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Admittedly, the German Edgar Wallace adaptations (and in fact, Edgar
Wallace's novels as well) were all a bit far-fetched, but even bearing
this in mind, this film is something else ...
It starts with a young man, Dave Emerson (Klaus Kinski) being sent to a
mental institution because he (allegedly) killed a gardener, Appleton
(Richard Haller), even though he insists he didn't do it. Soon enough
though, someone helps Dave to escape from the institution - and kills a
few üpeople in the process using a iron glove with claws - the Blue
Hand -, an Emerson family heirloom, so of course everyone including
the police thinks Dave is on another killing spree.
Dave's escape leads to his family's home - which is right where the
cops look first - and to escape arrest, he poses as his identical twin
brother Richard who coincidently has disappeared to god knows where that
very day. Not even Dave's mother (Ilse Steppat), brothers (Peter Parten,
Thomas Danneberg) and his sister Myrna (Diana Körner) can tell he really
isn't Richard, only Scotland Yard Inspector Craig (HArald Leipnitz) looks
through his charade - but he decides not to arrest him when one of Dave's
brother's is murdered when Dave is with him. Instead from now on,
Inspector Craig and Dave - and Sir John (Siegfried Schürenberg), the head
of Scotland Yard - join forces and take up investigations together.
Soon, Dave's other brother is murdered too, his sister is kidnapped,
and trails are leading all over teh place, to the family lawyer (Hermann
Lenschau), to Lady Emerson, to the family butler (Albert Bessler), who
turns out to be Lady Emerson's former husband, and to the head of the
mental institution Dave was held at, Doctor Mangrove (Carl Lange). To top
it all off, the actual killer (the man who swings the Blue Hand) turns out
to be gardener Appleton, the very man Dave at the beginning was supposed
to have murdered.
The mastermind behind everything though turns out to be Dave's own twin
brother Richard, who wanted the entire family inheritance for himself,a nd
thus made up the whole elaborate plan. But of course, Inspector Craig and
Dave manage to stop him ...
Edgar Wallace made in Germany at its best (or worst) an over-convoluted
whodunnit full of false leads, sliding panels, secret passageways, masked
murders, good and evil twins, damsels in distress, unrealistic plottwists,
horror elements - and to top it all off, at the end, a culprit is suddenly
pulled out of the hat. All this makes the film pretty lame, seen as a
murder mystery, but seen as a nostalgic piece of schlock entertainment, it
is good fun at the same time.