Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse (1964)

Directors: Hugo Fregonese & Victor De Santis

Starring: Peter van Eyck, O.E. Hasse, Yvonne Furneaux, Rika Dialina, Wolfgang Preiss, Walter Rilla, ernst Schroder, Robert Beatty, Valery Inkijinoff, Dieter Eppler, Claudio Gora, Gustavo Rojo, Massimo Pietrobon, Charles Fawcett, Leo Genn, Yoko Tani

More info: IMDb

Plot: The demon of crime is back, reaching out to steal a new device-- a death ray weapon enabling Dr. Mabuse to wreak new havoc upon the world. British agent Major Bob Anders is sent to the isle of Malta to protect the weapon's inventor, Professor Larson, and must race against time to discover which of the various suspects is really the power-mad Dr. Mabuse.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably.

While I've been aware of the Dr. Mabuse series for a couple of decades I FINALLY got around to watching one of them and I rather dug it.  After watching it I was surprised to see such a low IMDb score.  It's really crazy and fun in that groovy 60s kind of way.  Check out this scene for example.

See?  The whole picture's like that.  Some of the dialogue is really funny.  I can't think of an example but I was laughing quite a bit at some of the throwaway lines people had.  It's almost as if the people recording the English dub were tweaking it to amuse themselves.  Peter van Eyck as Major Anders was a lot of fun.  I would love to see this on a big screen with a packed house.  I'm sure it'd play even better in that environment. 

Since this is the first Mabuse picture I've seen I can't say if the rest of them have this James Bond/spy vibe but I supposed it's possible that one of the earlier flicks had the Eurospy thing down before Bond burst onto the scene in '62.  There's only one way to find out.

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