MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: The Return of Doctor Mabuse (1961)

The second of the 1960s CCC Films Dr. Mabuse film series, this movie follows up Fritz Lang’s The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse. In the U.S., Gert Fröbe, who plays Inspector Lohmann, was the selling point as he had become well-known as Goldfinger.

The lawman is called away from his vacation to investigate a series of murders, including an Interpol agent with proof that American organized crime is working with a European crime syndicate, as well as the wife of one of that group’s members, who is killed by a flamethrower in a scene that’s pretty intense seeing as how this was made in 1961.

That woman was carrying a book Lohmann called The Devil’s Anatomy written by a Reverend Briefenstein of St. Thomas Church. That book has a theory: Satan is a spirit that can take the form of a werewolf, vampire or Dr. Mabuse. Yet isn’t Dr. Mabuse dead?  A priest informs Lohmann that even though the body can die, a soul can infest the bodies of other men. At that very point, the voice of Dr. Mabuse crackles from the speaker system of the church demanding that the investigation stop now.

Mabuse (Wolfgang Preiss) now has an army of zombie criminals that he will use to take anything he wants, including giving these zombie orders to every prisoner in a jail and then sending them to destroy a nuclear power plant.

This movie would be followed by three more: The Testament of Dr. MabuseScotland Yard Hunts Dr. Mabuse and The Secret of Dr. Mabuse. In 1990, Claude Chabrol would bring the character back for his movie Dr. M.

This film’s director, Harald Reinl, also made the krimini The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle.

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