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Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar

Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar (2014) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  82m  •    •  Directed by: Ansel Faraj.  •  Starring: Jerry Lacy, Nathan Wilson, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, Christopher Pennock, Bahia Garrigan, Dane Corrigan, Kate Avery, John C. Smith, Kelsey Hewlett, Thomas Adisi, Douglas M. Eames, Kelly Erin Decker.  •  Music by: Bill Wandel.
    Two years have passed since Dr. Mabuse took control of the city, now christened 'Etiopomar'. The city's inhabitants either fled, or stayed to live under the rule of his doctrine. When his doctrine goes missing, the already suspicious Mabuse begins to attack anyone whom he feels may be working against him. To further complicate his plans, a group of civilians have started to take matters into their own hands, working to try to take their city back from Dr. Mabuse.


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Image from: Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar (2014)
Image from: Doctor Mabuse: Etiopomar (2014)
At first I had misgivings about Nathan Wilson taking over the role of Mabuse. Jerry Lacy was such a powerful performance in the first film that any less screen time involving him seemed to indicate a retrograde step. However, not only is Wilson very good in the role, but Lacy still features every bit as much as he did before; this time he is more of a side-lines observer, swapping apocalyptic pronouncements with the two brilliantly bickering witches played by fellow Dark Shadows stars Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott.

This sequel opens things up beyond events in the previous film. The city of Etiopomar is represented by a larger, CaligariMetropolis-styled visuals and the cast is slightly larger. That is not to say that we are suddenly treated to any that betrays the tiny-budget appeal and style of the original. Direct Ansel Faraj's blue-screened anti-reality is still very much in evidence here, and usually that works to the film's weird advantage. The idea of automatons bringing down the city is realised with uneasy effect with a skillful economy of effects and the talents of the cast.

Dark Shadows' Christopher Pennock is a welcome addition here, playing the marvellous eye-rolling Professor who steals Mabuse's doctrine, with a zeal only matched by Dane Corrigan as Rotwang, one of the maddest mad scientists you will ever witness (based on the character from 1932's 'Metropolis'). Added to this a noir-ish quality that makes no concessions to the limitations of realism.

Now, if only the cast could agree on how to pronounce Mabuse!

Review by Nigel P from the Internet Movie Database.