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Dr Mabuse

Dr Mabuse (1972)
La Venganza del doctor Mabuse
Jesus Franco (as Jess Frank)

Artur Brauner story (as Art Bern)
Arne Elsholtz German dialogue
Jesus Franco screenplay
Jesus Franco story

Karl Heinz Mannchen executive producer (as Karl-Heinz Mannchen)

Fred Williams – Inspector Thomas
Jack Taylor – Farkas/Mabuse
Ewa Strömberg – Jenny (as Ewa Stroemberg)
Roberto Camardiel – Carlos (Drunk Angler)
Siegfried Lowitz – Dr. Orloff
Moisés Augusto Rocha – Andros (as Rocha)
Gustavo Re – Melou
Eva Garden – Wanda Orloff (as Ava Garden)
Ángel Menéndez – Prof. Parkinson (as Angel Melendez)
Friedrich Joloff – Hermann
Beni Cardosi – Leslie
Jesus Franco – Crosby/Drunk Man in Nightclub
Andrés Monales – John Paganini
Guillermo Méndez
Linda Hastreiter
Friedrich W. Bauschulte – Voice of Crosby (voice)
Heinz Theo Branding – Voice of Richards (voice)
Michael Chevalier – Voice of Farkas/Mabuse (voice)
Arne Elsholtz – Voice of John Paganini (voice)
Beate Hasenau – Voice of Leslie (voice)
Martin Hirthe – Voice of FBI-Agent Marx (voice)
Claus Jurichs – Voice of Gangster (voice)
Norbert Langer – Voice of Night Club Manager (voice)
Arnold Marquis – Voice of Melou (voice)
Gerd Martienzen – Voice of Hermann (voice)
Manuel Merino – Marx, FBI-Agent
Heinz Petruo – Voice of Prof. Parkinson (voice)

Review by Sven Soetemans

Dr. Franco strikes again!,

You can say a lot of things about director Jess Franco (including negative things, mind you) but most of all, I’d like to think of him as a very clever filmmaker who always damn well knew where there was some easy money to earn! If there ever was a popular trend or franchise in horror cinema, you can bet your bottom dollar that Jess Franco was part of it or at least attempted to rapidly shoot a film that profited by this particular trend.

In the early 80’s, when the teen-slasher was immensely popular, Franco brutally hacked up young beauty queens in “Bloody Moon” and in the late 60’s already, he also took over the “Fu Manchu” series. Here in this film, our beloved pal Jess further exploits the successful horror character of the evil “Dr. Mabuse”, which was originally created by no less than the German top-director Fritz Lang.

“La Venganza del Doctor Mabuse” actually is one of Franco’s better films of that period with delightfully twisted characters, stunning locations, truly beautiful camera-work and a terrific musical score. The story is of minor importance but it handles about the mean Dr. Mabuse and his accomplices stealing all kind of attributes from a National Research Institute (including female staff members) in order to complete his own, evil mind-control ray. Dr. Mabuse has this impressive and horribly scarred man-monster that kills for him while the entire police force desperately tries to catch him.

This film is great and trashy entertainment, starring some incredibly beautiful cult-sirens like Ava Garden, Ewa Strmberg and Beni Cardoso…all wearing mini-skirts! The action sequences are a little grotesque, but Franco’s directing is very stylish and surefooted. Many of Franco’s later films suffer from overlong and tedious scenes but this effort is pure excitement from start to finish. Typical Franco trademarks also include that he makes references towards his earlier films (more particularly, “the Awful Dr. Orloff”) and that he rewards himself with a small supportive role.

Definitely one of the director’s best films and simultaneously a great title to illustrate the class of early 70’s euro-exploitation!

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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