George (Massimo Serato), Mary (Eleonora Rossi Drago) and Eric (Jean Sorel) have a hypnosis act that uses a ventriloquist dummy as part of the act. The dummy’s name is Grog. George and Mary are engaged. Eric is secretly obsessively in love with Mary and surreptitiously sends her roses every opening night.
Chris Carpenter (Gotz George) is a boxer who works part time as a delivery man for a florist. At the latest opening night Chris is sent to the theater to deliver roses to Mary. He asks Eric for directions to her dressing room. When there is no response to her knock he goes across the hall and knocks on another dressing room door. This door happens to be open but there is no one inside the room. Chris wanders in and looks around. He sees some money on the dressing table. Temptation gets the better of him and he steals the money. Before he can leave, George returns to the room. Chris knocks George unconscious and sneaks out of the room. Eric discovers the unconscious George and takes advantage of the situation to beat George to death and blame it on the delivery man. During all this the only “witness” to the crime is George’s ventriloquist dummy Grog.
A police Inspector, (Heinz Drache) is assigned to the case. He trails Chris to his sister’s house. His sister, Carol (Mara Cruz), tries to stall the police while Chris exits out the window. The Inspector goes after him but slips on the ledge of the roof. He ends up hanging on for dear life. Chris pulls the inspector to safety and knocks him out. He then escapes.
Chris knows that Eric is the killer and tries to prove it without getting caught by the police. Carol believes in her brother and tries to find him while also trying to help him. The police Inspector tries to piece everything together. Why would a man who just killed someone save his life. When it is discovered that the dummy, Grog, is missing, the Inspector has to consider the possibility that the dummy may play a part in solving the mystery. As Eric’s mental state begins to unravel he begins to believe that supernatural forces may be after him. In his desperation he takes deadly measures to cover himself.
“Hypnosis” AKA “Ipnosi” AKA “Dummy of Death” was released in 1962 and was directed by Eugenio Martin. It is a combined West German, Italian, Spanish co-production horror thriller and a krimi. The film was dubbed into several languages. In each language the names of the characters were changed. I found an English dubbed version with English versions of the character’s names. The film is one of the lesser known krimis.
It’s not a bad little film. It is a suspenseful thriller with some supernatural undertones. I felt that the “supernatural” aspect was blown up a little too much in some of the synopses I’ve seen for the film. There is so much more to the movie than the ventriloquist’s dummy aspect. Following Eric and his desperation to protect himself was a large part of the film.