Dead Eyes of London


Director: Alfred Vohrer
Year: 1961
Rating: 6.5
Country: Germany

This is another German Krimi based on an Edgar Wallace novel from 1924 directed by Alfred Vohrer. An earlier version of the book had been produced in 1939 by an English film company that starred Bela Lugosi. To a large extent, the plots of the two films are similar but with a few differences. The main ones being there is no one named Dr. Orloff in this one and as in the book the two villains are two different people, not one in disguise. I would say for three quarters of the running time, this is the better film but the 1939 version had such a great final fifteen minutes that this one just doesn't live up to. And of course, there is no one as malignant as Bela Lugosi here.

Wealthy men are being murdered and dumped into the Thames tied to a block of salt that will eventually dissolve and they will float to the surface. This is important because the killers want the bodies found. Inspector Holt (Joachim Fuchsberger) finds a braille note on two of them saying this was murder. And the men seem to have all been insured by one company. This leads the Inspector to the insurance office where the manager seems respectable enough but we can be sure his assistant is not since he is played by Klaus Kinski who seems to show up in many of these Vohrer films. As do Eddie Arent who is the comic relief - here as Holt's deputy and Ady Berber as the mountain sized blind killer with one white eye. The love interest in this is the lovely Karin Baal who is the braille expert.

This speeds along quite nicely with murders popping up on a regular basis and with so many bad guys - if you hadn't seen the 1939 version - trying to figure out who the main bad guys are would not be a sure thing. Lots of suspicious looking characters. Not as horrific in mood as the first one (in particular the scenes in the Home for the Blind) - more of a police procedural that is quite enjoyable. And scenes taking inside an underground casino, a peephole or the inside of a mouth looking out add to the good vibe of the film.

Posted: 04/19/2020