These two early 1970s Jess Franco directed thrillers are being prepared for Blu-ray+DVD release by Dorado Films, a company with which I’m familiar for their very good Eurospy/Eurowestern DVDs over the past decade or so. They will be in their original Spanish language version, with English subtitles included and will be Region Free. Good news. More Jess Franco/Spanish horror double bill discs are being planned by the company. I’ll be reviewing these releases here if possible in the future.
LOS OJOS DEL DR. ORLOFF (1973) is the third film in Franco’s series featuring the sinister Dr. Orloff, who this time around is involved in a mind control plot to wipe out a family so he can steal their fortune. The late cult actor William Berger plays the title role and easily steps into the role which was created by Howard Vernon in Franco’s 1961 classic GRITOS EN LA NOCHE [THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF). This film is a locked room mystery which opens with the murder of the father (played by Jess Franco) of the heroine, who witnesses the crime, but is unable to name the killer. The twisting, turning plot, use of fog and subliminal editing in the murder scenes, gothic style music and quite effective performance of William Berger as the criminal doctor make this a unique addition to the Orloff series, with an atmosphere all its own and somewhat similar to MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE (1982), a remake of his 1970 NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT. The 1983 SOLA ANTE EL TERROR is an almost exact remake, albeit with a very downbeat ending, featuring Lina Romay in the role of the disabled heroine. Curiously, the onscreen title is LOS OJOS DEL DR. ORLOFF, differing from the above title on the Jano poster.
UN SILENCIO DE TUMBA (1972) is a rarely seen obscurity which is quite an effective and atmospheric thriller due to Franco’s taut direction and a captivating performance by Lina Romay lookalike Montserrat Prous, who also is featured as the female lead in LOS OJOS DEL DR. ORLOFF. She’s one of Jess Franco’s most memorable performers of his early 1970s period. It’s a “dark-and-stormy-night” Agatha Christie style mystery in which a group of film people trapped in a remote villa are killed one by one. Who is the assassin?
This is a very welcome surprise release and it’s always good to have more Jess Franco films in HD from original elements with English subtitles. Dorado Films promises to consider more Jess Franco double bills in HD for the future.