HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  Terror of the Tongs, The Fu Manchu In All But NameBuy this film here.
Year: 1961
Director: Anthony Bushell
Stars: Christopher Lee, Yvonne Monlaur, Geoffrey Toone, Marne Maitland, Brian Worth, Ewen Solon, Roger Delgado, Richard Leech, Charles Lloyd Pack, Maria Burke, Barbara Brown, Burt Kwouk, Tom Gill, Eric Young, Milton Reid
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1910 and the place is Hong Kong, which is labouring under the grip of the dreaded Red Dragon Tong, an organised crime syndicate that has a clawed finger in every pie in the area. A British ship's captain, Jackson Sale (Geoffrey Toone), doesn't believe this has anything to do with him even if the island is his destination, and as he entertains a Chinese scholar, Mr Ming (Burt Kwouk), he listens patiently to his stories but cannot see what he can do about the problem. However, he will soon be forced into action...

After The Stranglers of Bombay was a big hit for the Hammer studio, they began to churn out historical adventures with a violent tone in earnest, not as many as their horror pictures but enough to represent a minor place in their output. If the genuine chillers are the ones that they are best recalled for, then works like this one still have their fans, although mainly among those familiar with their other films rather than newcomers or casual viewers, but watched today they tended to lack the bite, if you will, of the vampire efforts, or indeed the other shockers they released.

One of the problems with Terror of the Tongs was that it is now inescapably dated due to its casting, with practically every major Chinese character played by a Western actor sporting eye makeup to render their appearance more Eastern. It was not a rare sight in movies ever since their inception, but was beginning to die out around the sixties, although Christopher Lee was a performer with more of these roles than many other stars thanks to his Fu Manchu series that he took the title part in. Here he was Fu in all but name, obviously indebted to Sax Rohmer's creation and very much coming off second best.

The fact that not every European actor playing Chinese actually wore the starched eyelids made it slightly more disconcerting, as when the female lead Yvonne Monlaur appeared you were unsure as to whether she was supposed to be a local or not thanks to her eschewing the type of arrangement Lee wore and opting for heavy mascara instead. Even in her black wig, nobody was going to be fooled, but if you can put the racial issues to one side, did this story stand up otherwise? The answer to that was those issues were hard to ignore when a paranoia about Chinese gangs was informing every aspect of the script, this time by Hammer's go-to man Jimmy Sangster.

So Mr Ming is bumped off by a Tong agent (killing off Burt Kwouk so early in your film is always a mistake) but not before he passes on a list of high up conspirators hidden in a book offered to Sale's daughter (Barbara Brown), which the bad guys are keen to track down for understandable reasons. When they do, this results in a surprisingly ruthless plot twist which showed that if nothing else, Sangster meant business in showing his villains to be as formidable as possible, and so Sale is left to tackle them practically single-handed until he manages to work up some assistance, with Monlaur's Lee (not Christopher) falling in love with him - more prejudice arises when the script decides they cannot be together for the final scene. For a man who drinks fifteen pints of brandy a day, Sale is a capable enough hero, but in spite of moments of vivid nastiness to distinguish it this was a little drab, even with that bright Technicolor. Music by James Bernard.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1986 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: