Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Awful Dr. Orlof

The Awful Dr Orlof
Jesus Franco
1962 – B&W - 86 min

Jesus Franco is something of a madman auteur. Not madman as in insane, but in the fact that he’s so disturbingly prolific it’s a daunting task to even try to name all the films the man has made let alone watch them. The Awful Dr Orlof is one Franco’s earliest masterpieces. It’s the story of the dark and sinister, brooding Dr. Orlof who is on a mission to save his daughter who was burned badly in a fire. To this end he kidnaps women and uses them for skin grafts. He completes his tasks with the help of (the truly disturbing to look at) Morpho. Morpho is blind and once you see the make up they keep him in you’ll wonder as I did if the actor behind it could see anything at all. Not only is it effective as showing his blindness it’s an image that will more than likely haunt you.

Dr Orlof, Not Morpho

One of my favorite aspects of Orlof has always been the films sarcasm. The dialog for this horror flick is witty and characters seem to have great repartee. In one of my favorite scenes the inspector who’s working the case of the missing girls plays with an interviewee verbally before having him sent to the insane asylum. It’s little additions like that scene that make The Awful Dr Orlof more than just senseless grindhouse fare. Though the modest director would probably deny it if you were to say it to him, but the man is a true artist, an insane artist based on some of his later work, but an artist nevertheless.

5 out of 5

Enjoy it sickos

*More Sad news, I was just informed that SWV no longer sells The Awful Dr. Orlof *sniff sniff* I'll do my best in the future to make sure everything I post within the current SWV catalog.


  1. Actually, I didn't know Something Weird ever distributed THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF. I'm a huge Franco fan, and ORLOF sees him developing what will become his own unique "voice" through what is, superficially, a Gothic horror piece. Totally off-the-wall musical choices, odd angles, a bleak atmosphere, daring blood and nudity (for the time), and a wonderfully sick sense of humor. What's not to love?

  2. Yeah they put it out on video as one of Frank Henenlotter's sexy shockers and that's when I purchased it (on VHS). Would have been almost ten years ago at this point and yeah I'm very sad they don't put it out anymore. Oh and thanks for posting on this Blog, it was a great reminder to me that I really need to write up more of my Something Weird Collection