In the dark of night, a man dressed in a gorilla outfit attacks another man and dumps him into the Thames to drown.  The man is a wealthy American.  When he is fished out of the river, the police find, on his body, a small plastic doll with unusual writing on it.  He is the third millionaire found this way.  Inspector David Perkins (Horst Tappert) and Sergeant Jim Pepper (Uwe Friedrichsen) from Scotland Yard are assigned the case.  When Perkins hears about the witnesses seeing a gorilla in the area at the time of the murders, he believes that a criminal element known as The Gorilla Gang may be responsible.

The writing on the doll recovered from the last victim is smudged and appears to be in a foreign language.  The head of the department, Sir Arthur (Hubert von Meyerinck) calls in Susan McPherson (Uschi Glas), an expert in African languages and a nurse.  All she can decipher from the blurred text is crime, murder and the monster and the gorilla.

Sgt Pepper learns that the dead man left his entire fortune to an organization called Love and Peace for People or LPFP.  They are supposedly a charitable institution.  The charity is run by Henry Parker (Albert Lieven).  Perkins learns that that former head of the Gorilla Gang was a man named Jack Corner.  An accident left him extremely disfigured.  After prison he worked at the Saint Mary’s Home for orphaned girls for a few weeks before he disappeared. 

Following the clues, Inspector Perkins makes his way to Saint Mary’s.  Eventually he connects the home for girls to Love and Peace for People and a plot to swindle rich men with no family by having them make the charity their beneficiary.  They then send a man in a gorilla suit to kill the men so Love and Peace can collect the inheritance.       

“The Gorilla of Soho” AKA “Der Gorilla von Soho” AKA “Gorilla Gang” was released in 1968 and was directed by Alfred Vohrer.  It is a West German crime film and a krimi or kriminalfilm and West Germany’s idea of what a British police procedural looks like.  The film is based on a story written by Edgar Wallace in 1924. 

This Edgar Wallace story has gotten a lot of mileage.  The story was originally made into a film in 1961 under the original story title “The Dead Eyes of London” and also directed by Vohrer.  The 1961 adaptation is also a krimi.  It was also made into a British movie in 1939 with Bela Lugosi and was titled “The Human Monster”.  Of course, each version has its own modification of the original story.

The best parts of the movie are the beginning credits and the end.  That’s because the beginning credits have that colorful splash of blood-soaked title credits, and the end of the movie has an elevator arrow pointing to the word ende and the arrow looks like an erect penis.  The penis plays on a running joke throughout the film of the chief of police continually being caught with hookers.  The actual scenes with Sir Arthur and the hooker aren’t funny. 

The rest of the movie isn’t horrible, but it’s not great either.  It does have many of the standard krimi tropes such as a comic relief sidekick, a confusing plot and a gorilla, so if you like krimis, this offering is typical of the genre.

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