(Review originally written at 18 January 2008)

This is still a perfectly watchable Dr. Mabuse entry but unfortunately it's mainly the story this time that prevents this movie from being amongst the best in the long series of Dr. Mabuse movies, that started in 1922 with Fritz Lang's "Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit" and ended in 1972 with Jesus Franco's "Dr. M schlägt zu" (unless you also count the unofficial 1990 entry "Dr. M".).

Wolfgang Preiss reprises his role as Dr. Mabuse for the third time and the character Joe Como and the actor portraying him, Lex Barker, from the previous Dr. Mabuse-entry "Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse" return in this movie again. It's a much needed presence since there isn't much that's connecting this movie with the previous entries. Perhaps it has to do with the lack of the presence of Dr. Mabuse in this movie and the absence of Gert Fröbe that this movie isn't as good as the previous entries.

It also is quite confusing again that actors from previous Dr. Mabuse return in this movie but in totally different roles.

The story just isn't much good or special this time, which is the main reason why this movie is unfortunately not as good as any of the other previously released Dr. Mabuse movies. There is no real criminal master-plan by Dr. Mabuse this time, at least nothing too solid or believable. The first part of the movie is just about an invisible man who spies and scares a girl. Oh that crook! This is not what in essence the original Dr. Mabuse were all about. I also don't think that Fritz Lang would had been too happy with this movie. Yes, of course the movie does get better as it progresses though.

The series sort of choose its own path during the '60's and it turned more into a funky typical '60's crime production. Sort of more like the James Bond movies, so to speak. Nothing wrong with this approach of course but you can wonder of it was the right approach for Dr. Mabuse movies, that in its earliest entries were still full with surrealism and were actually more horror movies then crime-mysteries.

There also is a lack of mystery and thriller elements this time. At times it even feels like the movie is more like a comedy. Like always, it's kept a mystery throughout the movie who is Dr. Mabuse, even though he is being portrayed again by the same actor who played him 2 times before. Quite silly of course.

Nothing too bad, just not as good when being compared to any of the previous Dr. Mabuse movies.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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