(1964) Hansjorg Felmy, Ann Smyrner, Hans Nielson, Walter Rilla. Mystery at the track! A well-known thoroughbred is slain by a rival horse owner. Soon jockeys are being murdered by a ... See full summary »
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 »
(1963) Karin Dor, Joachim Fuchsberger, Horst Frank. One of the most sought-after Edgar Wallace films. A mysterious master detective, whose face is never seen, tries to stop a massive plot against the free world.
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
Despite the noticeable absence of series regulars Eddie Arent and Klaus Kinski, this is another solid entry in the long-running Edgar Wallace (or in this case, son Bryan) krimi series, and probably the most action-packed. Unlike the playfully gimmicky Alfred Vohrer, director Harald Reinl (an acknowledged Fritz Lang disciple) preferred to play his material straight, emphasising action and violence. The proceedings are highlighted by surprisingly gruesome assaults and murders (decapitation being a specialty here), but to his credit, Reinl filled in the edges with imaginative touches, eccentric behaviour by oddball characters, and quirky humour (the knock-out by moosehead would have pleased Vohrer immensely). The cheekiest Langian homage is the M inscribed on the victims' foreheads, but there are plenty of other visual and thematic tropes that smack of the master's influence (it was Reinl who took over Lang's Mabuse franchise at about the same time as this picture). For instance, one minor character, a henpecked clerk, insists that he could definitely tell that the suspect who phoned him was a blonde by her voice (wink-wink), prompting a withering look from his wife. The moody b&w cinematography is often striking, and the creepy modernist score is effective and memorable. The director's statuesque wife and regular leading lady, Karin Dor, is disappointingly mousy in her role, but Ingmar Zeisberg steals the show as a sultry, unnatural-blonde barmaid at a sleazy Soho cabaret who leads a double life. Only the final revelation of the murderer is a bit of letdown, but that was par for the course.
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