Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Secret of the Black Trunk (1962)

Here's another great little thriller you probably haven't seen. This is also available from in the US from Amazon and from Sinister Cinema (Amazon is selling Sinister's edition)

This is one of the long running series of films based on the works of Edgar and Bryan Wallace thrillers that were made in Germany from the late 1950's until the early 1970's. The series as a whole was very up and down quality wise. I prefer the black and white films to the the color films from the late 60's and early 70's which were not very good since they tried to be too hip and too knowing. The black and white ones are full of moody shots of fog bound London (well, somewhere in Germany standing in for London). They have this gritty mysterious feel that is lost in the color films.

This is one of the best black and white films in the series. It concerns a series of murders where the victim is killed by a knife thrown from a great distance. The victim always has his bags packed by the killer just before the murder occurs.

I would love to attempt to do a further recounting of the events but there are too many characters and too much going on for it to make any real sense to do so. This is a film that is better to see then read about. Simply put his is one of those movies, like many of the Wallace stories, where the plot really doesn't hold up that well if you think about it. On the other hand it really doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot since the film is too busy moving you on to the next thing. Trust me this film is really worth making an effort to catch since it just grabs you and pulls you along.

Probably the best thing in this film is the dialog which is quite witty; with my favorite exchange being "I've been in London for less than an hour and I've already stumbled upon my first murder" to which a passer by replies "Yes, well London is like that". Its knowing, yes, and its silly but it still is a gripping mystery.

If there is any real problem with the film its that the comic relief, here taking the form of one of the detectives sound hound cousin, who's antics seem at times to belong in a comedy. Annoyance with the sound hound aside, this is a really good thriller and worth time on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a soda. Its the best sort of movie, a rainy day lounging film.

No comments:

Post a Comment