Krimi Korral #1

Das Indische Tuch, aka The Indian Scarf, 1963 (Vohrer).  That’s Klaus Kinski under the plaster, by the way.

The Edgar Wallace Krimis were German crime films of the 60s (and a little 50s and a little 70s), derived from Edgar Wallace stories (plus some from his son Bryan).  I’ve never read a one of these, but they certainly moved copies back in the day.  They mostly faded from print in America but remained quite common and popular in several other countries, Germany most conspicuously.  They were mystery/thrillers, sometimes featuring a madman killer, or an evil genius, or some sort of locked house Ten Little Indiansish thing about secret wills and murdering one’s way to an inheritance.  Some of the masked villains would have fit in just swell in a Scooby Doo cartoon. 

There were quite a few cheap english-language film adaptations in the 30s and 40s, but this 60s German incarnation featured jazzy scores, a rotating cadre of detective heroes, a dash of naughty/bloody luridness and a fair amount of fourth wall-breaking humor, of the sort that would eventually find a happy home in The Avengers.  The genre seems to be a substantial tributary to (and die in favor of) the Italian black-gloved killer giallos of the 70s.  To learn more, do check out, which has some nice English-language information.  Also have a look at Video Watchdog #134, where Kim Newman has a lengthy, just-the-facts-ma’am rundown of 8 DVD boxes worth of Rialto Studios Edgar Wallace Krimis.

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