One of the very best films of Jesús "Jess" Franco,
that should be an undisputed fact among the idiosyncratic director's
many fans, and possibly the
best from his early black & white period. Definitely on my Top 3
Franco list. It's a Revenge Mad Doctor Mind Control horror beautifully
done before the tiresome overuse of camera zooms, and mostly then into
women's crotches, the Jess Muff zoom.
What is it then that makes this film so good ? For sure three things:
1. The films is very atmospherically shot by Alejandro Ulloa
and for some unknown
reason Tim Lucas in his audio commentary doesn't tell us where this
film were shot, but 2 locations can be seen on signs. Singen - a south
at the border to Switzerland and Breslau (or Wroclaw) situated in south-western
Poland, and a place called Hartog is mentioned too, unknown to me.
The chase scene with morning fog through the streets of some old town
(Breslau?) when professor Moroni is followed by Miss Death and Irma
is almost cinematographic art. Just beautiful.
2. A very fine soundtrack by Jess long-time
collaborator Daniel White, jazzy and almost avantgardistic, and he also
plays a small part in the film as some
quirky Scotland Yard guy observing the police work of Inspector Tanner
(played by Jess, and a re-occurring figure in his films), and ...
3. The GORGEOUS Estella Blain as Miss.
Death - Nadia, she's hypnotic as the mysterious cabaret dancer with
the long deadly nails dipped in Curare.
Old US Mondo Macabro DVD edition
Howard Vernon plays a professor in this film, but his
name is not Orloff and he's not mad. But he was to return to his Dr.
Orloff part (as first seen in Jess
1961 Gritos en la Noche)
many times the following 2 decades. This time the disciple
of Dr. Orloff, Antonio Gimenez Escribano's Dr. Zimmer is the Doctor.
Dr. Zimmer is a neurology scientist, he's wheelchair bound and assisted
by Barbara (Lucia Prado) and his daughter Irma (Argentinian actress
He's experimenting with his Z-ray on animals and a human, escaped murderer
Hans Bergen (Guy Mairesse).
Following the work of ill-reputed Dr. Orloff, Zimmer has managed to
locate the nervecenters that govern Good and Evil. and with his Z ray
machine he can
neutralize or stimulate these zones. But, when presenting this major
discovery how to turn a dangerous criminal into a peaceful being at
Conference he's maligned and ridiculed by his colleagues, and Dr. Zimmer
dies from a heart-attack.
Irma promises to continue his work and to extract revenge.
Professor Vicas (Howard Vernon, Professor Moroni and Professor Kallerman
has to die and as
the tool for this important mission she uses a mysterious and beautiful
cabaret nightclub dancer, Miss Muerte - Nadia (Estella Blain).
Using the Z ray machine as a mind-control device Irma turns Bergen and
Nadia into killer machines and some curare on Nadia's nails is useful
The scenes with Miss Muerte and Vernon on the train and the chasing
of Moroni through empty streets are highly impressive.
The US Blu-ray presents the film in 1.66:1 widescreen
ratio, black & white, with an english or french audio LPCM stereo
(and i chose the french one and
it sounded great) with english subtitles. Region A.
Extras: Only an audio commentary from Tim Lucas (a pretty old one i
think) and a Trailer