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Der Mann mit dem Glasauge

The Man with the Glass Eye
Terror on Half Moon Street

West Germany 1969
produced by
Horst Wendlandt, Fritz Klotsch (executive) for Rialto
directed by Alfred Vohrer
starring Horst Tappert, Karin Hübner, Hubert von Meyerinck, Stefan Behrens, Fritz Wepper, Ilse Pagé, Christiane Krüger, Ewa Strömberg, Marlies Dräger, Heidrun Hankammer, Friedel Schuster, Rudolf Schündler, Maria Litto, Jan Hendriks, Iris Berben, Harry Wüstenhagen, Kurd Pieritz, Narziß Sokatscheff, Otto Czarski, Harry Riebauer, Tilo von Berlepsch, Franz-Otto Krüger, Klaus Miedel, Berno von Cramm, Günther Tabor, Ligia Lieveld, Jörn Ahrendt, Michael Simon, Gerd Prager
screenplay by Paul Hengge, based on a story by Edgar Wallace, music by Peter Thomas

Rialto's Edgar Wallace cycle, Edgar Wallace made in Germany, Inspector Perkins (Horst Tappert)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Archibald Jefferson (Kurd Pieritz), a championship pool player, is found murdered in his hotel room, and the only clue Scotland Yard inspector Perkins (Horst Tappert) and his assistant Pepper (Stefan Behrens) have leads to a dancing troupe, the Las Vegas Girls, where Jefferson's sweetheart Leila (Heidrun Hankammer) is one of the dancers - but once Perkins arrives she has already been murdered. Another clue leads to one of the best pool halls in town, which Perkins finds out is also a heroin hub, with the stuff being delivered to its street level dealers in billiard cues. But of course, when the police raids the place, all incriminating evidence has been removed, and it ends in a giant brawl, at the end of which, chief of Scotland Yard Sir Arthur (Hubert von Meyerinck) has his own men arrested. But Perkins knows he's on the right track so he keeps investigating the pool hall as well as a puppet maker (Rudolf Schündler), who of course is involved but of course ends up dead, as do a few other suspects in the case. And somehow along the way, Perkins figures this isn't about heroin at all but white slavery, and some baddie wants to ship the Las Vegas Girls as well as several other dance troupes to South America to sell them into prostitution. But apparently there's someone who's dead-set against it, the titular "Man with the Glass Eye", an expert knife thrower, who has been decimating Perkins suspects of late ...

In a subplot, young Bruce (Fritz Wepper) has recognized one of the Las Vegas Girls, Nora Wilson (Karin Hübner) as his lover of old, and now tries to win her back. She's hesitant but eventually gives in to him. But when he introduces her to his mom, Lady Sheringham (Friedel Schuster), she's less than pleased and tries to bribe her to leave. Nora, who lets on she knows a little secret about Lady Sheringham, leaves without taking the money and tries to re-join the Las Vegas Girls, but their boss Parker (Harry Wüstenhagen) suddenly recognizes her as a girl he has sold into prostitution once already and tries to use force on her - but eventually is shot dead in a scuffle.

The police knows which ship is going to be taking the Las Vegas Girls to South America, but still take their dear time getting there. The Man with the Glass Eye is much quicker and kills off all the baddies, before facing the mastermind - who turns out to be Lady Sheringham of course, and (also of course) the Man with the Glass Eye is really Nora Wilson. Lady Sheringham manages to kill Nora via a remote controlled machinegun she handily keeps in her cabin on the ship, but is then arrested by the oncoming police, and it's left to Perkins to explain us how "he" solved the case ...

 

Ilse Pagé appears as Sir Arthur's secretary Miss Finley for the last time, whose relationship has grown weirder and weirder over the movies. This is also director Alfred Vohrer's last of no less than 14 Edgar Wallace adaptations. And the film also marks an early collaboration of Horst Tappert and Fritz Wepper, who would team up as inspector and assistant in the long running German krimi TV series Derrick from 1974 to 1998 - several episodes of which were directed by Alfred Vohrer.

 

Now this is another movie that really shows that the German Edgar Wallace series has pretty much run its course: It doesn't offer much resembling an actual plot, seems to rather be pieced together from krimi mainstays, throws sensationalist details in every now and again just for the heck of it, and several scenes are played simply for the laughs (including all of Hubert von Meyerinck's scenes as Sir Arthur), and really key plotpoints that help to make the plot understandable, are only presented in the third act, as if the writer only then realized he had to tie things up.

That's not to say the film is an unbearable mess though, as it's actually good fun to watch, for it's inconsistencies and the occasional "what the fuck"-moment, and it's crafted rather well, with a chase scene involving a rotating stage deserving extra praise. So there's a good chance you might like this, probably not for the right reasons, but there's also a good chance this will make you see why the German Edgar Wallace series had come to an end soon after ...

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
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special appearances by
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directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
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produced by
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