Secret of the Red Orchid (das R├Ątsel der roten Orchidee) 1962

HOT MOLD!! this is a horrible mess of bad dubbing and wickedly absurd murdering. A clunky, dragfest that attempts to capitalize on gangland Chicago and film noir only to borrow the most ham-fisted of both.

First miscast Christopher Lee as the transplanted American in London working with the much less British Adrain Hoven (who could have carried the chi-town g-man swagger a bit more convincingly).

Second, plop two horribly incompetent gangsters into the story – both trying to blackmail English aristocrats with NO SUCCESS – in almost the same way. Klaus Kinski does it with the sex pistols’ ransom note cut and paste, while Eric Pohlmann does it with simpleton’s block printing. The mystery ends there!

But there are some nice dispatch, inventive murder scenes. Like when the gangsters walk in and machine gun the old Lord Tanner or blow up some random jerk’s car. Not to mention the railway killing of both the gangster pick-up boy and the bowler hatted Sir John. The great white hunter shooting down the crop duster aeroplane was classic british “we will not be bombed again!” bravado.

The whole Parker the Butler of Death might yet prove to have been George Lucas’ inspiration for the Droids. He shows up to the gun fight with maracas!!

There is also some tagged on mystery sub-plot about a supposedly dead gangster, but by the time that spool unwinds I didn’t care anymore.

The only good, bright spot is Marissa Mell’s lazy eye. Hubba Hubba.