When a wealthy man dies, his avaricious relatives look forward to inheriting all his money. However, he leaves a provision in his will that they all must spend a week together in his castle... See full summary »
A serial killer named The Shark is terrorizing London by killing his victims with a speargun and then, dressed in a scruba-diver's wetsuit, using the city's sewer tunnels to make his ... See full summary »
Several employees on a nobleman's estate show up at a former abbey, reputed to be haunted, to search for a hidden treasure. Howver, a mysterious hooded figure begins killing off those who may have figured out where the treasure is hidden.
Franz Josef Gottlieb
Both Scotland Yard and an amateur American sleuth are tracking a master criminal known as The Frog. This moniker refers to the bulging-eyed mask worn by the evildoer, and is reflected by ... See full summary »
Elfie von Kalckreuth,
The sister of a famous, but as yet uncaught, criminal named The Hexer is murdered. Inspector Higgins of Scotland Yard believes that The Hexer will surface to take his revenge on his ... See full summary »
A strange, red circle appears on the neck of a man saved from the guillotine. What is its mysterious meaning? Tragically, it turns out to be something of a family curse, as each generation ... See full summary »
I have still barely scraped the surface of the popular "Krimi" thrillers made in Germany between the late 1950s and the early 1970s; this one atypically, a British co-production filmed simultaneously (on location in London) in both languages is, however, easily among the better entries that I have come across. The reasons for this are mainly due to an above-average cast that includes regulars Joachim Fuchsberger and Klaus Kinski, along with the likes of Christopher Lee, Marius Goring, Albert Lieven and Walter Gotell, and the striking monochrome cinematography by the renowned Desmond Dickinson (though the credit titles are appealingly displayed in red).
The expected murder sequences are reasonably well-staged (though an old-wheelchair-bound-woman-falling-downstairs bit is entirely gratuitous!) one of them, occurring at night in the busy Piccadilly Circus area, is especially evocative of a classic Hitchcockian set-piece; eroticism, another gene requisite, is briefly touched upon here in a titillating nightclub act. By the way, the film was only the second effort I have watched from this director, and the result is certainly a more substantial achievement than CAVE OF THE LIVING DEAD (1964) its chief liability being the unconvincing screams from the various female victims/damsels-in-distress throughout!
The complex Edgar Wallace (from whose extensive work and that of his son, Bryan Edgar, all these flicks were derived) plot involves the ostensibly harmless importing of the titular flower serving as a front for heroin smuggling; twists relating to the identity of two of its principal characters are belatedly, yet effectively, incorporated into the fray. On the trail of the culprits are airline investigator Fuchsberger and Oriental sleuth Lee (coming across like a more ruthless Charlie Chan complete with a steady flow of aphorisms, at one point causing a woman particularly unreceptive to his genial wit exclaiming "Sod off, Confucius!" to his face).
Actually, it is amusing to note how the film plays havoc with nationalities where Germans are not only made to pass off as English, but the only true Brit on hand (albeit speaking in fluent German for the duration) is saddled with an Asian countenance! As for Kinski, he surprisingly plays it cool for the most part with his signature intensity only emerging at the climax. Interestingly, too, Goring, Lee and Lieven would be reteamed for next year's similarly-titled British espionage thriller THE DEVIL'S AGENT (a recent viewing in my continuing marathon of Lee movies). Incidentally, I recall coming across a small poster of this in an old film scrapbook of my Dad's many years ago under its British moniker...since it was later retitled DAFFODIL KILLER for U.S. consumption.
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