DVD Doctor Mabuse

DVD Doctor Mabuse

Run time: 95 min
Rating: 7.5
Genres: Crime | Drama | Mystery
Director: Ansel Faraj
Writers: Ansel Faraj, Ansel Faraj
Stars: Jerry Lacy, Nathan Wilson, Kathryn Leigh Scott
Criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse returns from exile to begin a new reign of terror, and only young Inspector Carl Lohemann stands in his way.
Plot Keywords: criminal mastermind, hitchcockian, police inspector, voice over narration, manipulation
Country: USA
Release Date: April 2013 (USA)


  1. Young Ansel Faraj certainly knows his stuff — and it shows in this unique, viscerally engaging film, a masterful blend of hypnotic visual style and writing rich in enough subconscious imagery and archetypes to make even Karl Jung drool. As sole writer, director, and editor, the work is entirely this 21-year-old's own creation, crafted on a shoestring budget on a tiny set located in his aunt's back yard — a feat made all the more impressive when one considers the sheer expanse and detail present in its visual landscape. It makes you wonder — if he could accomplish this much with so little, what could he do with major studio backing?

    Faraj takes us on a trip into his dark dream world Metropolis, populated by an assortment of classic noir characters slowly driven mad by the seemingly omniscient, all-powerful evil hypnotist Mabuse (excellently portrayed by Jerry Lacy). While some of the character names and references will be recognized by fans of director Fritz Lang's classic serial of the same name, this is truly an original work.

    The dialogue, narrative and cinematography all blend effortlessly to make you feel like you, the viewer, are having a dream, and a very scary one at that. Mabuse has mastered the hypnotic arts to such a degree that the entire world is at his disposal. He can control people remotely, assume different forms, and know your next move before you do. So what's to stop the guy who has everything? The possibility that others might unearth your secrets? The film ends with much left to scrutinize, much to look forward to in its sequel, due out next summer.

    Fans of the 1960s television series "Dark Shadows" will be delighted by this picture, as it not only assembles most of the surviving cast, it provides a fitting homage through dialogue, music and suspense very characteristic of the original show, so succinctly presented that it could teach even Tim Burton a thing or two!

  2. as the movie began , I thought, hmmm…I am now in a theater, in Europe , in the early 30's…then i started looking for reference points, Ed Wood, David Lynch, Fritz Lang, Tarhovsky,Dan Curtis…but by then I was lost at sea with Mabuse and Ansal Faraj and I was scared. ..and amazed..I had never seen such a film!But I was captivated with the ever growing sense of DREAD, mind control, grief, and utter helplessness…aspects of my life were mirrored, all the actors were committed to the unfolding horror…a filmic Greek Tragedy…not for the faint of heart. Lacy, Scott, Parker , all excellent in their new reincarnations. It seems Dark Shadows lives again, in parallel time, in the brilliant fearlessness of young director, Ansal Faraj.

  3. No doubt there will be people who put this film down because of it's ultra-low budget. They would be wrong. Doctor Mabuse's writer/director, Ansel Faraj, is only 21 years old. His cast includes 3 stars of Dark Shadows, one of his (and my)favorite TV shows. The film is a bizarre noir thriller with supernatural overtones. The shoestring budget cannot hide the maturity in the writing, or the strong performances by Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, Nathan Wilson and especially Jerry Lacy in the title role.

    Doctor Mabuse has power over mind and matter. He's attempting to take over a large, unnamed city. Wilson is the tormented police inspector out to stop him. Suffice it to say that their are moments in their battle of wills that made my skin crawl. What Faraj has accomplished, at such a young age, and with such limited resources, is extraordinary.

  4. I wasn't going to post a review for this film until I saw the grossly unfair review posted by the person from Pacific Grove, which was so over the top in it's negativity, I seriously wondered if a personal vendetta against the director was involved.

    I went to see Doctor Mabuse because of the three Dark Shadows cast members–I was one of the kids who ran home from school to watch it back in the day. I was blown away by this movie. Produced for peanuts, shot in the director's backyard, (literally) it's an effective recreation of the kinds of thrillers that were produced in Berlin during the 1920s. I'm familiar with those films–I've seen the masterworks produced by Fritz Lang, Paul Leni F.W. Murnau and others–Ansel Faraj is a filmmaker with a vision to match theirs. Doctor Mabuse is bizarre, scary and unforgettable. Jerry Lacy is mesmerizing and terrifying in the title role–a character first presented on screen by Fritz Lang in 1922. Lacy's Dark Shadows co-stars Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker, offer able support as a creepy pair of sisters who may or may not be working with Mabuse. Handsome newcomer Nathan Wilson makes the perfect leading man: for an actor not as experienced as his co-stars, Wilson shows an impressive depth and intensity in his role as a tormented police inspector. Annie Waterman gives the film a delightfully camp edge with her over the top performance, which she does in a deliciously hilarious, if inexplicable, European accent.

    Visually Doctor Mabuse is stunning. It's set in a dreamlike netherworld that could be any time, any place, between 1920-1950. Is it the USA? Is it Europe? That's never made clear, but it sure is spooky! As others have noted, if this masterpiece is what Ansel Faraj can achieve with limited resources it will be REALLY interesting what this young, emerging talent can do with a real budget!

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