The Avenger (1960) Poster


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Mort-313 April 2003
An earlier one of the classic German Edgar Wallace films, Der Rächer does not yet try to reach the effect of fright too often by showing screeaming women or pointing out frightening moments by zooming onto dead bodies and having us hear earsplitting, shrieking sounds. It is a solid mystery story, with a plot that is almost logical and can be followed rather easily. (The idea of course reminded me of the hilarious Arsenic and Old Lace, but this was a completely different thing. I guess, Edgar Wallace wrote his novel earlier, and maybe Joseph Kesslering read it, maybe he didn't.)

Heinz Drache plays the detective, Ingrid van Bergen plays, in one of her rare Wallace appearances, the beautiful girl that needs to be protected. Klaus Kinski is a sinister character on the verge between genius and madness. So there is nothing new concerning the cast (only Eddi Arent is missing, but I didn't really miss him), no world-shattering surprises, except maybe at the end. Good Sunday-afternoon suspense.
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don't lose your head over this one
evilskip25 August 1999
After hearing some nice reviews about this film I finally tracked it down and settled in to watch it.It starts of promisingly enough.Human heads are being dumped off all over London.

We're dumped right in the thick of things after the opening credits.In exposition we learn that there have been a dozen decapitations recently.(When that kind of back ground is delivered in the first 5 minutes you know the script is in trouble).Since a Special Branch officer was killed in this manner another is assigned to investigate the murders.

We have a movie within a movie scenario which is quite boring.In fact, the hour after the opening credits is rather tedious. As usual in these Edgar Wallace based films we have several red herrings.Most of them wind up with a haircut at the neck level. The killer's identity really comes as no surprise.

Granted the film picks up in the last half hour with a frantic ending.But the script is slooowww. The cast rises above the material. The direction is competent at best. Some film critics claim that this film influenced Italian directors like Bava & Argento.Maybe it influenced them on what not to do as this is an average film at best.

This was the first in the German series of films based on the works of Edgar & Bryan Wallace. Perhaps the source material was weak or the screenplay was just bungled.Give it a 4 and a half.
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The Avenger (1960)
trimbolicelia25 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Not bad 1960 West German made, English-dubbed Edgar Wallace mystery thriller. Someone is lobbing off heads of assorted people and sending them to the police. Along for the ride is a movie company that defaces the property of the location where they're filming, a dotty property owner, a diva actress, a perverted rich guy, and his brutish servant. The servant, YOU HAVE TO SEE. A native African who was ferally raised, covered in hair, and un-nerving to the nth degree. Dressed in coveralls like he was a simple-minded gardener, he looks like a cross between Bigfoot and I don't know what. Actually he's the highlight since a large part of the movie sort of moves sluggishly along. The last half hour picks up some. The Sinister Cinema DVD-R is, I believe, the only version available at this time. The quality is not terrible but not great. At times it's OK but other times it is somewhat dark and hard to see. Recommended for fans of the genre.
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Good thriller is a bit slow to start
dbborroughs12 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Movie set set story of a villain who is removing the heads of his victims and leaving them in boxes to be found. Good thriller is a bit too leisurely for much of its first hour where a great deal seems to happen but nothing seems to get done. It's a lot of looking into red herrings and such. Its not bad but it isn't until the second half that the film really starts to move. It's a good but unremarkable Edgar Wallace adaptation. I've seen the film twice now, and I liked it better the firsts time when I was distracted doing things while it was on, I suggest you do something similar. It's of note for fans of Klaus Kinski since the normal manic actor plays some one seeming restrained and bookish.
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The usual Wallace mediocrity
Horst_In_Translation13 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Der Rächer" or "The Avenger" is a West German film from 1960 and I am not sure what it is with the statement of Dutch being the first language here on IMDb. The version I watched was in German and I am fairly certain that this is also the original language. The director is Czech-born filmmaker Karl Anton and here we have one of his most known works. This is mostly because it is an entry from the successful Edgar Wallace film series and this movie from over 55 years ago is actually one of the longest films from said series as it runs for over 95 minutes. It is in black-and-white like all the early entries. The cast includes some known names like Drache, van Bergen and Kinski who played in several Wallace films, especially Kinski and Drache were really prolific. As for Drache, I see him as fairly charismatic, but I am not sure if he could convince me with his range and if I see him on par with Fuchsberger for example or Tappert. Anyway, the action here is centered around a killer who keeps cutting off people's heads and who is not necessarily an enemy of the police men here as he also killed one of theirs this way, but it was one who was corrupt and a spy. But murder is murder and so he has to be caught and maybe you can already guess too the way he gets caught in the end or what happens to him. There is always some subtle humor to these films and this one here is no exceptions. For example on one occasion, Drache's character makes a joke about someone else losing his head and with the summary I gave you earlier you understand the reference. But still I must say it is not as funny anymore today as it may have been back then and I also feel the humor here really relies on the dramatic/crime plot working and it almost never is interesting to that regard, never edge-of-seat material. But this can be said about almost the entire Edgar Wallace film series and I have seen almost all of them by now. If you like the other films, you may enjoy this one too. I personally don'd see it as quality filmmaking though. Not recommended.
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