MISS MUERTE (AKA THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z)
Dir. Jesus (Jess) Franco, 1966
84 min. France/Spain.
In French with English subtitles.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 8PM
Taking cues from Feuillade and Franju, THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z, Franco’s take on his often-examined “mad scientist rejected by the medical community is avenged by a love one, mostly through sexy cabaret numbers” theme, is one of his most accessible and succinct films and an excellent introduction to his work. Dr. Zimmer creates a mind control machine which his fellow scientists reject as mad, causing him to die of a heart attack. His death is avenged by his daughter Irma Zimmer (Mabel Karr), who uses the device to brainwash go-go dancer Nadia (Estella Blain) and use her to seduce and murder everyone she considers responsible for her father’s death. With dialogue by Oscar-winner (and Bunuel collaborator) Jean-Claude Carriere, MISS MUERTE is certainly a film for fans of such films as Les Yeux Sans Visage, but there’s plenty of characteristic Franco touches, from death by poisoned fingernails to Miss Death’s spider costume. With Franco regular Howard Vernon as one of the dismissive scientists and Franco himself as Inspector Tanner (it’s not really a Franco movie if he doesn’t at least have a cameo) and shot in beautiful black and white, this film is one Franco fans definitely won’t want to miss, but anyone looking for Halloween creeps should definitely find what they’re looking for here.
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