Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DAS GASTHAUS AN DER THEMSE - Martin Böttcher - "Mekka Twist" (1962)

Anybody who has read this blog at all knows I dig a good mystery, but one thing that's not a mystery is that Edgar Wallace is, in my humble opinion, consistently about the best at it, and tonight's installment, "Das Gasthaus An Der Themse" and/or "The Inn On The River" is no exception!!

This shot and the Martin Böttcher theme song pretty much sets the tone for the whole film! Reminds me of Spike Jones, and what's up with that squiggley little trumpet? Wild!!

Whiskey runners and harpoons don't mix!

Released on my birthday in 1962, the sleepy innocuous title "The Inn On The River" should have really been dubbed "The Sleazy Bar And House Of Ill Rupute On The River" and you would have a better idea of what kind of place this really is! It's called "Mekka" and the owner, Nelly Oaks is kind enough to do the entertaining herself! Nelly is singing a little ditty entitled "...Besonders In der Nacht."

Talk about rockin'!

Edgar Wallace regular Elisabeth Flickenschildt has the part of Nelly, and this is the only time she sang in all of her 100 marvelous performances!

Joachim Fuchsberger as Detective Wade is the master of the Cheshire grin, and once again the man responsible for getting to the bottom of this new string of murders committed by a person known only as "The Shark!" Da Dum!!!

Do you recognize this unscrupulous and scroungy looking character? It's Klaus Kinski as whiskey smuggler Gregor Gubanow!! Dungeon icon Klaus is looking particularly dapper in this role!

Big Willy takes over for the musical interlude, and I swear Nelly is flipping Detective Wade off as she exits the room!

Detective Wade is also kind of sweet on Nelly's stepdaughter, Brigitte Grothum as Leila Smith, and a has an incessant need to question her, even down in the cellar, and if he has to go down a coal chute to get there!! Brigitte has worked steadily in Germany, up to and including last year!

I know you've seen big eye shots before in your life, but this is one of the better ones!

Just try and imagine Klaus Kinski spying on you! Pretty creepy!

I was actually looking at this still, and I couldn't remember what I found intriguing about it, but then I spotted it! Every Edgar Wallace movie I've seen so far, has got an eyeball peeping out from somewhere, I think it's kind of a trademark like the cuckoo clock and the howling wolf during the soundtrack!

Siegfried Schürenberg always has to make an appearance as Sir John, it's mandatory!!

I aren't kidding, Eddie Arent as Barnaby, the guy perched up on the bookshelf telling his story, went on to play Sir John himself in 5 Edgar Wallace German TV movies made in 2002! Among other odd roles, Eddie was a doctor in a 1969 film called "Das Go-Go-Girl Vom Blow Up" that I found streaming on some site, but after jumping through numerous hoops I disappointedly never got it to play!

Detective Wade is just that kind of guy, that while smoking a cigarette, and asking questions, he'd still help a young lady hang her undergarments on the clothesline!

It's the old finger in the back trick, hand over your gun, I've got you covered!!

The composer for the music used in "The Inn On The River" is one of our favourites, Martin Böttcher!! We've featured Martin here many times for his superlative work on such titles as "Das Phantom Von Soho," "Das Ungeheuer Von London City," "Creature With The Blue Hand," and "College Girl Murders" among his 113 composing credits! Martin is still around, and has spent the last 20 years composing music for two German TV shows, "Forsthaus Falkenau," and "Pfarrer Braun."

Here's a decent shot of Rudolf Fenner as Big Willy, the bouncer and accordion player, that you can attribute to the keen eyes of Director Alfred Vohrer, and Cinematographer Karl "Frontal" Löb!!

"Let's twist again like we did last summer!" - Chubby Checker

Dropping by to question Big Willy's old lady the wigmaker, makes for a surreal scene!

"The Shark" has been very busy! After he turns his victims into human shish kabobs, he exits the scene via the underground London sewer system!

Edgar Wallace tales have a tendency to go all kinds of different directions tossing the blame towards every character, and then ending up somewhere completely different!

Finally, "The Shark" is caught robbing a safe!

Oops! Imagine that, they got the wrong guy, now who would have figured that out?

No, although a lot of suspicious fingers were pointing at Klaus, he's not "The Shark" either!

Can I get away with the 'pull my finger' gag one more time? Stay tuned and find out!

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