Dr. Harald Reinl’s DER FROSH MIT DER MASK (FACE OF THE FROG, 1959) is the first of the Rialto Pictures West German-Danish Edgar Wallace adaptations and not all of the characteristic elements are in place... but it’s still a lot of fun with shocking bits of violence and a surprisingly poignant finish involving an Albert Pierrepoint-type executioner.
Here in America, we tend to undervalue the Danish contribution to the Edgar Wallace krimis of the 50s and 60s. DER ROTE KREIS (THE RED CIRCLE, 1960) was shot in Copenhagen, though staffed for the most part with West Germans. Eddi Arent and the ever-creepy Fritz Rasp are familiar faces while Klausjürgen Wussow subs in for an absent Joachim Fuchsberger. Karl-Georg Saebisch is great as the Columbo-esque cop on the case; uncommonly proactive leading lady Renate Ewert died under tragic circumstances only six years later.
Since beginning her American career playing pretty young things in Steven Soderbergh’s THE LIMEY (1999) and David Lynch’s MULHOLLAND DR. (2001), Australian actress Melissa George has carved for herself a tenable niche as an athletic leading lady of horror films and thrillers with an often psychological or socio-political bent.
George’s genre assignments have included the pointless 2005 AMITYVILLE HORROR, John Stockwell’s gnarly TURISTAS (2006), David Slade’s 2007 live action adaptation of the popular graphic novel 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, Christopher…
So-so adaptation of Gary Paulsen's 1987 youth survival classic HATCHET, produced by Julie and Roger Corman, who changed the name so moviegoers wouldn't think it was a horror movie. Not a patch on the book, which stressed the power of positive thinking as a key survival tool, but decent viewing for younger viewers interested in bushcraft and survival skills.