Directed by: Jesús Franco
Actors: Conrado San Martín, Diana Lorys, Howard Vernon
Country: Spain | France
Also known as: Gritos en la noche | Screams in the Night | The Demon Doctor | L’horrible Docteur Orlof | El doctor demonio, Gritos en la noche, Cries in the Night, The Diabolical Dr. Satan
Description:This is the first Jess Franco flick to assault American shores, and it’s a brilliant, moody send-up of classic US horror flicks, with a healthy dollop of muddled morals that pointed the way to the works of Romero and others. Howard Vernon gives an incredibly sleazy performance as a cut-rate Dr. Frankenstein with a mongoloid undead sidekick who only wants to make his beloved daughter beautiful again, even if he has to murder and mutilate a bunch of random skanks to achieve that goal. The incredible acting and shadowy scenery carries this movie and makes up for the lack of graphic violence and cheap shocks most modern horror flicks fall back upon.
Paris, 1917. The city has been struck by a series of kidnappings of young women. The Commissioner (credit unknown) assigns the case to Inspector Tanner (Conrado San Martin), one of his best men. Tanner promises to break the case or resign, and the Commissioner assures that they’ll both be resigning if it comes to that. There is a single hopeful point in the latest case: several people appear to have seen the kidnapper. Unfortunately, their descriptions vary wildly. Tanner’s fiancee, ballerina Wanda Bronsky (Diana Lorys) suggests to him that he try something new: bring in all of the witnesses and an artist, and try to create a sketch of the criminal. Tanner does it, and they soon realize they are searching for not one, but two men.
One of the men—Dr. Orloff (Howard Vernon)—meanwhile has caught a fleeting glimpse of a woman he will come to believe is the last one he needs. Until he can find her, however, his experiments—despite protestations by his assistant, Arne (Perla Cristal)—must continue. He and Morpho (Ricardo Valle) kidnap two more women from a local dance hall before the woman he is becoming obsessed with, Wanda Bronsky, places herself in his path in an effort to stop him.