THE PHANTOM OF SOHO (1964) Reviews and overview of krimi

 

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The Phantom of Soho is a 1964 German krimi horror-thriller about a masked killer who is murdering high-profile Londoners near a nightclub.

Directed by Franz Josef Gottlieb [as F.J. Gottlieb] (Lady Dracula; The Curse of the Hidden Vault; The Secret of the Black Widow; The Black Abbot) from a screenplay written by Ladislas Fodor (The Zombie Walks; The Strangler of Blackmoor CastleThe Terror of Doctor Mabuse; The Invisible Dr Mabuse), based on a novel by Bryan Edgar Wallace. Produced by Artur Brauner (The Mad Executioners; Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace).

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The soundtrack score was composed by Martin Böttcher (Dead Sexy; The College-Girls Murders; Creature with the Blue Hand; Monster of London City; The Black Abbot).

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The CCC Filmkunst production stars Dieter Borsche (The Mad Executioners; Dead Eyes of London), Barbara Rütting (Der Todesrächer von Soho; The Squeaker), Hans Söhnker, Peter Vogel, Helga Sommerfeld and Werner Peters.

Reviews:

Phantom of Soho has very muscular direction that desperately wants to shove in your face how cinematic it all is, and this usually works. There are shots from odd angles (including from inside a phone cabinet) peppered throughout and the killer’s POV is almost kabuki-like (the killer’s hands are always seen in frame approaching the victim, one holding an impossibly shiny knife, the other contorted into a sparkly golden claw).” Alternate Ending

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” …in these films there always has to be one detective whose role is to provide comic relief. In this case, it’s Peter Vogel, as the bumptious Sergeant Hallam, and he’s moderately amusing and not overly annoying. The plot is highly involved and has a satisfying number of twists and turns. The atmosphere of London’s Soho, as usual, has little to do with the real London but it’s nicely mysterious and foggy.” Cult Movie Reviews

“With numerous POV shots of a gloved killer staking strip club and stabbing its clientele and staff in the heart, Phantom certainly fits the bill for a giallo; however its London setting, a staple of Wallace’s work, is shot in a way that is more comparable to film noir. Soho’s seedy streets are principally moody, as shadows and fog conceal and reveal sordid characters and clues […] but the end result is agreeable.” DVD Drive-In

“As a mystery, it’s not particularly challenging; you’ll quickly figure out the red herring and notice the character whose sole purpose in the story is to be unmasked at the end; I certainly wasn’t surprised. Nevertheless, this is one of the more entertaining and enjoyable krimis out there, and it even has a few effective stylistic touches to add to the mix.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

” …some of the kill scenes are pretty cool, with a surprising number of POV shots from the killer […] And despite the dubber’s best efforts, some of the humor shines through. There’s a great bit where the rookie inspector guy pulls out not one, not two, but three magnifying glasses from his jacket so he and the other two cops can inspect a photo.” Horror Movie a Day

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“A mix of 40s series detective film, lurid and jazzy 50s noir-ish sleaze, proto-giallo gloved knife-wielding POV killers, and post-production code exploitation titillation. Great cast (I’ve become an instant fan of Elisabeth Flickenschildt) and some amusing gags.” Kerry Maxwell

” …the fun of the krimi is rarely in being fooled by the unmasking of the killer. It’s in the ride, and Phantom of Soho is an interesting ride indeed, steeped in eerie atmosphere cribbed from Weimar era silent films and old horror films. The Soho of this movie is a fantastic, almost mythical creation, the result of someone who might never have been to Soho trying to make it up based on the things they’ve heard about it.” Teleport City

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“Storywise it’s nothing special, but worth the time for the sake of the b/w cinematography, this is a beautiful latter-day film noir, the jazzy score, and the sordid atmospherics.” Weird Wild Realm

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Cast and characters:

Dieter Borsche … Chief Inspector Hugh Patton
Barbara Rütting … Clarinda Smith
Hans Söhnker … Sir Philip
Peter Vogel … Sergeant Hallam
Helga Sommerfeld … Corinne Smith
Werner Peters … Doctor Dalmer
Hans Nielsen … Lord Harold Malhouse
Stanislav Ledinek … Gilard, club manager
Otto Waldis … William B. Clover, the man with a birthmark
Hans W. Hamacher … Captain Muggins
Emil Feldmann … Papa Red
Harald Sawade … Charlie
Kurt Jaggberg … Yussuf
Elisabeth Flickenschildt … Joanna Filiati
Bryan Edgar Wallace … Self (uncredited)

Filming locations:

CCC-Atelier, Spandau, Berlin, Germany (studio)
London, England (stock footage)

Filming dates:

18th November 1963 to 6th January 1964

Original title:

Das Phantom von Soho

More krimi movies

English trailer:

German trailer: