Hand of Power (1968)

aka Im Banne des Unheimlichen

Article 3687 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-3-2011
Posting Date: 9-18-2011
Directed by Alfred Vohrer
Featuring Joachim Fuchsberger, Siw Mattson, Wolfgang Kieling
Country: West Germany
What it is: Krimi

A killer dressed in a skeleton outfit is murdering heirs to the estate of an English lord. Rumors claim that the killer may be the dead Lord himself… returned as a zombie!

I rapidly found myself losing track of the plot of this Edgar Wallace mystery, due to a plethora of characters that make a checklist practically necessary to follow the thing. Still, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. This is one of the krimis that emphasizes humor, not so much through the intrusion of a specific comic relief character but through the general tone of the script, and there’s actually a lot of fun and amusing lines in the movie. It also helps that the killer’s skeleton costume is genuinely creepy, especially when he opens his mouth, and his method of murder (he injects venom into his victims with a scorpion-tail ring) is also effective. The movie has a very striking beginning in which pallbearers drop a coffin after a hideous laugh issues from it. I definitely found this one a lot of fun.


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