HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unearth
Circumstantial Pleasures
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
   
 
Newest Articles
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
   
 
  Face of Fu Manchu, The London Can Take It
Year: 1965
Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Christopher Lee, Nigel Green, Joachim Fuchsberger, Karin Dor, James Robertson Justice, Howard Marion-Crawford, Tsai Chin, Walter Rilla, Harry Brogen, Poulet Tu, Edwin Richfield, Archie O'Sullivan, Joe Lynch, Peter Mosbacher, Eric Young, Deborah DeLacey
Genre: Horror, Thriller, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: It is a solemn occasion as a Tibetan Grand Lama reads out the charges against criminal mastermind Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) and consigns him to his execution. Fu Manchu slowly walks to his fate, places his head on the block and the axeman chops it off in one stroke. There to witness this is a Westerner, Sir Nayland Smith (Nigel Green), the man who brought the villain to justice, but several months later, after putting the day to the back of his mind, he has cause to remember him during a strange new crimewave - could it be the world is hearing from Fu Manchu again...?

Of course it could, you don't call your movie The Face of Fu Manchu for nothing, after all. The cunning baddie had substituted a lookalike actor for himself during that execution ceremony, and now has turned up in London to begin once more where he left off. A serial outing apart, Sax Rohmer's famed character had not been seen on the big screen for around three decades when venerable producer and scriptwriter Harry Alan Towers brought him back, not, as one might expect of this era, as a kind of sixties James Bond villain, but as a period piece.

To some extent this is carried off with aplomb, and the world of nineteen-twenties London is nicely conveyed on a middling budget, but it's the committed performances that really sell the adventure. Lee is icy menace from top to toe, with his tendrils in every aspect of British life so that the heroes can be driving along a country lane when suddenly a plane will fly over and the pilot will drop a bomb or two on them to discourage any further attempts to foil his master. Yet it's Green's debonair inspector who stands out as the most fun to watch.

Smith is the ideal hero for this type of thing, backed up by a collection of blustering Englishmen, and some of the dialogue he is allowed is highly entertaining, especially when put across with such a straight face. So it's a pity that Don Sharp's direction lets the excitement flag too often, being far too pedestrian for the most part - would it have killed him to put in a few crazy camera angles for example? But while the lack of energy in some scenes is a flaw, the script and actors have the right idea, notable amongst them Tsai Chin as Fu Manchu's wicked daughter Lin Tang.

It is she who relishes the idea of whipping a traitor, and it's a pity she doesn't get to carry out many of her threats, but I suppose the censor of the day wouldn't allow it. In fact, the only genuine torture sequence sees Fu Manchu lock the traitor in a chamber in his sewer lair and fill it with water from the Thames, thereby drowning her and making it look like a suicide. Not to worry, as he's as dastardly as his reputation in other scenes as he creates a deadly gas with which to hold the United Kingdom to ransom, and in scenes familiar from a few British adventure and science fiction movies knocks out a whole village to prove he means business. With some German allies (including Joachim Fuchsberger and future Bond Girl Karin Dor), this being a UK-West German co-production after all, Smith endeavours to overcome this foe, but as there were five films in this series, you can bet he didn't entirely succeed. Music by Christopher Whelen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5463 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: