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Der Zinker

The Squeaker

West Germany 1963
produced by
Horst Wendlandt for Rialto
directed by Alfred Vohrer
starring Heinz Drache, Barbara Rütting, Günter Pfitzmann, Jan Hendriks, Inge Langen, Agnes Windeck, Wolfgang Wahl, Siegfried Wischnewski, Siegfried Schürenberg, Albert Bessler, Heinz Spitzner, Erik von Loewis, Stanislav Ledinek, Winfried Groth, Eddi Arent, Klaus Kinski, Michael Chevalier
screenplay by Harald G. Petersson, based on the novel by Edgar Wallace, music by Peter Thomas

Rialto's Edgar Wallace cycle, Edgar Wallace made in Germany

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Criminals are dying left and right, and it's all the work of the myserious Squeaker, who's believed to be a fence who has the habit to kill those who refuse to sell to him at a too low price. More often than not, the Squeaker uses the poison of a mamba to take out his prey, sometimes via blow darts, sometimes via the snake itself. This eventually leads Scotland Yard inspector Elford (Heinz Drache) to animal trader Sutton (Günter Pfitzman), who has made exotic animals his specialty. Sutton in turn is engaged to Beryl Stedman (Barbara Rütting), a crime novelist and niece of rich philanthropist Lady Mulford (Agnes Windeck), who runs a charity that among other things helps ex-convicts to reintegrate into society by giving them jobs - among others at Sutton's company. Eventually, one of Sutton's employees, the mute Krishna (Klaus Kinski), is identified as the Squeaker's hitman, and as for the Squeaker, Elford eventually starts to suspect Sutton, who tries to skip country together with Beryl, a plan that's ultimately spoiled by his secretary Millie (Inge Langen), who's then eventually killed by one of Sutton's snakes. In the finale, Lady Mulford invites Sutton over for tea and confronts him with her suspicion that he has driven her husband to suicide - but when Sutton wants to "silence" her for that, he has to realize she has drugged him to hand him over to Scotland Yard for the picking.

Eddi Arent plays a journalist desparate to try to get a job at reluctant Siegfried Schürenberg's newspaper until it's revealed that he's actually the top journalist of the rival paper in town.

 

As is pretty much the rule for German Edgar Wallace movies, this one doesn't make perfect sense. Basically the idea itself that the Squeaker would use snake poison that can easily be traced back to his legal business instead of pretty much anything else borders utter stupidity - but to be quite honest, it's these lacks of reason and other narrative shortcomings that make these movies even more charming. The story of this film as such feels much more like a patchwork of thriller mainstays than anything else, but even though the film, overconvoluted as it might be, is told stringently and with plenty of action and suspense. No classic by any meaning of the word, but a pointless yet fun ride on the nostalgia train.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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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
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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