Dr. M schlägt zu (1972) Poster

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Dr. Franco strikes again!
Coventry11 September 2005
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 Fritz Lang.

"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!
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Fun and Fast
Michael_Elliott26 February 2008
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.
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Color me Franco blue
Pierre-Alexandre Buisson21 December 1999
Doctor Mabuse strikes again in this highly-colored movie shot by Jess Franco in the mid-seventies, when he was still comitting marvels. This one has almost everything you can expect from a spanish late night masterpiece : the 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 famous.

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...
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Trashy entertainment from Jesus Franco.
HumanoidOfFlesh3 June 2002
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.
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Psychedelic trash at its best!
DJ Inferno4 June 2002
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!
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Jess Franco at his most uninspired
gridoon201810 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
When you watch a Jess Franco film you must set your expectations accordingly, but "Dr. M Strikes" (which apparently has nothing to do with Mabuse or Orloff, although it name-drops both) is probably one of the worst films of his entire (huge) output. He tries to do sort of a straight spy film this time, with few exploitation elements (apart from the "monster" with the cellotaped eye who strangles people), and he fails miserably. Most of the short running time is padded with conversations between people who keep repeating the same things - you know, like it happens in those daily soaps. But at the end Franco apparently is in a hurry to get home, so he wraps up the entire "plot" in literally 3 minutes! You can have some laughs with the TERRIBLE night-to-day-to-night continuity at one point, but most of this film is a dreary slog that even Franco fans will not appreciate. 0.5 out of 4 stars.
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The least known Mabuse probably - and for good reason
Warning: Spoilers
"Dr. M schlägt zu" is a co-production between West Germany and Spain from 1972, so this one has its 45th anniversary this year already. The director and one of the writers too is the (in)famous Jess Franco and the working title tells us already that this is his take on the long-running prolific Dr. Mabuse franchise. But honestly, the title may just have been an attempt to cash in because this feels nothing like a Mabuse film at all, not just due to the absence of Fritz Lang and Gert Fröbe. And I say this as somebody who isn't even a fan of the franchise. So people who like the Mabuse films, will perhaps really despise this one here. First of all, it is in color as pretty much always with Franco, but never with Mabuse. Then it feels like a mix of spy thriller and Frankenstein movie with the characters running around like cowboys in a western movie for a large bit of the time. Franco did without the sex and erotica this time, but that doesn't mean there no hot women in here. Another common theme for Franco. It's honestly nothing more than another trash movie by the master of the genre with some moments that are a bit on the memorable side for being so bad they are good already almost. But if you are looking for depth and realism, this is the road you don't wanna take. Another review mentioned the psychedelic aspects here and that's certainly an accurate statement. As a whole, another very bizarre movie by Jess Franco and I'd only recommend it to his most die-hard fans. It's not so easy to get a hand on it anyway. Oh yeah, according to IMDb this is 80 minutes long, but there are shorter versions out there. I watched the DVD version in the Spanish language and that one only runs for 65 minutes. May have been censured to some extent. Overall, a thumbs-down from me. Go for something else instead.
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By the numbers Franco film
jrd_7319 August 2015
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!
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Jesus Franco's take on the Dr. Mabuse franchise.
Boba_Fett11385 March 2008
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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