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Dr. M schlägt zu

The Vengeance of Doctor Mabuse
La Venganza del Doctor Mabuse / El Doctor Mabuse / Der Mann, der sich Mabuse nannte

West Germany/Spain 1972
produced by
Artur Brauner, Ignacio Gutiérrez-Solana, Karl Heinz Mannchen (executive) for Fénix Cooperativa Cinematográfica, Copercines, Telecine/CCC Filmkunst
directed by Jess Franco
starring Fred Williams, Jack Taylor, Ewa Strömberg, Roberto Camardiel, Siegfried Lowitz, Moisés Augusto Rocha, Gustavo Re, Eva Garden, Ángel Menéndez, Friedrich Joloff, Beni Cardoso, Jess Franco, Andrés Monales, Guillermo Méndez, Linda Hastreiter, Monica Swinn
story by Art Bern (= Artur Brauner), Jess Franco, screenplay by Jess Franco, music by David Khune (= Jess Franco)

Dr. Mabuse

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Mabuse (Jack Taylor) has his gang steal a busload of moon rock he needs to brainwash people into obedience to ... well, rule the world I suppose. He also has his second in command Leslie (Beni Cardoso) and his disfigured mute brute Andros (Moisés Augusto Rocha) kidnap a girl to try to brainwash her ... but it only kills her. Back to the drawing board for Mabuse of course, but the problem is that stripper Jenny (Ewa Strömberg) has witnessed the kidnapping and now tells (ineffective) country sheriff Thomas (Fred Williams), who soon decides it's best to shadow Jenny because she might be kidnapped by Mabuse's gang ... and she's still kidnapped by Leslie, then brainwashed by Mabuse (successfully, too) and sent out as bait. Soon Mabuse knows that Dr Orloff (Siegfried Lowitz), pretty much the only one intelligent enough to seriously spar with him, has picked up his trail, so Mabuse has Orloff killed and his niece Wanda (Eva Garden) kidnapped. And while sheriff Thomas's investigations still make no headway whatsoever, Andros falls in love with Wanda and now kills everyone standing in the way of this love, including Mabuse and Leslie. And then he sets Mabuse's hideout on fire too. Sheriff Thomas arrives only eventually, and probably drawn to the flames more than anything else, but he manages to shoot Andros dead and bring the whole thing to a wholly happy ending ...

 

Even though this film has its tongue firmly in cheek, enjoyably plays with pulp clichees, does feature some great camerawork that among other things proves how much Jess Franco could get out of even remotely interesting architecture, and how he understood how to set up unusual shots, this is not one of Franco's better ones. Basically, action and espionage was not the genre he felt most comfortable in (at least as long as there was no abundant nudity involved), and the whole thing is just too low budgeted to tell a story of its scope. Sure, at least the Jess Franco fan (me included) will find something interesting every here and there, but that's just not enough to make a really interesting movie.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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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
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD