THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU. (1969) BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY SAX ROHMER. DIRECTED BY JESUS FRANCO.
STARRING CHRISTOPHER LEE, TSAI CHIN, RICHARD GREENE, HOWARD MARION-CRAWFORD, GUSTAVO RE, GÜNTHER STOLL, MARIA PERSCHY, ROSALBA NERI AND JOSÉ MANUEL MARTIN.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is Christopher Lee’s last film outing as super-villainous arch-criminal mastermind, Fu Manchu, and his last time to don the moustaches, rubber-soled shoes, little silk caps and regal Oriental robes of said villain.
This time around, Fu Manchu has the mad idea of controlling the world by freezing the oceans. Indeed, the start of the film is like TITANIC. He’s holed up in the governor’s castle in Istanbul (he’s taken over the castle) with a view to controlling the biggest opium port in Anatolia.
Now, while it’s no surprise to hear that Fu Manchu has his finger in the drugs pie, this time he actually needs the opium to fuel his ocean-freezing machine. Yes, reader, this is possibly the most far-fetched of all his zany schemes for world domination thus far, but who are we to judge, we who haven’t spent years studying and planning for world domination as Fu Manchu has done?
He needs the help of Dr. Heracles, an ailing scientist with a dicky ticker, to carry out his zany scheme. It’s this doctor’s magic crystals which will freeze the world’s oceans, see? But Dr. Heracles may not live long enough to carry out this mad plan of Fu Manchu’s. What to do, what to do?
Fu Manchu sends his men to kidnap a Dr. Kessler from England and his sexy colleague, a Dr. Ingrid, to perform heart surgery on Dr. Heracles. What would happen if they too got sick?
I suppose he’d just keep kidnapping more and more doctors until he eventually got the job done. But each quack has to be disposed of when he or she has outlived their usefulness, so the blood must flow before long…
English toff Nayland Smith, Fu Manchu’s Interpol/Scotland Yard nemesis, and his tea-drinking companion Dr. Petrie, are back once more to annoy the evil genius Fu Manchu, foil his plans and put the wind up him with their British doggedness and non-giving-up-ness.
Lin Tang, Fu Manchu’s beautiful, cruel daughter, is also here again, to say things like: ‘Father, they’re getting away!’ To which her unruffled Pops invariably answers: ‘They won’t get far.’ He keeps a cool head in a crisis, does Fu Manchu. Either that, or he has a lot of faith in his army of dacoits (bandits) to stop people from absconding.
I love the Fu Manchu Broadcasting System. It’s a lot like the Voice of Terror in the 1942 film SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VOICE OF TERROR, in which a stern German voice announces catastrophes the Nazis are planning to inflict on the British nation just before they happen. Fu Manchu has great fun threatening the world on his little toy. ‘The world shall hear from me again…!’
I’m sure it will, Fu Manchu, ya crazy loon. I’m sure it will.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.