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Orloff Against the Invisible Man

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Posted 5th April 2009 at 08:25 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

Orloff Against the Invisible Man

In which French director Pierre Chevalier attempts to seamlessly rip off the work of Jess Franco, the Spanish master of sex fueled Gothic horror. Orloff Against the Invisible Man sees Euro-Sleaze legend Howard Vernon return to the role he first played for Franco in The Awful Dr Orloff. Vernon, despite lending his name to some howlingly awful trash, is never less than gripping on screen. His craggy, hangdog face and demented eyes are perfect for this kind of cheesy melodrama, and even though this particular movie is mired up many dull and lifeless passages, you can't help loving the old stager when he's playing a mad scientist, wandering the dingy corridors of a crumbling castle, overly emoting and hamming it up it fine style.

Orloff is a kind of low rent Frankenstein and in this clunker from sex and exploitation film factory Eurocine, who spent the 70s cranking out dozens of micro-budgeted sleazefests, we find the amoral doctor has created an invisible man to do his evil bidding.

A young medical man is called to Orloff's castle by one of the mad man's two tormented servants, but on arrival, the inexperienced doctor receives a frosty reception. The female servant is clearly unstable and begs him to help her escape and Orloff has his daughter locked away from the world. In a drawn out flashback we learn that she was thought to be dead and interred in a crypt. Orloff's wife and her servant lover rob her tomb, but the 'dead' girl stirs and the rough looking Casanova stabs her. She lives to tell her tale and Orloff seeks revenge. He uses the hapless servant in his experiments, turning him into an invisible ape creature which leads me onto the only worthwhile thing about this wholly tragic effort.

The awe inspiring sequences in which the unseen terror is allowed to wreck havoc are up there with the worst efforts of the 50 B-picture Sci-Fi cycle. Trays and chairs float around unconvincingly, while an extended rape sequence, in which the aforementioned serving wench is assaulted, is a riot of badly acted writhing and wildly zoomed camera work, as the invisible fiend has his evil way with the desperate young maid. Those bothered by the hirsute pubic stylings of 70s exploitation actresses be warned!

Unfortunately, these moments of lunacy are few and far between, as most of film sees the mainly inept cast wandering the poorly lit castle, looking for the film their meant to be starring in. Howard Vernon makes the most of his part as usual, but this is a minor entry in Eurocine's dubious catalogue of trash movies.
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