Die Blaue Hand, directed in lurid color by krimi specialist Alfred Vohrer, is a Kinski showcase. He's being sentenced for murder as the film opens -- or rather, Dave Emerson is until the respected, monocled Dr. Mangrove (Carl Lange) informs the court that Dave is insane and requires hospitalization. The court so rules, provoking Dave to prove both his innocence and his sanity by leaping out of his box and screaming at the judge. How can you say no to that? All the while, another Kinski watches -- this is Dave's twin brother Richard. Unfortunately, Vohrer's effects budget limits our chances to experience the certain madness of two Kinskis on screen simultaneously.
A typical heroic inspector (top-billed Harald Leipnitz) is soon on the case, visiting the Mangrove asylum and inspecting the remaining inmates. This means a literal peepshow view of an insane stripper who apparently suffers from what we might call interpretive insanity. That is, she interprets her insanity by stripping. Nothing else is quite that interesting, though there's also one of those big, bald, stupid looking fellows who are often up to no good in krimis, sitting quietly for the moment in his cell.
The investigation moves on to the Emerson place, where the inspector quickly figures out that the man passing himself off as Richard is actually Dave the fugitive, who has cleaned and dressed himself and exploited the fact that no one in his family -- a mother, two younger brothers and a sister -- can tell the twins apart. The inspector also realizes that Dave is innocent of one thing at least, since die blaue Hand attacks the Emerson girl while Dave is standing in front of him. Now the inspector is willing to entertain Dave's story of a larger frame-up, especially if Dave can help him stop the gent with the gauntlet from wiping out the other Emersons. Richard is already presumed missing, and in short order the two remaining brothers are dispatched, while the brave and comely Myrna (Diana Koerner) undertakes an investigation of her own.
Dr. Mangrove's controversial strip therapy concept was denounced in
his time, but he could probably make millions with it today.
You can't get much more evil than Karl Lange's Dr. Mangrove -- but what if you add snakes???