Der Joker (1987)

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Several known criminals already have been murdered by a professional killer, leaving no trace but the "ace" game card. The police suspects a new mob is trying to take over the district. The... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Maffay ...
Jan Bogdan
Daniela Santini
Bernard Freyd ...
Mario Santini
Massimo Ghini ...
Toni Blach
Karl Merkatz ...
Josef Blach
Elke Krings ...
Theresa Blach
Serge Gart
Joachim Dietmar Mues ...
Salz (as Joachim D. Mues)
Marquard Bohm ...
András Gönczöl ...
Werner Pochath ...
Monica Bleibtreu ...
Cilly (as Monika Bleibtreu)
Uwe Hacker ...
Klaus Bueb ...
Klaus Stiglmeier ...
1. Zuhälter


Several known criminals already have been murdered by a professional killer, leaving no trace but the "ace" game card. The police suspects a new mob is trying to take over the district. The investigating police officer Jan is victimized by a bomb himself, when he's at his girlfriend Daniela's father's Italian restaurant. Although paralyzed and suspended from work, the tuff cop continues to investigate and takes revenge on the gangsters who did this to him. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thriller | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

15 October 1987 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Lethal Obsession  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Burning Bridges
Performed by Tony Carey
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User Reviews

Hard German revenge thriller
3 May 2004 | by (Hamburg, Germany) – See all my reviews

Peter Maffay is not the guy you expect to see in a hard-boiled detective revenge movie. The Romanian-born greasy ballad singer with a certain pseudo-rock and macho image who is a big music star in Germany for 35 years now tried a step into the movies with this German crime movie from 1987.

Maffay plays Jan Bogdan, a police detective in Hamburg who becomes seriously hurt during a bomb attack in a restaurant by a brutal killer gang. His good friend has been killed, and Bogdan is bound to the wheelchair now. Filled with anger and thirst for revenge he quits the police and kills his opponents one by one until he finds the heads of the gang... of course there's a good buddy involved, too, and a well-looking dark-haired seduction that both guys are falling in love with, some corrupt policemen, conspiracies, brutal henchmen with black gloves, assassinations, killings, showdowns etc.

The direction of crime movie veteran Peter Patzak is well done, but shows some boring lengths in the middle of the plot. The script combines elements of seventies crime action with hard-boiled detective stories, revenge dramas, Italian giallos and mafia movies and of course a lot of bad 80's hard rock ballads... the cast is fine with Tahnee Welch as the sexy girlfriend and first class actors like Armin Mueller-Stahl, Michael York and Elliot Gould (all of them playing bad guys here).

Only the choice of Peter Maffay was a big misstep, as his range of acting is limited to the face expressions of a goldfish. Bearing his never changing forced macho style all the time and especially listening to his bad way of stumbling his dialogues together is a pure pain in the ass! Fortunately for movie-goes, Maffay returned only once again on the screens - except for some cameos - in the cliche-ladden adventure drama "Verschollen im Jemen" (Missing in Yemen) in 1999, directed by Patzak, too.

Some more details for movie buffs - the bad soundtrack, consisting of greasy digital keyboard tunes and bad 80's "Scorpions" style hard rock ballads, was composed by Maffay and former Rainbow keyboard player Tony Carey who had a short musical career in Germany 20 years ago. Production assistant Otto Retzer later became the director of the cheesy soap opera "Ein Schloss am Woerthersee" and several b-movie adventures such as the strange "Der schwarze Fluch". A nice movie for Maffay worshippers, but not the big jewel to discover for crime genre and film retro fans.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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