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Christopher Lee and Joachim Fuchsberger look into a heroin scheme and multiple murders
Noirish black and white cinematography enhance this murder and crime story, one in the Edgar Wallace krimi series made in Germany. This story, like some others, is set in London. I watched the German version with subtitles.
Under the titles, the story opens with a masked assailant killing a Chinese girl with a knife. The story shifts to Joachim Fuchsberger (a krimi stalwart) arriving in London from Hong Kong, where he is an airline security man. A shipment of fake daffodils has been found that have stems filled with heroin. They've been shipped to Lyne Company, but no one has claimed them. Before we can blink, a masked man kills the policeman outside the storage area who is on guard. He plants a bomb, but Fuchsberger escapes. Christopher Lee, who works under Fuchsberger, shows up. He's playing Ling Chu, and he's looking into several deaths of girls who worked at the Cosmos Club which ties in with the heroin.
Fuchsberger and Lee will follow their separate paths investigating throughout the story. Fuchsberger goes to Lyne Company where he knows its head, Albert Lieven (veteran of both German and British cinema). His right hand man is Marius Goring (a veteran British actor). Goring's secretary is the blond Sabina Sesselman.
The story proceeds by complexity and not revealing all the personal relationships until close to the end. There are some other characters to keep track of. There is Klaus Kinski, a young man who was taken in by Lieven and is devoted to him. Lieven's chauffeur comes and goes. At the Cosmos Club, the manager is a shady character (Peter Illing). His chief entertainer and co-helper is blond Ingrid van Bergen. She does an entertaining burlesque kind of song routine at one point. The way that the story is told is through showing what these characters are up to yet without revealing too much of what their actual relationships are. Instead of a coherent plot development or focusing on a hero, in the usual story-telling way, we get successive scenes not as well connected and tending to raise questions in our minds as we try to decipher it all. The idea is to throw us off the track as to who is doing what.
All the krimis I've seen so far are good light entertainment. They are not deep into theme or character. They're basically murder mysteries enhanced by the music, photography and sometimes the sets. The later ones in color use that to good effect. They vary in how much suspense they build up. They also vary in how oddball the villains are.
Overall, this one seems a bit jumbled and below par for the series in continuity, but not enough to worry about. It had some nice location work in Piccadilly Circus.
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