Diabolical Dr. Z
Directed by Jess Franco
Diabolical Dr. Z
A stylish medical-horror thriller that brings to mind the work of Georges Franju
and David Cronenberg, The Diabolical Dr. Z is a vitally important film in the
horror cinema’s transition from spooky scares to a more dreamy and erotic
variety that would become the signature of Spanish-born filmmaker Jess
Franco. Mabel Karr stars as Irma Zimmer, the daughter of a visionary scientist
(Antonio Jiménez Escribano) who has developed a morbid system of mind
control. After the slightly mad doctor’s death, Irma carries on her father’s work,
and uses a telepathically-controlled exotic dancer with poisoned fingernails
(Estella Blain) as an instrument of revenge upon three doctors who mocked Dr.
Z’s theories. But can Irma eliminate the names on her hit list before a pair of
detectives (played by Franco and the film’s composer, Daniel White) expose her
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