Creature with the Blue Hand

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"Fear will grip you by the throat when the evil hand KILLS...KILLS...KILLS"
  • NR
  • 1967
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 6.0  (880)

"Creature with the Blue Hand" is a West German murder mystery thriller directed by Alfred Vohrer, which was released in 1967. This film is an adaptation of Edgar Wallace's 1925 novel "The Blue Hand," which had previously inspired other cinematic works. Packed with suspense, intrigue, and a series of chilling incidents, the movie invites the audience into a world of aristocratic entanglements and dark family secrets.

The central figure of the narrative is Dave Emerson, portrayed with a nervy edginess by the unmistakable Klaus Kinski, an actor known for his intense and often eerie performances. Kinski's capability to embody dual roles offers the plot a twisting complexity, as he takes on the characters of twin brothers with a tumultuous history. The Emerson estate, the story's backdrop, becomes a character in itself with its brooding atmosphere and the feeling of unease that it perpetuates throughout the film.

Harald Leipnitz stars as the dashing protagonist, Inspector Craig, who is tasked with unwinding the tangled skein of lies and deceit that overshadows the Emerson family. His cool-headed approach to the investigation becomes a focal point as he delves deeper into the intricate web, ensuring the audience remains on the edge of their seats.

Carl Lange steps in as Sir John, the patriarch of the Emerson family, whose stern demeanor and enigmatic actions add layers to the already convoluted familial conflicts. His presence in the film reinforces the Gothic elements that pervade this thriller, amplifying the suspense as the story unfolds.

As the film begins, the audience is introduced to the twins, one of whom has been institutionalized due to concerns regarding his mental health and his potential to pose a danger to those around him. The other twin carries the weight of a family curse, and suspense builds as to how these narratives might converge. When a series of gruesome murders begins, with each victim found with a blue hand placed by their corpse — a calling card of an alleged ancestral ghost — the plot spirals into dramatic twists and turns.

The police and Inspector Craig must not only uncover the identity of the murderer but also disentangle the motivations behind these disturbing crimes. As the narrative progresses, it is infused with the hallmark shades of Giallo - Italian-style murder mysteries famed for their mix of horror and crime - with the shadow-haunted manor, enigmatic scrolls, secret passageways, and the pervasive threat of inherited psychosis.

The lighting and cinema photography are noteworthy, with the use of shadows and filters to create an atmosphere that oscillates between claustrophobic fear and an eerie sense of impending doom. Coupled with a haunting score that accentuates the film's gothic horror elements, "Creature with the Blue Hand" manages to capture the essence of Wallace's original work while delivering it in a remarkably visual and aural manner befitting its time.

Despite the evident campiness that might seem expected of the period's genre films, "Creature with the Blue Hand" holds its ground with a certain earnestness. Instead of compromising on the gravitas of Wallace's story, the film embraces the diverse facets of the murder-mystery - from psychological drama to thrilling chase - with a serious tone that honors the time-tested tropes of genre classics while also providing a form of period-piece escapism.

Moreover, "Creature with the Blue Hand" is marked by its character-driven plot; despite being steeped in sensational situations, the film gives considered attention to its characters' personal motivations and feelings. Every suspect has a backstory that adds depth and further intrigue to the central mystery. The peculiarities of each individual in the story create a tapestry of relationships that the audience must piece together for a fuller picture of the crimes committed.

The movie itself acts as a capsule of its time, evoking the style and mood of the 1960s German cinema which often took liberties in mixing elements of suspense thrillers with gothic and even grotesque horror. The colorful palette contrasts with the darker narrative elements and the sartorial and set designs provide a visually rich context that is indicative of the time in which it was made.

Overall, "Creature with the Blue Hand" provides an exemplar of classic German thrillers. With impressive performances, particularly by Klaus Kinski, a story wrapped with familial intrigue, and a touch of the supernatural, the film engages fans of murder mysteries and vintage cinema with a puzzle that is as much about the darkness of the human psyche as it is about the eerie environment in which it takes place. Viewers watch, transfixed, as the gripping tale of murder, madness, and the macabre unfolds in the ominous shadow of the blue hand.

Creature with the Blue Hand
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (880)