A skeleton costume and scorpion venom in another over the top Edgar Wallace adaptation!
You can say what you want about crime writer Edgar Wallace, but one thing you can never fault is his imagination - and here, once again, director Alfred Vohrer has created a brilliantly entertaining film from one of Wallace's over the top novels. This film features all the things that make the Krimi genre great; from the refined atmosphere all the way down to the bizarre plot line. The film's most striking element is undoubtedly the murderer, who wears a skeleton costume and a bowler hat; echoing the lead character in Umberto Lenzi's cool comic book crime flick Kriminal. The plot focuses on the death of a man named Sir Oliver. There is a disruption at his funeral when there are reports of the corpse laughing; and soon after his brother Sir Cecil (apparently quite a noble family) begins to believe that Sir Oliver has come back from the dead and it's not long before several people are being picked off by a skeleton costume-wearing killer with a bizarre murder weapon! Naturally, Scotland Yard looks into the deaths...
The thing I like most about this genre is the style, and director Alfred Vohrer has once again ensured that his film is memorable. The atmosphere on display in this film is simply stunning; the vibrant colour scheme is striking while the lighting is very well used. The plotting, as ever, is slightly confusing; although there is not as many subplots in this film as there have been in other Edgar Wallace outings. The killer is a real masterpiece creation; the suit does look slightly silly, but the way that the killer silently creeps around and the way that the mouth moves on the costume are really great. The murder weapon is another original idea; instead of using a gun or a knife like other murderers, this one uses a ring with a scorpion's tail that delivers the victim with a dose of deadly (and undetectable!) poison. The film plods along nicely for most of its running time and we eventually boil down to the ending; which is completely confusing to say the least. Still, while this is not the best of the genre; it's still a very effective little film and I'm sure Krimi fans will enjoy it!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?