The Diabolical Dr. Z
|The Diabolical Dr. Z|
|Directed by||Jesus Franco|
|Music by||Daniel White|
|Edited by||Jean Feyte|
The Diabolical Dr. Z (Spanish: Miss Muerte) is a 1965 horror film directed by Jesús Franco. The film stars Mabel Karr as Irma Zimmer, a surgeon who creates a machine that turns people into zombified slaves. Ms. Zimmer is the daughter of a Professor Zimmer (a disciple of Dr. Orloff), who was hounded to his death several years earlier by four of his scientific associates. Zimmer uses the machine to control an erotic dancer named Miss Muerte (Estella Blain) who uses her long poison-tipped fingernails to murder the people Ms. Zimmer holds responsible for her father's death.
The Diabolical Dr. Z was written by director Jesús Franco and Jean-Claude Carrière. The film is loosely based on the 1940 novel The Bride Wore Black. The film's opening credits state that it is based off a novel by David Khune who is an alter-ego for director Jesús Franco. Franco would later re-use elements from the plot of The Diabolical Dr. Z in his later films including The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968) and She Killed in Ecstasy (1971).
The film was Franco's last film shot in black and white. Despite being one of Franco's favourite films of his earlier period, Franco has stated that the film "shouldn't have been made. Censorship was causing me troubles."
The Diabolical Dr. Z was released in Spain in August 1966 under the title Miss Muerte with a running time of 86 minutes. It was released in France on November 22, 1967 under the title of Dans les griffes du maniaque (In the Grip of the Maniac) with a running time of 90 minutes.
From retrospective reviews, The online film database Allmovie gave the film three stars, praising it as "One of Franco's most entertaining films, Miss Muerte is a great improvement over the similar El Secreto del Dr. Orloff"
- "Miss Muerte (The Diabolical Dr. Z)". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 34 no. 396. British Film Institute. 1967. p. 175.
- "Miss Muerte". Fiche Film - La Cinémathèque française (in French). Retrieved March 18, 2013.
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- Labanyi & Pavlović 2012, p. 169.
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- "The Diabolical Dr. Z". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- "The Diabolical Dr. Z". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Firsching, Robert. "The Diabolical Dr. Z - Overview". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Armstrong, Richard; Charity, Tom; Hughes, Lloyd; Winter, Jessica (27 September 2007). The Rough Guide to Film. London: Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-84353-408-2.
- Bentley, Bernard P. E. (2008). A Companion to Spanish Cinema. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Tamesis. ISBN 1855661764.
- Labanyi, Jo; Pavlović, Tatjana, eds. (2012). A Companion to Spanish Cinema. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-9438-9.
- Shipka, Danny (2011). Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN 0786448881.