David Kalat’s The Strange Case Of Dr. Mabuse: A Review

July 19, 2007

A Review

The Strange Case Of Dr. Mabuse


David Kalat

by R.E. Prindle



     The message and the medium are the same.  For those who like obscure but important issues a book appeared in 2001, of all years, by David Kalat entitled ‘The Strange Case Of Dr. Mabuse published by McFarland, the publishers of obscure studies par excellence.

     For those unfamiliar with Dr. Mabuse, for this study may indeed be obscure, Dr. Mabuse was a film character created by the movie auteur, Fritz Lang, in 1922 when he filmed Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler.  Kalat chronicles the whole series of twelve films and some related titles extending from 1922 to the present.  However my concern will be primarily Lang’s The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse of 1933.

     There are great similarities in Lang’s film to The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari because Lang was also involved in that film.  Mabuse may be the logical extension of it.

     The premise of the series is the undemining and destruction of society to be replaced by the anarchy and chaos of a Mabusian Empire Of Crime.  As you can see, if you look around you, Mabuse’s goal has been all but realized.

     Dr. Mabuse himself went insane at the end of The Gambler having been confined to an insane asylum administered by one Dr. Baum.  Catatonic for quite some time, Mabuse began moving his hand and fingers in a gesture of writing.  Baum provided Mabuse with pen and paper which Mabuse used to begin writing non-stop until he died.  He wrote his criminal manifesto for destroying society as we know it. He was a master hypnotist apparently hypnotizing Baum through his writings.  His soul or spirit thus entered Baum so that he, posing as the incapacitated Dr. Mabuse set in motion a whole series of crimes meant to destabilize society.

     In the end Baum too went insane after becoming in actuality Dr. Mabuse himself, recently deceased.

     Mabuse, in the Rosicrucian tradition, was an ‘unknown superior’ who directs the society of criminals anonymously.  Baum too was one.  Was Fritz Lang another?  Was the film his method of transmitting instructions to all the malcontents of the world who mesmerized from the screen rather than the printed page became agents in the establishment of the Empire Of Crime?  I rather suspect so.

     Mabuse is very sillily supposed to represent Hitler and the Nazis but nothing could be further from the intent and nature of the Empire Of Crime.  The excellent DVD of ‘Testament’ includes an interview with Fritz Lang.  Lang gives an account of his interview with Joseph Goebbels just before he fled Nazi Germany.

     Even though an evil Nazi Goebbels was no fool.  He easily saw through the equally evil Lang’s intent and purpose.  As he told Lang there was no State that could not be undermined by such methods which, once again, look around and you will find it is true.  Blair, Chirac, and Bush act like brain washed zombies aiding the Mabuse program.  Their acts are so contrary to reason, elementary reason, that one wonders if, indeed, they have not been hypnotized, coerced in some strange way to act against society’s and their own best interest.  Manchurian Candidates every one.

     So Goebbels banned the film confiscating the prints.  However the canny and evil Lang had been one step ahead of him.  He had concurrently reshot the whole movie in French which he had smuggled out of Germany.  The French in turn smuggled the movie out of Nazi occupied France to the United States where the film was shown beginning in 1943 thus perpetuating the legacy of Dr. Mabuse which might otherwise have been lost.

      As Mabuse, although based on a novel by Norbert Jacques, essentially sprang from the mind of Fritz Lang being commited to celluloid, the inescapable conclusion is that he himself was one of the many faces of Dr. Mabuse as Joseph Goebbels had no trouble realizing.

     The above goes well beyond Kalat’s text.  His book is a good description of the Mabuse phenomenon while providing good biographies of Lang and the German, French and Spanish movie people who perpetuated the program willingly or not.  For those not familiar with the European movie scene, or part of it, of which I am one, the book is also an excellent introduction.

     If you are Mabusian, whether you know it or not, you will find Kalat’s book indispensable.  If, like myself, you opposed to Mabusianism the book will provide essential background.  Kalat’s All Day Entertainment site has a good bargain on a combo book and movie offer.  If nothing else you will be able to entertain yourself all day in the grand manner.

End Of Dr. Mabuse Review

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