3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Crisp bright Franco macabre,
This review is from: Diabolical Dr Z [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Jess Franco has re-told, sequelised his Orlof in innumerable manifestations. Names change, characters have varied slightly yet he tends to want a mad scientist save someone or the world only to be thwarted, whilst aided by a dubious henchman with a predilection for harming women in states of undress. Of all the many variations of this theme, this Diabolical Dr Z is a related piece of quality schlock, morality can go hang..
As ever, sieving the stream for Franco nuggets, silt and other deposits build up. But thankfully, this has a tight and persuasive ambience, shot with a lot of care for the most part. It carries some of the concepts from Awful Dr Orlof and others, with those nightclub hints, zooms, quality shadow work & lunatic sci-fi apparatus. In other words if he could have done, he would have thrown in a kitchen-sink, assuming it had breasts. Luckily for eyes everywhere, the female 'killer' in a sheer catsuit is eye-candy non plus ultra... And her poisoned nails, a death by sci-fi kitsch that outlasts the next ten tawdry Franco misses..
Pace is fine, acting is actually good across the board, the spanish dialogue flowing, rather than stilted which it can be when translated. After a slow establishing back story, we get enmeshed in criminal behaviour, dancers, revenge motifs & a pleasant hint at what lurid things are to escalate toward, in Franco's erotically charged voyeurism of the 70's. Perhaps tamer by later measurements, this is a clean bright crisp print of a gothic monochrome potboiler and stands easily next to other works by less outre directors..though, with Franco shuffling about as a 'seen it all before' jaded inspector, this is as ever a piece of personal enjoyment on Francos part. Successful all rounder, atmosphere and sixties demi-monde flavours in a lickable lolly of light.