The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966)

THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z (1966)
(a.k.a. MISS MUERTE)
Article #1676 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-16-2005
Posting Date: 3-15-2006
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Antonio Jimenez Escribano, Mabel Karr, Howard Vernon

When a scientist researching methods of human mind control dies as a result of public humiliation at a scientific conference, his daughter fakes her own death and sets out on a plan to seek vengeance against those responsible for her father’s death.

Like THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF, this is one of the better Franco movies out there. In fact, this one is even better than that one; the somewhat conventional plot is given a lot of unexpected and interesting touches, and Franco’s visual style is very strong here. It’s remarkably free of the excesses and throwaway scenes that inundate so many of his other movies. Another plus is that the dubbing is far better than usual; it’s not always in sync with the mouths, but the quality of the acting of those supplying the dubbed voices is fairly high, and that makes up for it. I also like the fact that the murders aren’t just duplicates of each other, but unfold in vastly different ways; it shows that a good deal of care was taken with this one. I do have problems believing that Miss Muerte’s stage act would actually fly in a nightclub, but I could be wrong; after all, the fact that she’s wearing a skin-tight translucent outfit may well be enough to satisfy most men. I’d have to choose this as the best Franco movie I’ve seen to date.

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