The Creature with the Blue Hand (1967)

aka Die blaue Hand
Article 3235 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-28-2010
Posting Date: 6-23-2010
Directed by Alfred Vohrer and Samuel M. Sherman
Featuring Harald Leipnitz, Klaus Kinski, Carl Lange
Country: West Germany
What it is: Edgar Wallace mystery

One of a pair of twin brothers is committed to an asylum for the murder of the family gardener. When he is mysteriously helped to escape, he returns to his family home and takes up the identity of his twin brother, who has disappeared. But someone is now killing off the family members with a blue gauntlet of retractable razor-sharp blades. Is the twin being framed…?

One of my memories from my childhood was seeing a big ad in the newspaper for a drive-in double feature of BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT and CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND; for some reason, that ad haunted me. I finally got to see the first feature this year for the first time, and was quite disappointed. This, the second feature, I’d first seen years ago when it popped up on my local creature feature; I remember being a little disappointed that there was no real creature, (just someone using that blue gauntlet), but certain scenes in the movie did stick with me. It was only later that I knew the movie was part of the West German krimis of the sixties, and it is the first one I ever saw. I think this one holds up all right, especially if you’re familiar with krimis and know what to expect; the plot is overall confusing, but individual moments work well enough. Most memorable here are the blue hand attacks, and a scene in an asylum involving snakes and rats. The comic relief is subtler than usual here, with an odd butler and a pompous police inspector the primary sources. Years later, extra footage involving cannibalism would be grafted onto the movie by Samuel M. Sherman, an idea which certainly could not have improved the movie at all. All in all, I consider this one of the more enjoyable examples of the krimi form.

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