Been meaning to post a link to The Thousand and One Lives of Doctor Mabuse for ages.
The Thousand and One Lives of Doctor Mabuse is not exactly a standalone film but anyone with a passing knowledge of previous Mabuse movies or the novels by Norbert Jacques should have no problem getting into it. I have yet to see his first two entries but what I like about this production is that it manages to create a unique world within the Mabuse myth that may of course contain some references to previous incarnations but otherwise goes its very own way.
Just goes to show that low budget should never stop you from fulfilling your visions.
Also impressive to see that within that trilogy Ansel incorporated elements of Etiopomar, the fictitious country Mabuse was planning to set up and rule in the original novels, an element of the plot that was never much highlighted in earlier adaptations.