Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DR. MABUSE VS SCOTLAND YARD

Possessed by Dr. Mabuse: Walter Rilla
DR. MABUSE VS SCOTLAND YARD (aka Scotland Yard jagt Dr. Mabuse/1963). Director: Paul May.

Although the evil criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse (Wolfgang Preiss) has died, his spirit has taken over the mind of sanitarium director, Professor Pohland (Walter Rilla). Therefore there is a new Dr. Mabuse afoot, one who is determined to take over the British government. To that end he enlists the aid of Ernest (Wolfgang Lukschy), whom he helps escape from police and who gets a new face. Ernest and others steal a device invented by Professor Merton (uncredited) -- this can take over the minds of anyone the device is trained upon and turn them into Mabuse's slaves. Fighting Mabuse are Inspector Vulpius (Werner Peters), and agent Bill Tern (Peter van Eyck), who lives with his feisty mother, Gwendolyn (Agnes Windeck). There are assorted plots and counter-plots; successful and abortive assassinations; the kidnapping of a princess (Ruth Wilbert) and Bill's steady, Nancy (Sabine Bethmann); a train robbery and a copter chase; but none of this is very interesting or handled with any real suspense or excitement. Along with van Eyck, Klaus Kinsiki is another familiar face as an agent who is temporarily mind-controlled by Mabuse. An interesting touch is how "Mabuse," once captured, is just a harmless, pitiful old man after the master criminal's spirit has left his body. This is a sequel to The Terror of Dr. Mabuse. Peter van Eyck also appeared in The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse but played a different character. Mabuse would return. By this time the Mabuse films had turned into nominal spy pictures with Mabuse in the place of, say, Dr. No.

Verdict: Manages the amazing feat of making Mabuse very dull. *1/2.


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