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Clue of the Twisted Candle

UK 1960
produced by
Jack Greenwood for Merton Park Studios
directed by Allan Davis
starring Bernard Lee, David Knight, Francis De Wolff, Colette Wilde, Christine Shaw, Stanley Morgan, A.J. Brown, Richard Caldicot, Edmond Bennett, Simon Lack, Anthony Baird, Gladys Henson, Alfred Maron, Richard Vernon, Harry Locke, Roy Purcell, Kenneth Fortescue
screenplay by Philip Mackie, based on the novel by Edgar Wallace, music by Francis Chagrin

Merton Park Studios' Edgar Wallace Mysteries

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Karadis (Francis De Wolff), a rich and ruthless man, forces Viney (Richard Vernon), one of the men in his power, to write a blackmail letter to Lexman (David Knight) and equips him with an unloaded gun to collect the money. Then he visits Lexman, who turns out to be a good friend of his, lets Lexman tell him about the blackmail letter, then provides him with a loaded gun to take care of things. Things come as expected, Lexman shoots Viney dead when he comes to collect, and when Lexman implicates Karadis' involvement, Karadis denies everything, and Lexman is convicted to life in prison. Superintendent Meredith (Bernard Lee) starts to investigate, and soon discovers Karadis is knee-deep in shit. And to prove Karadis' involvement, Meredith figures it might be best to release Lexman from jail, but before he can be released legally, he makes a successful breakout - but a few days later writes Meredith he wants to give himself up, and even sets a time and date up for it. And when he presents himself to Meredith, the Superintendent receives a call from Karadis' direct line. And at Karadis' place, they find him killed, but what's weird is that he has bolted himself in, and hasn't had a visitor, an eccentric explorer, since a few hours ago. But he halso finds two burnt down candles out of place, one right beneath the bolt, the other by the phone receiver - and of course, ultimately all points to the explorer who has created the illusion of Karadis bolting himself in and picking up the phone with a direct line to Scotland Yard using the candles ... and the explorer was of course Lexman in disguise, who actually was not quite as innocent as it seemed but Karadis partner in his blackmailing operations, but whom Karadis wanted out of the way and had thus tricked into a murder ...

 

A very straight-forward Edgar Wallace mystery with all the gimmickry and far-fetched plot devices you'd come to expect from the man in place, but told in a straightforward way to appease to the roughly 60 minute running time - and the result is a very functional movie somewhat let down by its no-frills direction but elevated by a strong ensemble. Basically, it's ok genre entertainment, but nothing you won't have forgotten in a couple of days.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD