

*** (out of 4)

Dr. Zimmer (Escribano), a student of the one and only Dr. Orloff, is at home when an escaped convict arrives at his doorstep. The doctor does an experiment on him, which should make him famous but when he takes it to a board of doctors they basically shun him and put him down. This causes his death so his daughter Irma (Karr) swears to seek vengeance for her father.

I've seen the majority of the films by Jess Franco and I will gladly admit that I prefer his sleazier pictures from the early 1970s. I've always respected these early B&W films but I also admit that I prefer the less stylish pictures that mixed in the nudity and sleaze. I will also admit that I prefer SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY, which was the remake of this film and the one that featured Soledad Miranda. With that said, I think it's safe and honest to say that THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z is the director's best looking film.

There's no question that this here is the most stylish film that Franco ever directed and it also features the greatest cinematography. I was really amazed to see how beautiful this film looks but it really does seem as if each shot was storyboarded. All of the camera movements look very professional and it seems as if hours were spent setting up each shot. You may be wandering what the big deal is but if you're familiar with Franco then you know that a large portion of his movies seem to have been shot very cheaply and very quick without too much thought put into the framing.

The film does benefit from its beautiful look but there are also some very good performances here. Mabel Karr steals the film as the avenging daughter who will stop at nothing to make sure her father gets revenge. Estella Blain is wonderful in her bit as Miss Death, a stage performer who the daughter kidnaps and forces into this murder spree. Franco regular Howard Vernon has a brief part as does the director himself who plays a police inspector.

THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z isn't what I'd consider a masterpiece as there are plenty of flaws to be found in it. At the same time there's no doubt that it's a visually dazzling picture and one that even Franco haters can respect.

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