Monday, October 1, 2018

The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967)

Fu Manchu stories are complete nonsense of course, a vision of the Orient that was outdated and fanciful even in it's day, and drenched in Yellow Peril nonsense but the sheer madness of this film is what makes it so compelling.

Christopher Lee is Fu Manchu, has holed up in his remote Chinese stronghold with his daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin) and his army of bad men with swords. He is plotting revenge on his nemesis Inspector Nayland Smith (Douglas Wilmer) with the help of a mindless dacoit who has been turned into a duplicate of Smith by a captive plastic surgeon (Wolfgang Keiling) in order to discredit him. Meanwhile Fu Manchu is also plotting to become the king of crime and take over the world...

So it's stuffed full of every cliche possible: junks, sedan chairs, pigtails and many men with swords. Christopher Lee is magnificent as Fu Manchu, kingpin of this mad world. It is ridiculous and trashy and so campy. Pretty brutal too with beheadings and torture of women amongst the "pleasures" in Fu Manchu's lair. The film could do with a bit more Christopher Lee though but the appearance of Tony Ferrer, the "James Bond of the Philippines", as the head of the Shanghai police is entertaining.