Counterblast; Devil’s Plot, The

2482. COUNTERBLAST (The Devil’s Plot) (1948-England). With ROBERT BEATTY, MERVYN JOHNS, NOVA PILBEAM. Directed by PAUL L. STEIN. This highly suspenseful melodrama centers on the post-war plight of a devilish Nazi medical officer who performed torturous experiments on human victims. He is maniacal Dr. Bruckner, known to the Allies as “The Beast Of Ravensbruck.” Bruckner escapes from a British prisoner-of- war camp and arranges through underground contacts to masquerade as an Australian bacteriologist named Dr. Richard Forrester. The fugitive sets up a laboratory in the cellar of his house. Looking forward to “the next war” he starts work on a dreadful serum which could kill entire populations and a vaccine to protect his fellow Nazis. Unbeknownst to his assigned assistant Dr. Rankin, Dr. Bruckner and an unsuspecting underling experiment on rats with a cardiac plague culture which he secretly is cultivating for mass production. The Nazi madman plans for these microbes of death to be disseminated inside aerosol bombs. The film’s release in the U.S. was delayed five years because it was considered too violent! A strong cast (lead by the fine British actors Mervyn Johns and Robert Beatty along with lovely Nova Pilbeam) and intelligent direction by Paul L. Stein make this a powerful and thrilling entertainment. 99 minutes. Drama