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Tricia's retro film review: The Awful Dr. Orloff

The Awful Dr. Orloff


The Awful Dr. Orloff is the 1962 Spanish horror film. Dr. Orloff’s daughter has gone catatonic from her facial disfigurement. He decides to fix her face by kidnapping women and killing them for their skin. Inspector Tanner is assigned to the case and vows to track him down. Meanwhile, Dr. Orloff decides to keep his victim alive since he figures living skin would work better. After kidnapping one victim he decides to go after Wanda, Inspector Tanner’s fiancée. Can she escape the clutches of Dr. Orloff?

The movie is a decent, if not the most memorable flick. Ironically, Dr. Orloff’s daughter’s scars are rather mild, but since this was during an era where prejudice against people with facial scarring was common, even a tiny scar might get her shunned. It’s no wonder she went into catatonia, as she may have thought life wasn’t worth living anymore. Inspector Tanner is a pretty good detective, except near the end where he dismisses a note, although as a detective he should know better. The movie missed an opportunity to have Wanda help out her boyfriend more. Although the ending has a good set up for a sequel. The viewer can reasonably guess that it is a foreign film due to the credit titles being in another language. Luckily the English dubbing is pretty good. We never find out what happens to the woman who was locked in the tower after having some of her skin cut off. Not even if to find out if she died from her injuries. Dr. Orloff’s reasons for experimenting make him a three dimensional villain. The viewer can understand why he does it, even though they may condemn him. The group police sketch scene is memorable, mostly because it’s unusual for a whole group of people to be interviewed at the same time. Honolulu horror fans may want to rent this film.

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