Thursday, March 15, 2007


Dr. Mabuse is back and he's got a mind control movie camera with him!

Taking over the body of Professor Pohland (Walter Rilla), the doctor who declared him dead at the end of THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE, Dr. Mabuse sets about getting his hands on a mind control device being developed by Professor Lawrence. Mabuse frees George Cockstone (Dieter Borsche), a doctor/foreign spy on his way to prison, and gives him a new identity so he can get close to the device.

Once pointed at an unsuspecting person, the mind control camera forces them to kill, rob or even commit suicide (as demonstrated in a ghastly scene that takes place at a prison gallows). After Mabuse and his cronies test the device to their satisfaction they move their base of operations from Germany to the UK in order to take over the British government.

Unfortunately, they weren't counting on Inspector Volpius (Werner Peters, who also starred as Heironymous P. Mistelzweig in THOUSAND EYES OF DR. MABUSE) or Major Turn (Peter Van Eyck who played Peter Travers in that same film), a police major who lives with his cigar smoking, mystery reading mother. Turn had helped bring Cockstone to justice and is keen to put his former capture back behind bars.

Slowly, but surely, Mabuse and Cockstone begin brainwashing people in power, including Volpius and even Inspector Joe Wright of Scotland Yard, played by a young Klaus Kinski. Part of Klaus's early 1960s krimi period, DR. MABUSE VS. SCOTLAND YARD casts him a bit against the type we'd see later in his career. Instead of a red herring, butler or outright villain, Kinski gets to play a good guy and even figures into the film's dramatic, hair-rising finale.

Eventually Volpius and Turn discover the secret to resisting the mind control device's evil effects and bring a squadron of police crashing down on Mabuse's hideout.

Based on the Bryan Edgar Wallace novel 'The Device,' SCOTLAND YARD was the fifth of seven Mabuse films released in the 1960s. Briskly paced and with a fun sci-fi undercurrent to the krimi vibe, this is an entertaining entry in the series.

Unfortunately, there's no official US release and the 80 minute print from Sinister Cinema is missing about ten minutes from the original running time. Perhaps that ten minutes contained some clues about who the hell Nancy is and why she wants to marry Turn at film's end!

Though Kinski doesn't have a whole lot to do other than get hypnotized, look glassy eyed and say stuff like “This isn't a kidnapping. You're going to be killed.”, it was a treat being able to root for him in a heroic role for once.

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