The Death Ray Mirror of Dr. Mabuse (1964)

aka The Secret of Dr. Mabuse, Die Todesstrahlen des Dr. Mabuse
Article 3426 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-21-2010
Posting Date: 12-31-2010
Directed by Hugo Fregonese and Victor De Santis
Featuring Peter van Eyck, O.E.Hasse, Yvonne Furneaux
Country: West Germany / France / Italy
What it is: Mabuse in decline

An espionage agent of the Secret Service is sent to prevent a death ray from falling into the hands of arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse.

This was the final movie of the series of Dr. Mabuse movies from the early sixties, and it is generally considered the worst. I think if you’d wanted a clue that the series was going downhill, you need look no further than the title; the death ray is perhaps the most hackneyed of superweapons, and the fact that this series resorts to its use marks a real lack of imagination. Of course, the decline of the series was inevitable; once the popularity of the James Bond movies had established itself, I would imagine that any series that lent itself to that approach would succumb to being retooled as faux Bond, and sure enough, that’s what we have here. The story is weak and confusing, and lacks any of the charm and imagination of the earlier Mabuse films. For that matter, Mabuse is hardly in it. No wonder the series ended here.

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