Sunday, July 12, 2015

Orloff Against the Invisible Dead, Europe's Favorite Mad Scientist

One of the most infamous deleted scenes over the past 20 years is from 2000's "Hollow Man."  In that film, director Paul Verhoeven originally included a rape scene in which Rhona Mitra is brutally stripped and raped by an invisible Kevin Bacon (this scene can be found on YouTube).  In that complete scene, we see the rape and then the very humiliated and broken Ms. Mitra as the invisible being leaves her, knowing she won't be able to call the police.  This same scene first hit the silver screen 30 years previous, but was not deleted.  This brings us to 1970's "Orloff Against the Invisible Dead."
Insanity! Grave robbers! Creepy crypts! Naughty maids! Gothic castle! What more could we ask for? Dr. Garondet is summoned to Orloff's castle.  No one in town will bring him, as everyone fears Orloff (Howard Vernon).  When he arrives he finds two servants, and realizes that the maid (Evane Hanska) sent for him, but she is too scared to tell him why.  Then he meets, Cecile (Brigitte Carva), Orloff's daughter.  She tells the doctor of an unbelievable tale.  Cecile believes she is being stalked by an invisible fiend.  The doctor then barges into Orloff's lab and meets the mad scientist and the invisible creation. The two doctors square off and Orloff tells Garondet about his creation.  As he explains his experiments to Garondet, it is apparent that Orloff demands loyalty.  When he finds out that his maid summoned Garondet, he gives the maid to his creation.  Unfortunately for the maid, the creation rips her clothes off and subjects her to a fate worse than Rhona Mitra's. Unlike "Hollow Man," this scene is not cut.
Orloff isn't entirely magnanimous. He needs human blood to continue his experiments which will someday yield a master race which can rule the world.  Now Garondet is a prisoner and apparently out of luck.  Oh yes..his only hope....Cecile?  Well apparently she died six years ago and lost all her sanity when she woke up in her crypt as grave robbers were pulling off her jewelry.  Cecile's story is a gruesome one which contains lots of nudity, blood, and revenge.  As the film vaults to it's wild conclusion, the exact nature of the invisible man is shown.  However brutal the rape scene appeared, when we find out the true identity of the invisible nymphomaniac, the scene becomes horrific.
Fans of the Dr. Orloff films may believe this one is the least in the first half.  The second half of the movie went places that U.S. cinema wouldn't even go three decades later.  This is a French film directed by Pierre Chevalier, and eroticism is mixed with horror with shocking results.  Available on Netflix, see "Orloff Against the Invisible Dead."    

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