The Secret of the Black Widow (1963)

aka Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe
Article 3975 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 7-10-2012
Directed by Franz Josef Gottlieb
Featuring O.W. Fischer, Karin Dor, Klaus Kinski
Country: West Germany / Spain
What it is: Pseudo-krimi

Years ago, several members of a Mexican expedition came back rich, but with one of their members having died, supposedly due to the bite of a black widow spider. Now someone is picking off the surviving members of the expedition with poison darts shaped like black widow spiders. Could the culprit be the daughter of the man who never returned…?

You know you’ve become pretty familiar with a certain movie genre and style when you can watch an example of it and know that it’s made by other people than the ones you usually see. Granted, I always have to check to make sure; most of the krimis came from Rialto, and this one came from Germania. Despite the presence of some familiar krimi faces (most notably Klaus Kinski in a rare good guy role), the feel is different. For one thing, the plot is noticeably straightforward. Still, it is rather nice not to have to struggle to follow the story, as I have to do with some of the others, and the comic relief character is used rather sparingly. Unfortunately, the dubbing is a little weak, and it runs too long, which is especially noticeable during a somewhat protracted climax. Once again, the fantastic content is rather light; the method of murder has a slight horror feel to it, but that’s about all. This one is a mixed bag.


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