Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Phantom of Soho|
Actors: Dieter Borsche, Barbara Rütting, Hans Söhnker, Peter Vogel, Helga Sommerfeld
Director: Franz Josef Gottlieb
Genres: Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 02/24/2004
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Member Movie Reviews
Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 10/10/2011...
A Shocking Film of Lust and Revenge!
In the 1960s, German movie studios released crime movies, known as Krimis, for the Kriminalfilm or Kriminalroman. The stories were often set in London with locations such a night clubs, madhouses, and castles. The investigator was usually a Scotland Yard Inspector. The perp was masked and motivated not by love, lust or loathing but by revenge and lucre either through inheritances or illegal enterprises like white slavery or dope smuggling.
The high points in this particular movie are many. The camera work is inventive if sometimes silly. For instance, we view the action from the point of view of a mouse in a cupboard or a fly on an overhead fan or napkin on a table. The soundtrack is retro crime jazz best heard on the Retro Cocktail Hour.
The recreation of the notorious Soho entertainment district looks almost cartoonish, which is oddly sinister and ominous. Creepy what a little fog will do. The setting of the nightclub-burlesque house adds to the sleazy atmosphere.
The people in the movie have interest too. A variety of repulsive characters get themselves knocked off. Instead of the usual violence against women, it’s mainly men that get a large knife plunged into their chests. The comic relief character – inevitably the Yard Inspector’s Assistant - is actually quite amusing - for once we don’t feel like slugging the second banana. The dancers are as curvy and jiggly as models in Playboy circa 1963.
Full of gritty atmosphere, stock characters, a low story, and a squalid location add up to a PG rating for the scantily clad dancers, not the mild violence.
Phantom of Soho, DVD No No.
don138 | 06/06/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favourite German "krimis" of the 1960s, this deviates from other entries in the series by adapting a story from the typewriter of Edgar Wallace's son, Bryan. The author actually makes a brief cameo during the opening credits. Although the creepily skull-masked phantom is shown all too briefly, there is plenty of creative camera work, a gallery of thoroughly unpleasant characters and a typically fabulous jazz score to boost the entertainment factor. The motive for the killings is also gratifyingly sordid, using themes that would later be taken up by the more lurid Italian thrillers of the late 60s and 70s. The patently unrealistic recreation of London also adds to the film's sleazy atmosphere, locating it in a fog-bound, comic strip landscape that provides a perfect foil for the more outlandish elements of the plot.
So why only two stars? The problem here is not the movie itself, but Alpha/Gotham's appalling Dvd. I know the price is very low, but this is kind of quality you used to get when trading vhs copies of horror obscurities with your friends for free. Inside the the strikingly designed sleeve lies a disc struck from a soft, scratchy print with often inaudibile dialogue. The framing sometimes slips too, causing the picture to roll. Sadly, it looks unlikely that someone will put out a better version of this in the near future, but my advice is to wait and save your money in case Alpha bring out the cover artwork as part of their horror movie poster range."
A True Phantom Menace...
Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein | under the rubble | 04/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On the dark, foggy back-streets of Soho, people are being stalked and murdered. Sansibar, the most popular brothel / stripclub is the center of suspicion as the body count increases. Owned and operated by the mysterious Joanna, Sansibar attracts both Lords and losers alike. Why are certain patrons being stabbed through the heart, and left with money or other valuables in their hands and pockets? What connection is there between the victims? Inspector Patton (Dieter Borsche) is on the case, running down clues, trying to catch the nefarious phantom before he / she strikes again. This is a fairly gritty german film about Soho. It's well written, performed, and directed. I was (pleasantly) surprised by some topless scenes, as well as an unmentioned widescreen presentation! I found the characters to be interesting and the mystery intriguing. Check it out..."