THE SECRET OF THE BLACK TRUNK (1962)
aka Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Koffer
Article 3050 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-13-2009
Posting Date: 12-20-2009
Directed by Werner Klingler
Featuring Joachim Hansen, Senta Berger, Hans Reiser
Country: West Germany
What it is: Son of Edgar Wallace krimi, with slight horror elements.
A series of knife murders have an odd feature about them; the victims find that their luggage has been packed for them just before their deaths. Scotland Yard investigates, and discover that the murders are linked to an addictive drug called Mescadrine.
I didn’t know that Edgar Wallace’s son also wrote thrillers, but this movie was apparently part of a competing series of krimis that were based on his works. It’s not a bad one, though krimis seem to have the same basic elements; a strange mystery, a confusing story, and a comic relief character are three of the elements that pop up quite a bit. The comic relief character here isn’t too bad; he’s a “soundhound” that goes around recording random sounds, noises, and conversations, and some of the humor comes from the titles he gives each of his sounds. On top of the slight horror elements that usually crop up in these movies, we may have a little science fiction element as well, as I’m not sure whether the drug in question actually exists or is a figment of the author’s imagination. The middle of the movie does get quite confusing, but it sorts itself out towards the end, and the explanations for the murders are not bad. This one was moderately entertaining.