Mönch mit der Peitsche, Der (1967)

vt The College Girl Murders; vt The Monk with the Whip; vt The Prussic Factor
West Germany, Denmark / 84 minutes / color / Rialto, Preben Philipsen, Constantin Dir: Alfred Vohrer Pr: Horst Wendlandt Scr: Alex Berg (i.e., Herbert Reinecker) Story: The Terror (1927 play) by Edgar Wallace Cine: Karl Löb Cast: Joachim Fuchsberger, Uschi Glas, Siegfried Schürenberg, Grit Böttcher, Konrad Georg, Harry Riebauer, Tilly Lauenstein, Ilse Pagé, Siegfried Rauch, Claus Holm, Günter Meisner, Hans Epskamp, Heinz Spitzner, Jan Hendriks, Rudolf Schündler, Narziss Sokatscheff, Tilo von Berlepsch, Kurt Waitzmann, Suzanne Roquette, Susann Hsiao, Inge Sievers, Ewa Strömberg, Bruno W. Pantel, Kurt Buecheler, Wilhelm Vorwerg.

Monch mit der Peitsch - 0 opener

One of the long series of krimi movies loosely (usually very loosely) based on works by Edgar Wallace and designed to make as little sense as possible. This one seems intended especially to appeal to fans of the Diana Rigg-era The Avengers (1965–8), with touches of Bondesquerie thrown in.

A mad scientist, Cabble (Vorwerg, who was also one of the movie’s art directors), invents a new poison, based on prussic acid, that can used in aerosol form. He demonstrates its efficacy first on rats and then on his hapless assistant (uncredited), in the latter instance using a spraying device concealed within a hollowed-out book. No sooner has he handed over the formula and the device to his unseen paymaster than he is himself murdered—by a monk clad from head to toe in red, complete with KKK-style hood, who wields a bullwhip Indiana Jones-fashion, wrapping the lash around the victims’ throats and then, Continue reading

Blaue Hand, Die (1967)

vt Creature with the Blue Hand
West Germany, Denmark / 87 minutes / color / Rialto, Preben Philipsen, Constantin Dir: Alfred Vohrer Pr: Horst Wendlandt Scr: Alex Berg (i.e., Herbert Reinecker) Story: The Blue Hand, or Beyond Recall (1925) by Edgar Wallace Cine: Ernst W. Kalinke Cast: Harald Leipnitz, Klaus Kinski, Siegfried Schürenberg, Carl Lange, Ilse Steppat, Diana Körner, Hermann Lenschau, Gudrun Genest, Albert Bessler, Richard Haller, Ilse Pagé, Fred Haltiner, Peter Parten, Thomas Danneberg, Heinz Spitzner, Karin Kenklies.

Blaue Hand - 0 opener

But is he?

We open with a court scene in which David Donald “Dave” Emerson (Kinski), son of the third Earl of Emerson, is being sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the estate gardener, Amory (Haller)—a sentence commuted, because of his diagnosed unsoundness of mind, to indeterminate detention in the mental facility run by Dr. Albert Mangrove (Lange). But Dave’s not long there before someone slips a key into his cell; using it, he’s able to make his escape and flee the few miles home to Gentry Hall through the spookily foggy woods. Once there, he goes to the room of his identical twin Richard (also Kinski); finding him absent, Dave purloins a set of his clothes so that he can pass as his brother.

Also in Gentry Hall are Dave’s other brothers Robert (Parten) and Charles (Danneberg) and the youngest sibling, Myrna (Körner), none of whom can believe that Dave is really guilty of the crime for which he was convicted. More enigmatic on the matter are the ex-stripper stepmother of the Continue reading

Case of the Frightened Lady, The (1940)

vt The Frightened Lady; vt The Scarf Murder Mystery

UK / 80 minutes / bw / Pennant, British Lion Dir: George King Pr: S.W. Smith Scr: Edward Dryhurst Story: The Case of the Frightened Lady (1931 play) by Edgar Wallace Cine: Hone Glendinning Cast: Marius Goring, Penelope Dudley Ward, Helen Haye, Felix Aylmer, George Merritt, Ronald Shiner, Patrick Barr, Roy Emerton, George Hayes, John Warwick, Elizabeth Scott, Torin Thatcher.

In a decaying country pile, Mark’s Priory, live the last of the ancient Lebanon lineage, the widowed Lady Lebanon (Haye), her pianist/composer son William “Willie”, Lord Lebanon (Goring), and the latter’s second cousin, Isla Crane (Dudley Ward), who works as Lady Lebanon’s secretary.

There are many peculiarities about the household. For one, the servants are barred from entering the main portion of the house after 8pm, at which time the two sinister footmen Gilder (Emerton) and Brooks (Hayes) take over. For another, the room in which the late Lord Lebanon spent his last years of illness and eventually died is kept permanently locked. A frequent visitor from London is the sinister physician Dr. Lester Charles Amersham (Aylmer), who seems to have some hold over Lady Lebanon and certainly has been extracting large sums of money from her. And someone has just put a bolt on the outside of the bedroom door of Isla Crane—who’s in consequence the (understandably) frightened lady of the title.

The frightened lady . . . with pursuing shadow . . .

Lady Lebanon is urgently intent that her son marry Isla pronto in order to continue the line. Unfortunately for her plans, Continue reading