NEW WORLD PICTURES MONTH: Creature with the Blue Hand (1967)

Based on the Edgar Wallace novel The Blue Hand and part of a long-running series of krimi adaptations by Rialto Film, this was bought by New World Pictures and issued as a double feature in the U.S. with Beast of the Yellow Night. Man, how good was life then?

Klaus Kinski plays Dave Emerson, who chokes out a nurse and escapes from a mental hospital before running to the castle of his twin brother Richard — also Kinski — as a black robed killer roams the grounds and kills people with his astounding blue claw with razorblades on the fingers, like something out of a giallo. For example, oh, Death Walks at Midnight. Or A Nightmare On Elm Street, which came 17 years after this.

Director Alfred Vohrer keeps things moving and it all looks gorgeous if indebted to Mario Bava. That said, aren’t all movies made after him? There’s also an incredible insane asylum sequence, featuring rooms filled with mice, rats and one female patient who just strips all day and night. This is the kind of movie world where you just want to live inside it, except that, yeah, there’s a killer on the loose and the cops are as always ineffectual.

Coming out just three years before giallo would surpass the krimi while using many of the same ideas from Edgar Wallace, this film reminds me that I need to get deeper into watching these German detective movies.

Creature With the Blue Hand later re-edited in 1987 with new gore inserts by producer Sam Sherman for his company Independent International — wow, I love that so much — and released to home video as The Bloody Dead. The extra scenes — almost ten minutes of new footage — was directed by Warren F. Disbrow and his father Warren Disbrow Sr.

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