26 January, 2008


DR. HARALD REINL (1908-1986)

Toter Taucher nimmt kein Gold, Ein (1974)
... aka Deadly Jaws (USA)
... aka No Gold for a Dead Diver (UK)

Retitled and repackaged as a JAWS rip off in the mid 1970's, this obscure German action adventure title is now available apparently slammed onto DVD by FORTUNE 5 DVD with 19 others films as GRINDHOUSE EXPERIENCE VOLUME 2. "All new world exclusive films now showing" the box reads. This "20 FILM FEATURE COLLECTION" is packed with mostly 60s, 70s and 80s Italian items like Enzo G. Castellari's SHARK HUNTER, with Franco Nero (the old Dutch video looking really bad here and difficult to track), Ruggero Deodato;s ATLANTIS INTERCEPTORS, the 60s Eurospy 077: MISSION BLOODY MARY, Stelvio Massi's BLAZING MAGNUM, CATHAGE IN FLAMES, an early 60s peplum, and 3 SUPERMEN AGAINST THE GODFATHER, among others. Most of the prints look transferred from old videos with no attempt made at any kind of video or sound remastering. You can't go wrong, right? Wrong!

EIN TOER TAUCHER NIMMT EEIN GOLD was directed by the Austrian born veteran Dr. Harald Reinl (THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM; THE RETURN OF DR. MABUSE) and Jurgen Roland who, like Reinl, made "Krimis" in the 1960's (THE CRIMSON CIRCLE). Roland is uncredited and may have been called in to replace the busy, or disgusted, director of name.

The version seen on this collection comes complete with Japanese subtitles and highly variable picture quality, obviously from a video release.

Not that the film itself is any kind of lost classic. It's the kind of throwaway adventure that makes one wonder why anyone wasted time and money producing it in the first place.

An unscrupulous ship's captain (Marius Weyers) and his sexy girlfriend (Sandra Prinsloo) trap a professional diver (Hans Haas Jr) into helping them recover a fortune in sunken 15Th Century Spanish gold guarded by skeletons, a squid "monster" and hammerhead sharks. The squid monster looks like something out of Jerry Warren's THE INCREDIBLE PETRIFIED WORLD (1957), and sharks are added via stock footage. The villain is supposed to have a sound setup which projects his voice to fellow divers and to the surface, but it sounds like a post-dubbed attempt to make the extensive footage of divers looking around the ocean floor less boring. Local gangsters attack in boats and planes when they find out about the loot, but the day is saved when the Mexican Coast Guard shows up at the last minute to rescue our hero.

It's all pretty dumb and predictable. The main device Reinl and co. use to film events is the zoom lens. At one point, the camera crew can be seen reflected in a window. By this time in his long career Reinl seems to have been operating on autopilot. On the upside, Marius Weyers is quite effective as the bipolar villain and Sandra Prinsloo is quite hot as his tricky assistant. If these two actors look familiar you may have seen them playing very different roles as the bumbling couple in the 1980 international hit comedy THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY.

Jess Franco fans might notice that the credited cinematographer and set designer are, respectively, Franz X. Lederle and Peter H. Krause, who were also listed as performing those functions on NECRONOMICON/SUCCUBUS (1967). We now know that their names appeared on the Franco film for quota purposes. Their actual work here is undistinguished. Jess Franco soundtrack collectors will also hear uncredited cues from a number of his 60's and 70's titles, including Bruno Nicolai compositions from NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT (1970).

Born 9 July 1908, Bad Ischl, Salzburg, Austria-Hungary, Dr. Harald Reinl went from mountain films in the 1940s and 50s, to take over the DR. MABUSE series for Artur Brauner's CCC after Fritz Lang refused to become involved in Brauner's proposed follow ups to his THE 1000 EYES OF DR MABUSE (1960). He also made several of the picturesque "Winnetou" westerns, THE TREASURE OF THE SILVER LAKE and THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, among others. His fanciful 1967 horror film DAS SCHLANGENGRUBE UND DAS PENDEL featured his first wife Karin Dor (TOPAZ) and Lex Barker from THE INVISIBLE DR. MABUSE (1961), a more sober Reinl production. He contributed to the popular (in Germany) Jerry Cotton series and would helm the highly successful "documentary" CHARIOT OF THE GODS (1970) and WILLIAM SHATNER'S MYSTERIES OF THE GODS (1977), coercive attempts to promote belief in UFOs in order to sell tickets. Reinl's fifty year career came to an end on 9 October 1986 in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain when he was stabbed to death by his second wife.

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