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Der Teppich des Grauens

The Carpet of Horror
Terror en la Noche / Il Terrore di Notte

West Germany / Spain / Italy 1962
produced by
Alfons Carcasona (executive) for International Germania Film, Época Films, Domiziana Internazionale Cinematografica
directed by Harald Reinl
starring Joachim Fuchsberger, Karin Dor, Eleonora Rossi Drago, Antonio Casas, Fernando Sancho, Roberto Rey, Julio Infiesta, Lorenzo Robledo, Carl Lange, José María Caffarel, Gabriel Llopart, Werner Peters, Marco Guglielmi, Paola Pitagora, Pierre Besari, Lorenz Rohleder, Raffael Wacker
screenplay by Felix Lützkendorf, Helmut Harun, based on the novel by Louis Weinert-Wilton, music by Francesco De Masi

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somebody's killing rich people using balls filled with poisoned gas, and even though the gas can be traced back to India, police inspectors Burns (Julio Infiesta) and Webster (Marco Guglielmi) are baffled. In the meantime, Harry Raffold (Joachim Fuchsberger) desparately tries to hit it off with Ann (Karin Dor), even though she's not in the least bit interested. But then her uncle (Roberto Rey) at whose mansion she lives is murdered, and she spots Raffold at the scene of the crime - but doesn't turn him over to the police. Meanwhile, Raffold receives a call from a person unknown to put up camp at Mabel Hughes' (Eleanora Rossi Drago) pension, which he does, to meet Colonel Gregory (Carl Lange), whom he almost immediately suspects of being the baddie of the piece. Eventually, it's revealed that Ann is the sole heiress of her uncle's vast fortune, and she's immediately arrested as a suspect in his murder, and so is Raffold - until it turns out he's a Secret Service agent of course, on the trail of whoever it is who poisons others with gas-filled balls.

What only slowly is revealed is that all those murdered are members of a criminal organisation that once operated in India but has since relocated to London, and it's led by a person unknown. Crayton (Werner Peters), one of the higher up members of the organisation, wants to take over from that unknown boss, and this causes quite a bit of a stir-up, and eventually even Ann is drawn into this and gets kidnapped, but then Crayton is gassed, Raffold gets a tip-off as to where to find Ann, Colonel Gregory turns out to be another Secret Service man, and in the finale none other than Mabel Hughes is revealed as the big boss - and of course, ultimately she has to go out by means of one of her own gas-filled balls ...

 

With the success of Rialto's Edgar Wallace cycle, which turned the krimi genre into box office gold, it was only natural that other production companies would field the bookshelves for popular crime fiction authors - and one of them was Louis Weinert-Wilton, who like Edgar Wallace didn't live to see the resurgence of his novels in post war Germany (he died 1945) but his books were still in print back when. This first adaptation of one of his novels is really made to look and feel like just another Edgar Wallace movie though, to the point that Harald Reinl, then resident director of the series, and known Wallace-faces Joachim Fuchsberger and Karin Dor were hired to give the film a feeling of familiarity.

All that of course says little about the actual quality of the film - and really while it's a lively mystery movie, it's a very routine effort from Reinl, not helped by a screenplay that has only little new to offer. Not a trainwreck mind you, and entertaining enough for roughly an hour and a half, but nothing to write home about.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD