THE INVISIBLE DR. MABUSE (1962)
aka Die unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr. Mabuse
Article 4331 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Harald Reinl
Featuring Lex Barker, Karin Dor, Siegfried Lowitz
Country: West Germany
What it is: Dr. Mabuse thriller
A gang of criminals is after something known as Operation X, and an FBI agent is sent abroad to stop them. He comes to the conclusion that the mastermind is none other than Dr. Mabuse, who was believed to be dead.
I’ve never been quite sure just what defines the “krimi” films from Germany in the sixties, so I’m not quite sure whether the Dr. Mabuse films were actually part of that genre or not, since they’re not based on the works of Edgar Wallace. They are, however, pretty much in the same style as the krimis, and often shared the same casts and directors. In general, the Dr. Mabuse films were better than the usual run of the krimis; they were much easier to follow, and Mabuse himself was a fascinating villain. This isn’t one of the stronger of the Mabuse films, as Mabuse doesn’t come across as quite as much of a clever threat as he does in some of the others. It is, however, much heavier on the fantastic content, as invisibility plays a major role in the storyline of this one. The plot also involves an operetta of the French revolution, an evil Clown (yeah, I know, that’s redundant), a nasty torture sequence, and a badly mutilated scientist to add to the mix. It’s fairly light on the humor this time round, with no painfully obvious comic relief character. All in all, this one is moderately entertaining, though I will point out that the English title is inaccurate, as Dr. Mabuse himself never really becomes invisible.