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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff (DVD Review): Intervision and Jess Franco!!!


I love Intervision. I’m going to review a few titles of theirs over the next year or so. I have a pile of beautiful German gore films that I need to opine and make love to with my words. The first one I want to talk about is a little film called The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff. Although not a German film and not a gore film it is a Franco film (Hail to the Jesus!). First off,  bit of history about Intervision and our beloved Severin Films from their website:

Severin Films announced April 26th, 2011 an agreement made with the estate of Larry Gold Sr. to handle all future production and marketing for Intervision Picture Corp. with exclusive distribution in the United States through CAV Distributing Corporation. The arrangement commenced with the May 10th, 2011 release of 1983′s Sledgehammer, notorious as the first shot-on-tape ‘slasher’ thriller for the then-exploding home video market. Severin’s Evan Husney was appointed chief production and marketing manager for the label.

Intervision Picture Corp. was initially reactivated in January 2011 Gold., with the DVD releases of recent Goya Award Winner Jess Franco’s 1973 rarity Sinister Eyes Of Dr. Orloffand his acclaimed 2010 ‘audio-visual experience’ Paula-Paula.
“Either by way of budget constraints or warped vision,” says Husney, “each release will represent a piece of a cinematic underbelly from a universe all its own. Buried in obscurity and ripe for reintroduction, the films in Intervision’s new cult canon assure top-shelf bizarro derangement, gonzo action, transcendental fever dreams and beyond.”

“From the days of plastic clamshell VHS through the rise of Blu-ray, Intervision has been dedicated to everything fascinating and extraordinary about obscure genre works,” says Carl Daft, co-founder and CEO of Severin Films. “We are proud to carry on this commitment to rare and unique genre films under the Intervision banner.”


I wanted to include that history lesson because it isn’t immediately obvious who these fellas are that put out some of the most shocking, “underbelly” flicks in our collective sick fuck memories. These are the good guys. Grindhouse Releasing, Severin, Intervision… names to know all under the head of CAV Distributing. You’ll want to make yourself familiar with their catalog.

So who is this Dr. Orloff?  In 1961, exploitation super deity, Jess Franco directed a little French-Spanish co-production called The Awful Dr. Orloff which spawned a sequel or two or three. The Secret of Dr. Orloff (1964) aka Dr. Orlaff’s Monster and the Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff (1973) and the Sinister Dr. Orloff in 1981. While fans of Franco may adore some of his more risqué work, the series of movies following the mad doctor have become synonymous with the legend of Jesus Franco. Each film conveys its own unique plot largely unconnected and without a common actor.

The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff is the story of our mad doctor who hypnotizes and drugs a women into committing murder. Will she escape his clutches or will she die as his murderous tool? Get ready for murder. Get ready for attractive women. Get ready for the look and feel of Spanish cinema in the early 70’s. It stars William Berger, Mona Proust and Lina Romay. Lina Romany might as well assume the title of Muse de Franco. She worked with him extensively. She’s very easy on the eyes. Men swoon for the Romay. William Berger also starred in Mario Bava’s giallo classic, Five Dolls for an August Moon. This may not sound like an all star cast, but actually, it kind of is.

The Intervision DVD is light on special features, but the one it does have is always a pleasure. Jess Franco discusses the move in depth and the Orloff series. The cult of Franco will be happy. It’s a fine quality release though the audio track is a bit on the quiet side. Turn. It. Up.

Make sure to pick up this classic Franco release HERE. Also stop by the Intervision website to see what else they have in store for your sick little mind. We’ll be reviewing more of their titles, although with the list that I’ve seen I’m fairly certain there isn’t a dud among them. Also stop by and visit with CAV Distributing who is responsible for their current distro.

-Dr. TERROR (no relation to Dr. Orloff)

Note: Wanna try something funny? Google Dr. Orloff and see all the practicing doctors who actually carry the surname Orloff. Also, doesn’t the name Orloff make you think of The Hands of Orlack from 1935? In name anyway.

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