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Several murders happen that have something to do with the crime ring of
the thought-dead Dr.Mabuse (Wolfgang Preiss), with an invisible man, with
an operetta-theatre and its leading lady Liane (Karin Dor), and with
Martin Droste's (Werner Peters) transport company.
Commissioner Brahm (Siegfried Lowitz), his assistant Hase (Walo
Lüönd) and the ubiquituous FBI-agent Joe Como (Lex Barker) investigate,
and soon they come up with quite a number of suspects:
There's professor Erasmus, who was horribly disfigured in an accident
but has found a way to render himself invisible, and is this way able to
be near Liane, his true love (even though she has never even met him) all
There's Erasmus' assistant Bardorf (Kurd Bieritz), who seems to be a
bit too loyal to his boss, considering that he hasn't seen him in years
because Erasmus is always either invisible or he hides away in a vault.
There's of course Droste of the transport company.
And there's clown Bobo, who has the uncanny ability to show up in
exactly the wrong moment and intimidate everyone - and who eventually
turns out to be Droste.
Eventually it turns out though that Mabuse is after Erasmus'
invisibility belt which he needs for his plans to conquer the world to
succeed. And to get his hands onto the belt, Mabuse kidnaps Liane, after
which Erasmus finally agrees to hand the belt over.
Mabuse's big plan is to blow up an airplane with world leaders on their
way to an UN-conference in New York, and this plan can apparently only be
put into action by invisible men.
Somehow though the police has learned of Mabuse's plans and sprays his
invisible army with paint, then plucks them one by one.
Mabuse has managed to escape actually, but ultimately he locks himself
inside of Erasmus' vault and blows himself to smithereens ...
Harald Reinl's first Mabuse-film Im
Stahlnetz des Dr.Mabuse was a competently crafted, atmospheric and
entertaining sci-fi-thriller, Die Unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr.Mabuse
on the other hand is nothing short of silly, it looks as if elements of Phantom
of the Opera and The Invisible Man were just
thrown together and mixed up with a conventional crime story even uif such
a recipe is doomed to fail ... which it did.
That said, Die Unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr.Mabuse is not all
bad, it's one of these unintentionally funny German crime thrillers you
find yourself enjoying in a way against better knowledge - so who
knows, you just might find yourself liking this film ...