Friday night at the home drive-in: Dr. Orloff’s Monster AKA The Mistresses of Dr. Jekyll (1964)

Jess Franco directed over 200 movies in his lifetime. Most of them are considered to be bad by mainstream critics. I first took an interest in him when reading bad reviews of his movies in Video Trash and Treasures by L.A. Morse.

The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962) is one Jess Franco movie that is considered to be a minor classic. Dr. Orloff’s Monster AKA The Mistresses of Dr. Jekyll (1964) is the first of several sequels. Oddly enough, it could also be seen as a sequel to The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock (1962), a movie that was paired with The Awful Dr. Orlof for distribution in the U.S.A..

Dr. Orloff’s Monster is a black and white monster movie, with a touch of gentle Euro-sleaziness that only Jess Franco could have added. It’s not as sleazy as many of his later films, but in a way that’s what makes it so charming. It features some pretty great music as well, including a couple of night club performances shown in their entirety.

Jess Franco’s oeuvre isn’t for everyone, but for those with a taste for his kind of cinematic madness, Dr. Orloff’s Monster is worth seeking out. And it’s a welcome addition to the #NotQuiteClassicCinema library.