Dave Emerson (Klaus Kinski) is convicted of killing the family gardener. He is deemed insane and sentenced to spend his life in a mental institution run by Dr. Mangrove (Carl Lange). Dave maintains his innocence. Dave has a twin brother Richard (Klaus Kinski), a sister Myrna (Diana Korner) and two other brothers, Robert (Peter Parten) and Charles (Thomas Danneberg). The head of the household is Lady Emerson (Ilse Steppat).
Someone in the asylum secretly facilitates Dave’s escape. Dave runs back to the family estate and begins posing as his brother Richard. The police, Sir John (Siegfried Schurenberg) and Inspector Craig (Harald Leipnitz) from Scotland Yard have the estate searched but are unaware that Richard is really Dave. Even while the police are searching, the murders begin again. The murderer is a hooded man who uses a blue gauntlet with razor sharp claws attached to stab his victims. Craig finds out that the murder weapon, the gauntlet, belongs to a suit of armor, a family heirloom.
Craig confronts Dave telling him he knows he is not Richard. Dave manages to convince Craig that he never killed anyone and was set up, especially since, at the same moment, someone tries to kill Myrna in the next room. Craig’s investigation garners him lots of suspects, at least until they start getting killed off. The reasons for the murders seem to revolve around Dr. Mangrove’s asylum and a mystery man who is pulling all the strings.
“The Blue Hand” AKA “Creature with the Blue Hand” AKA “Die blaue Hand” was released in 1967 and was directed by Alfred Vohrer. It is a West German crime mystery and a krimi. The film was based on the 1925 story “The Blue Hand” by Edgar Wallace.
There’s only one basic plot to the film but it has many facets to it. The last ten minutes or so of the film unwinds everything and throws a bunch of conclusions at the audience. Some of them come out of nowhere and it makes the ending of the film seem more like a farce than a murder mystery. This makes most of the film intriguing and the ending a bit silly. This is not out of the realm of Edgar Wallace movies. I’ve seen others that do basically the same thing. They keep everything a secret and try to wind it all up neatly at the end but not always successfully.
That doesn’t make it a bad movie. It was still entertaining and fun to watch; you just need to understand that things like that are all part of the krimi subgenre. Also, like a lot of krimis, it has really neat opening credits that are full of color and a swinging jazzy musical number.
When Roger and Gene Corman created their New World Pictures production/distribution company in 1970 they acquired the film rights of “Blue Hand” for the American release. Roger added the “Creature with” to the film title and dubbed it into English. Additional horror footage was added by Samuel M. Sherman in 1987. The film was then rereleased for home video as “The Bloody Dead”, basically changing it to a horror film. “The Bloody Dead” was released on VHS by “Very Strange Video”, a California company. Since then both the original German film and the redone “The Bloody Dead” were re-released in a special collector's edition DVD, this time by “Image Entertainment”.