The Monster of London City is a 1964 German Krimi murder film in which a modern-day Jack the Ripper recreates actual murders.
Directed by Edwin Zbonek (The crazy executioners) from a screenplay written by Robert A. Stemmle [as R.A. Stemmle] (The crazy executioners; The Curse of the Hidden Chest; The Terror of Doctor Mabuse; Confess, Dr. Corda) and Bryan Edgar Wallace (edited version). Produced by Arthur Brauner.
The soundtrack was composed by Martin Böttcher (sexy death; The murders of a student; blue hand creature; The Ghost of Soho; The Black Abbot).
The CCC Film production stars Hansjörg Felmy, Marianne Koch, Dietmar Schönherr, Hans Nielsen, Chariklia Baxevanos, Peer Schmidt, Fritz Tillmann, Walter Pfeil and Kurd Pieritz.
A series of Jack the Ripper-style prostitute murders unfold in contemporary London, leaving Scotland Yard detectives perplexed. Coincidentally, a play about Jack the Ripper is a big hit although one MP wants it to be closed. The actor who plays Jack, Richard Sand (Hansjörg Felmy), becomes a suspect in the real murders…
Our point of view:
Krimis tend to be characterized by their bizarre, convoluted storylines and outlandish villains, so Jack the Ripper’s killer in this one is pretty routine. Nonetheless, there are plenty of kills and red herrings, and director Edwin Zbonek crafts elegant sequences using shadows, enhanced by Martin Böttcher’s jazzy score.
The comic relief that also characterizes many Krimi films is provided by a clumsy private detective and his female partner and their pointless exploits belie the villainy implied elsewhere. More bizarre is a fast-paced car chase that includes a brief comedic sequence where a young woman’s skirt is removed to reveal her stockings and lingerie!
Although it is not a classic and the identity of the killer is somewhat telegraphed, most admirers of this genre of German crime thrillers will find The City of London Monster worth a watch.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“The comic relief is boring but thankfully not too intrusive. The acting is solid enough without reaching great heights. Jack the Ripper’s makeup is over the top but adds to the weirdness (and a good krimi always has at least a bit of weirdness). Edwin Zbonek does a competent job as a director. Cult movie reviews
“The murders are very elegant, with the Ripper stalking evening ladies in dark corners of the streets, sometimes using very effective dark imagery. It’s a very loaded thriller, to say the least. , with lively characters and a simple but engaging plot, the murders being quite violent for the early 1960s…” DVD Drive-In
“Even with the silly cartoon bits, The City of London Monster has enough to recommend – an excellent free jazz score, a sexy female lead in the form of Koch, a cool Ripper-esque modus operandi for the killer, and even completely gratuitous female nudity in one scene. DVD talk
“…there are some good moments here, especially towards the end of the film. However, the confusion and repetitiveness of it really started to wear me down; I really got sick of the tedious police investigation (where they always take the time to tell you that this new murder is like all the others) and the unfunny comic relief couple…” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
“It’s a good movie. There’s really nothing wrong with it, it’s just pretty predictable and there’s nothing remarkable about it. I liked the story, the game of the actors was good… And sometimes it’s nice to see a movie that doesn’t challenge you at all.
“…it’s a pretty entertaining little film, with a lot going on in every scene, and its quick pace is greatly aided by the actors, who approach their roles with maniacal zeal.” While it’s clearly a low-budget effort, the production values are solid, and the exterior scenes manage to convey more atmosphere at times than one might expect with this kind of film. Embedded Horror Project
“The intricacies of the mystery aren’t particularly gripping, and the final reveal isn’t much of a shocker, but it’s a usable storyline, with atmospheric photography and a competent cast…” Mark David Welsh
“He fires as few shots as possible considering the time: not only does he refuse to shirk the fact that this maniac massacres prostitutes, but he goes so far as to dwell on the murder sequences. Zbonek artfully stages them amid thick fog and shadows, directly avoiding the grayness while heavily involving it with close-ups of straight razors and wide shots of strangleholds. Oh the Horror!
” …The City of London Monster is more than a little painful. It also suffers from having way too many unnecessary support characters. […] The movie isn’t entirely without merit though. There’s a beautiful chase scene through the foggy streets of London…” The Video Vacuum
Cast and characters:
Hansjörg Felmy … Richard Sand
Marianne Koch … Ann Morlay
Dietmar Schönherr … Doctor Morely Greely
Hans Nielsen … Inspector Dorne
Chariklia Baxevanos … Betty Ball
Peer Schmidt … Teddy Flynn
Fritz Tillmann … Sir George Edwards
Walter Pfeil … Horrlick
Kurdish Pieritz … Maylor
Elsa Wagner … housekeeper Emily
Kai Fischer … Helen Capstick
Gudrun Schmidt … Evelyne Nichols
Adelheid Hinz … Maid Betsy
Christiane Schmidtmer … Girl with sunglasses
Albert Bessler … Man in the Insane Asylum
Gerda Blisse … Assistant
Manfred Grote … Detective
Filming locations :
CCC-Atelier, Spandau, Berlin, Germany (studio)
Das Ungeheuer von London-City
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