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 »
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 »
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 »
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,
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 »
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
Jürgen Roland (who had previously directed two Edgar Wallace Movies himself) was brought in to finish principal photography when the original director, Joseph von Baky, fell heavily ill during production. See more »
After the countess poisoned herself and lies dead on the ground, she can be seen breathing heavily. See more »
West German cinema discovered Edgar Wallace's novels in 1959. The films became sensationally popular and during the next twelve or so years some forty + films were brought to the screen, a number which makes other film serials such as James Bond grow pale with envy. In addition to that, another team began screening the novels of Wallace junior almost immediately. The results are often mixed, but especially the earliest "original" Wallace films are superbly atmospheric crime thrillers.
Both these serials are now released on DVD in Germany. Most of these de luxe editions (4 DVD sets) have only German soundtrack and subtitles, but this film has both optional English soundtrack and subtitles, so obviously it was deemed to be one of the best entries.
The Weird Countess can easily stand in line with the best film noir masterpieces. It builds a nightmarish mood up to the point when the viewer is sickened by not knowing what exactly is going on. It's structurally very well crafted and employs some very good actors - such as the legends of German cinema Marianne Hoppe and Lil Dagover, breathtakingly beautiful at 74. There's also the very young Klaus Kinski, giving a performance you wouldn't want to miss.
It might be somewhat weird to look at Germans acting to be English, but once you get accustomed, this is a highly enjoyable, spooky thriller. The story is quite complicated, so you may find yourself reflecting upon it when it ends quite suddenly, but don't worry, it all adds up.
WARNING: The less you know about these films in advance, the better. There's a short summary on the cover, which already says too much, and I feel very lucky I didn't read it before I began watching the film. Avoid any kind of compendiums.
If you yearn for more supernatural German 1960s sci-fi serial, you might want to check out Dr Mabuse films, also great fun.
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