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Die Blaue Hand

The Creature with the Blue Hand
The Bloody Dead

West Germany 1967
produced by
Horst Wendlandt, Fritz Klotsch (executive) for Rialto Film
directed by Alfred Vohrer
starring Klaus Kinski, Harald Leipnitz, Carl Lange, Ilse Steppat, Hermann Lenschau, Diana Körner, Gudrun Genest, Albert Bessler, Richard Haller, Ilse Pagé, Fred Haltiner, Siegfried Schürenberg, Peter Parten, Thomas Danneberg, Heinz Spitzner
screenplay by Herbert Reinecker (as Alex Berg), based on the novel The Blue Hand by Edgar Wallace, music by Martin Böttcher

Rialto's Edgar Wallace cycle, Edgar Wallace made in Germany

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD