Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff'
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff”
Every country’s film culture has its marginal mavericks and exploitation auteurs, and in Spain Jesus “Jess” Franco is the reigning cult king of blood, gore and nudity. His rarely seen “The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff” is due out on DVD Tuesday.
Franco (no relation to Spain’s infamous dictator) is celebrated among cinephiles of a certain ilk for his gauzy atmospherics and his fast and loose stories that mix twisted bad guys, buxom beauties (often nude) and gory tableaux. Though he built a kind of underground fame that has flirted with but never seized wide commercial success, he spent much of his career laboring in the seedy precincts of X-rated adult fare.
But in films such as “ Vampyros Lesbos,” “Bloody Moon” and a number of “Dr. Orloff” titles, Franco gathered a loyal following of cult fans quick to celebrate his low-grade, low-budget, renegade horror aesthetic.
“The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff” was long thought to be a lost work, and it’s a middling find, at best. The story focuses on a bedbound heiress (Montserrat Proust) whose father was murdered years ago and who suspects her meddling family of trying to drive her mad and steal her fortune. Enter Dr. Orloff (William Berger) to unravel the woman’s tangled nightmares and the conspiracy against her.
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