Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 30th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Spain / Austria / France, 1964
Director: Jesus Franco
Writers: Jesús Franco, Nicole Guettard, A. Norévo
Cast: Hugo Blanco, Agnès Spaak, Perla Cristal, Magda Maldonado, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, Pepe Rubio, Pastor Serrador, Marta Reves, Daniel Blumer, Luisa Sala
BluRay released: February 7th, 2017
Approximate running time: 84 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono French
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber / Redemption Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A young woman returns to her ancestral home looking for answers about her father’s death. During her investigation, she discovers that all is not well at her ancestral home and that her uncle is behind a sinister plot involving a recent series of murders.
Before Jess Franco made the transition away from more traditional cinema that pushed the envelope when it came to eroticism in cinema. He was more known for directing a handful of horror films in the first half of the 1960’s like, The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus and The Diabolical Dr. Z.
Another Horror film from this time period of his career includes, Dr. Orloff’s Monster. This film’s title is derived from another film Jess Franco directed The Awful Dr. Orlof. And though this film bears a familiar name in its title, it is a sequel in name only.
Content wise, Dr. Orloff’s Monster has all the ingredients that one would expect and want from a Gothic Horror film. And another influence on this film is Universal’s classic monster movies from the 1930’s, most notably Frankenstein. The premise is wonderfully executed, the narrative is straight forward and there are no issues with pacing as things move along at a good momentum.
From a production stand point the film takes full advantage of all of its resources. The film features a superb score from frequent Jess Franco collaborator Daniel White that perfectly captures the mood the film. And when it comes to the visuals Jess Franco once again delivers striking imagery that is filled with atmosphere.
Performance wise the cast are more than adequate in their respective roles. With the most memorable performance being Hugo Blanco (Texas, Adios, Paranoia) in the role of Andros, the young woman’s deceased father who has been brought back to life as walking dead assassin. Other notable cast members include, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui (Attack of the Robots, Lucky, the Inscrutable, Two Undercover Angels) in the role of the mad scientist and Agnès Spaak (La ragazzola) in the role of the young woman looking for answers about her father’s death.
Dr. Orloff’s Monster comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. There are no issues with compression, the image looks crisp, black and contrast levels look strong throughout. Though it is not mentioned, the transfer used for this transfer looks like a brand new HD master that improves upon Image Entertainment’s DVD. It should be noted that this BluRay release is missing the second murder scene and some nudity that is on Images Entertainment’s region 1 DVD release.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and a DTS-HD mono mix in French. There are no issues with distortion, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. It should be noted that there is background hiss present on both audio tracks and it is more pronounced on the English audio mix. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, French and Italian language trailers (2 minutes 5 seconds, both trailers have English subtitles), alternate footage (11 minutes 27 seconds – no sound with this extra) and an audio commentary with Tim Lucas.
The audio commentary with Tim Lucas is an insightful and detailed account of every area of this film’s production that also includes his own thoughts about the film.
The alternate footage is more sexually explicit content then what is appears in the version of the film included for this release.
Overall Redemption Films gives Dr. Orloff’s Monster it’s best home video release to date.
Note: This film is also being released by Redemption Films on DVD.