HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Amulet
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
   
 
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Vengeance of Doctor Mabuse, The Mabuse loose about this hoose
Year: 1972
Director: Jess Franco
Stars: Fred Williams, Jack Taylor, Ewa Strömberg, Roberto Camardiel, Siegfried Lowitz, Moises Augusto Rocha, Gustavo Re, Eva Garden, Angel Menendez, Friederich Joloff, Beni Cardoso, Jess Franco, Andrea Montchal, Guillermo Mendez, Linda Hastreiter
Genre: Horror, Trash, Science Fiction, Weirdo, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mad genius Farkas (Jack Taylor) is really the elusive master criminal Doctor Mabuse who, as he explains to his twitchy ally Hermann (Friederich Joloff) has stolen some 'lunar rocks' from a space probe. Utilizing their radioactive properties Mabuse invents a low-budget death ray that, rather than waste money on fancy optical effects, prompts two security guards to simply fall unconscious so his minions: whip-wielding lesbian Leslie (Beni Cardoso) and hideously deformed Andros (Moises Augusto Rocha) can make off with some loot. Some time later sexy nightclub dancer Jenny Hering (Ewa Strömberg) watches from a window as Andros abducts a young woman as part of Mabuse's insane plan to create an army of remote-controlled zombies. Though the experiment goes awry and Mabuse has Andros dump the corpse, Jenny reports the incident to jolly, cowboy-attired Inspector Thomas (Fred Williams). Reluctantly spending time away from his new bride Wanda Orloff (Eva Garden), Inspector Thomas and his dishevelled sidekick Melou (Gustavo Re) stakeout the nightclub where Jenny is performing. Sure enough, Leslie pays a visit to lure Jenny back to Mabuse's lair.

One of the forgotten film franchises of the Sixties, the Dr. Mabuse series got off to a flying start with Fritz Lang's belated follow-up to his two seminal thrillers of the Thirties: The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960). It was followed by a remake of Lang's The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1962) that begat a slew of sequels before the series reached its end in the hands of Spanish sleazemeister Jess Franco. In spite of Franco's reputation the sex and violence content is all but nonexistent in The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse as the film harks back to his early sexy gothic serials rather than the more overtly pornographic oddities he cranked out later on. Lively and visually arresting compared to most Franco films this still suffers from a plot that does not really go anywhere while the director pads things out with stumbling monster antics and quirky character interplay.

Still, at just an hour and five minutes this certainly does not wear out its welcome and strangely enough ranks among Franco's warmest and most amiable outings. Typically he devotes lengthy screen time to Jenny's nightclub act which while sexy (largely because she struts around in a black hat and lacy lingerie smoking filter-tip cigarettes purring “I'm a wild cat. I'm a tiger”) barely rates as any sort of performance. He also spends a lot of time detailing the amiable rapport between the distinctively oddball characters, each of whom proves chatty, charming yet not the least bit in a hurry to get the mad genius and his monster off the streets. While Mabuse experiments on captive women, inept Inspector Thomas wastes time getting each witness to tell him their entire life story. This results in rambling yet oddly watchable scenes wherein wacky supporting characters like Santos (Roberto Camardiel) the talkative tramp and flirty Jenny witter on at great length while in a sequence surprisingly prescient of the famous scene in Basic Instinct (1992), Thomas and Melou try to sneak a peek when she uncrosses her legs.

Chock full of the usual Franco suspects including the director himself who also composed the groovy jazz soundtrack, The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse does not give Spanish horror veteran Jack Taylor a whole lot to do besides grimace at blinking dials in his lab. There is some debate among Franco fans whether Farkas is actually Mabuse or merely an underling but like everything else in the film it barely matters. Pretty Vampyros Lesbos (1970) star Ewa Strömberg is genuinely endearing as vivacious Jenny who ends up another in Franco's long line of remote-controlled femmes fatale and another stalwart Fred Williams is oddly likeable as the admittedly ineffectual hero. An overlooked facet of Franco's oeuvre is how often he drew inspiration from Jean-Luc Godard, in particular Alphaville (1965). Taking his cue from that low-budget science fiction classic, Franco points his camera at Spain's modernist architecture and employs tilted angles and coloured gels to create an effective, quasi-futuristic atmosphere. The misty, amber sun-drenched countryside also enhances the unique mood. Yet for all the Godard allusions and aside from this being ostensibly an entry in a long-running franchise, deep down The Vengeance of Dr. Mabuse really spins another variation on motifs Franco ran through in The Diabolical Dr. Z (1965), Attack of the Robots (1966) and The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962) (indeed the good doctor turns up here as Mabuse's scientific rival) and remade obsessively again and again. In a typically chaotic Franco finale the hero blunders about while the evil plot fails because the villains can't stop fighting among themselves. It is as nonsensical and oblique as one would expect yet remains an oddly endearing trip through Franco-land.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1959 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jess Franco  (1930 - 2013)

Legendary director of predominantly sex-and-horror-based material, Spanish-born Jesus Franco had as many as 200 directing credits to his name. Trained initially as a musician before studying film at the Sorbonne in Paris, Franco began directing in the late 50s. By using the same actors, sets and locations on many films, Franco has maintained an astonishing workrate, and while the quality of his work has sometimes suffered because of this, films such as Virgin Amongst the Living dead, Eugenie, Succubus and She Killed in Ecstasy remain distinctive slices of 60s/70s art-trash.

Most of his films have been released in multiple versions with wildly differing titles, while Franco himself has directed under a bewildering number of pseudonyms. Actors who have regularly appeared in his films include Klaus Kinski, Christopher Lee and wife Lina Romay; fans should also look out for his name on the credits of Orson Welles' Chimes of Midnight, on which he worked as assistant director.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: