Der Würger von Schloss Blackmoor
(The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle)

Directed by Harald Reinl (1963)

CAST:

     Karin Dor (Claridge Dorsett)
     Harry Riebauer (Inspector Cliff Mitchell)
     Rudolf Fernau (Lucius Clark)
     Dieter Eppler (Anthony, butler)
     Ingmar Zeisberg (Judy, barmaid and Lady Lamour)
     Carl de Vogt (Dr. Harroway)

This mystery opens with a dinner party at a grand old English castle where Lucius Clark announces to his dinner guests that he has just heard that he will be knighted by the Queen. While being congratulated we hear the dogs barking on the castle grounds and we see that someone is being strangled by a figure in a black ski mask. After the guests leave, Lucius is visited by the man in the ski mask who tells Lucius he will never be knighted because the man in the ski mask is avenging the death of Charles Manning, whom he accuses Lucius of having robbed of a cache of diamonds worth £ 6 million and then having strangled him in Kimberly, South Africa. Lucius refuses to tell him the location of the diamonds and says he is safe because if the man kills him, he will never know where the diamonds are.

Just then Claridge Dorsett, Lucius's niece, drives up and the masked man escapes. Lord Blackmoor, the eccentric owner of the castle arrives, and everyone goes to bed. Lucius goes to his study and takes some diamonds from a jar and puts them in an empty cigar tube. He calls London and tells someone that he is sending a special delivery of "Havanas". The next morning the dogs find the strangled body of the handyman on the grounds with an M carved on his forehead.

Scotland Yard Inspector Mitchell arrives and while there Lucius gets a call about cigars. Mitchell goes to the local post office switchboard and finds out the call was from The Old Scavenger Inn. He meets Claridge there and a fellow reporter, Mike Pierce.

Lawyer Trombey arrives at the castle and tells Lucius that Claridge was 21 three weeks before and that if Lucius doesn't turn over her estate to her, Trombey will call the authorities. Lucius sends the diamonds to the Old Scavenger with the gardener who stops at a bridge by the house and is strangled. Inspector Mitchell finds his headless body with the Blackmoor van. He then goes to the Old Scavenger to find out what is going on.

At the castle, Lucius moves a secret panel and descends to the basement to retrieve some diamonds from the furnace. Anthony, the butler, is a diamond cutter who becomes hysterical at the thought of more diamonds being sold. Lucius tells him that because he has been arrested years before for a diamond robbery, no one else will hire him.

There are more headless bodies, mysterious figures running around the castle, multiple red herrings and endless suspects including Anthony the butler, Inspector Mitchell and/or his assistant, Mike Pierce the reporter, Tavish the diamond fence, Judy/Lady Lamour, Lord Blackmoor, Trombey the lawyer and various members of Charles Mannings' family.

As you might suspect, everything is solved and there is a happy ending.

Carl had just made another film with director Harald Reinl, Karin Dor and Rudolf Fernau: Die Unsichbaren Krallen des Dr. Mabuse (The Invisible Claws of Dr. Mabuse) in 1962. This was the last film that he made before he died in 1970.

Copies of this film may be obtained from Sinister Cinema.