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

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Dead or only resting? Dr. Mabuse
THE DEATH RAY MIRROR OF DR. MABUSE (aka Die Todesstrahlen des Dr. Mabuse/The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse/1964). Director: Hugo Fregonese.

Following the events of Dr. Mabuse vs. Scotland Yard, Professor Pohland (Walter Rilla) claims that he was forced to do his evil deeds detailed in the last film by the spirit of Dr. Mabuse. There seems to be a new Dr. Mabuse in town, and his adversary this time is Major Bob Anders (Peter van Eyck, who played a different character in the previous film but is basically in the same role as agent). Anders is sent to Malta to protect Professor Larsen (O. E. Hasse), who has invented a deadly "death ray mirror" that is coveted by Mabuse. Anders brings along an old, rather dumb girlfriend named Judy (Rika Dialyna) for cover, and also dallies with Larsen's daughter, Gilda (Yvonne Furneaux), and the Oriental beauty, Mercedes (Yoko Tanio). Other characters are Director Botani (Claudio Gora), the eye-patched Admiral Quency (Leo Genn of Personal Affair), and Gilda's boyfriend, Mario (Gustavo Rojo of Tarzan and the Mermaids), one of whom may be the evil Mabuse. While Death Ray Mirror is better than Scotland Yard, it's still a far cry from a good movie. Like the other sixties Mabuse films, this one is an ersatz Eurospy movie, with all of the usual elements but without the budget and elan to make them come alive in any really entertaining fashion. The "death ray mirror" never really comes into play and has little to do with anything. Peter van Eyck handles the derring do as well as anyone. This is the last of the sixties German Mabuse series, but not the last outing for the bad German doctor.

Verdict: Mabuse deserves better. **.

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