- Average third follow-up to Fumanchu-Christopher Lee series 6/2/2004 12:00:00 AM by ma-cortes
This is an exciting and suspenseful , though mediocre Fu Manchu movie , but still enjoyable . It's a little boring , but is better than following entries , the low-budgeted and lackluster Jess Frank movies : ¨Kiss of the dead¨ and ¨The castle of Fumanchu¨ which most critics felt were the weakest of the series .
The co-protagonist is Nyland Smith , finely played by Douglas Wilmer -character also interpreted by Nigel Green and Richard Greene- ; he's a good English actor , usually playing in secondary roles -El Cid- , here he is the starring and is very well . The baddies are Horst Frank , a German actor usually playing as the villain-role and Christopher Lee , as always acting as a magnificent evil-doer . As usual , there appears Howard Marion Crawford who is the assistant of Nyland Smith , a Watson-alike . And of course , the Fu Manchu's daughter , habitually played by T Sai Chin , acting perfectly as a nasty murderous.
In the film there are action , adventures , thriller , sadism and exotic outdoors filmed in China , because being produced by the Chinese Shaw Brothers and Harry Allan Towers (producer of the Fu Manchu's five movies) . The movie will appeal those have seen the different entries and Christopher Lee fans ; the best installments are directed by Don Sharp : ¨Face of Fu Manchu (1965)¨ and ¨Brides of Fu Manchu(1966)¨. Rating : Average but entertaining .
- Extremely entertaining. 1/2/2003 12:00:00 AM by HumanoidOfFlesh
Fu Manchu and his daughter Lin Tang(Tsai Chin)return home to China.This time Fu Manchu kidnaps a Christian missionary working in China,who is also a surgeon.He is kidnapped to perform an operation on one of Fu's dacoits to make him look just like Nayland Smith.However he wants duplicates made of all the major police chiefs of the world,to discredit them as well.He calls Rudolph Moss(Horst Frank),the head of American syndicate,to join him.Christopher Lee is again amazing as a Fu Manchu-the film is pretty well-made and exciting.Followed by two euro-trash cheapies "The Blood of Fu Manchu" and "The Castle of Fu Manchu".
- "It marks the beginning of the series' decline." 3/28/2004 12:00:00 AM by jamesraeburn2003
Evil Oriental mastermind Fu Manchu (CHRISTOPHER LEE) and his daughter in crime Lin Tang (TSAI CHIN) return to their ancestral China from where they plot their latest diabolical scheme for world domination. First they create an explosion causing a rocky mountain to subside, thus creating the illusion that all communications have been cut off between the village that neighbors Fu Manchu's palace and Shanghai. Secondly they abduct a renowned plastic surgeon called Dr Lieberson (WOLFGANG KIELING) and force him to create a double of Nayland Smith (DOUGLAS WILMER). The real Smith is subsequently abducted and brought to Fu Manchu's palace. Meanwhile, the double who is a prisoner under a deep state of hypnosis kills Smith's housekeeper and is subsequently arrested, tried and hanged for the crime. Fu Manchu is delighted as the whole world thinks that Nayland Smith was a psychopathic killer and his reputation is posthumously ruined. While all this is going on, Fu Manchu will have the pleasure of murdering the real Smith on the quiet. A wanted American criminal mastermind called Rudolph Moss (NOEL TRETHARNAN) has recently arrived at Fu Manchu's palace with a pact signed by the world's criminal bosses agreeing to the Yellow Peril becoming their leader. Fu Manchu plans to use Dr Lieberson to create further doubles of all the criminals' enemies and give them the same treatment as he intends for Nayland Smith. Smith must escape, clear his name and stop an international murder spree erupting.
THE VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU was the third of producer Harry Alan Towers' series of international productions starring Christopher Lee as Sax Rohmer's fiendish Oriental mastermind. Don Sharp had directed the first two films in the series, but Jeremy Summers took over for this one entry. Summers was essentially a TV director who occasionally made feature films. These include the Gerry & The Pacemakers movie FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY (1965) and the Tony Hancock vehicle THE PUNCH AND JUDY MAN (1964). On TV he has directed episodes of such British cult classics as JASON KING and RANDALL & HOPKIRK (DECEASED) as well as contributing to notable UK soap operas such as CORONATION STREET and BROOKSIDE. Summers' father was Walter Summers who directed the notable Bela Lugosi horror film THE DARK EYES OF London (1939). Incidentally, this was the first film in the UK to receive the "H" for horrific certificate in Britain.
The film marks first step down the slippery slope of the series' degeneration into becoming shambling nonsense. The script is both poorly plotted and confused. Matters are not helped by an unwise emphasis on torture and sadism like when Fu Manchu brands Liebrson's daughter (MARIA ROHM) with a branding iron in order to force him to carry out his demands. These scenes are disheartening and make one wish for the return of the light direction of Don Sharp in THE FACE OF FU MANCHU (1965). The production also has the air of being a half-hearted effort all round as most of the performances are all at best average with the possible exception of Tsai Chin whose portrayal of Lin Tang is still undeniably evil without any sign of remorse in her actions. The direction is coherent and well-paced (which saves the picture from being a complete disaster) but shows little enthusiasm for the material. The film wasn't particularly successful, but Towers was able to squeeze out two more (and even worse) sagas featuring Fu Manchu. They were THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU and THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU (1968), which were shot back to back by Spanish director Jess Franco. This series could have lasted for a long time if they had referred back to the original source for plots rather than trying to invent their own.
- The beginning of the end 11/30/2006 12:00:00 AM by psychoren2002
In the 60's series of five Fu Manchu movies made by Cristhoper Lee as the Chinese fiend, this is the one in the middle, without the direction of Don Sharp (replaced by Jeremy Summers) who made the better two entries. It's still an interesting movie, Fu Manchu tries to ruin his enemy reputation by replacing him with a killer lookalike (done with a complicated facial surgery) and, as usual, planning world domination as the boss of a new international organization. Douglas Wilmer shines as Nayland Smith or the zombie-like killer, Lee is perfect as usual and the always reliable Howard Marion Crawford as Dr. Petrie (a character clearly inspired by Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson) got some good moments too. Sadly, after "Vengeance" trashy Spanish director Jesus Franco took the series for the last two film, the less interesting entries by far.
- Harry Alan Towers' third Fu Manchu film is another step down in this steadily deteriorating series. 2/23/1999 12:00:00 AM by bella-6
This is the third film in the revived Fu Manchu series from hit-and-run international film financier Harry Alan Towers. It represents yet another step down in this steadily deteriorating series. Towers' first mistake was in replacing director Don Sharp with Jeremy Summers, a TV-director whose only other theatrical credit was Gerry & the Pacemakers' feature "Ferry Cross the Mersey". His next mistake was filming in less-than ideal international locations, a characteristic of most of Towers' subsequent productions.
Filmed in Hong Kong, the film manages to pass up every opportunity for location flavor; the cramped film could have been made on any soundstage in the world. For reasons unknown, Summers chose to shoot with live sound on Hong Kong's non-soundproofed stages and, in the sceneof a delicate medical operation conducted, supposedly, in the bowels of a Tibetan temple, construction noises and traffic sounds are clearly audible.
The part of nominal star Christopher Lee is essentially an extended cameo. Instead, the film highlights Maria Rohm, Towers' German-born wife, who has never made a film for anyone but her husband. Here, she has one of her showiest roles as a nightclub singer, wearing a variety of glamorous costumes and lip syncing two awful songs performed on the soundtrack by Samantha Jones.
Ironically, this would be the only film in the series given USA release through a major distributor: Warner Brothers. But they held it low regard: a number of release prints were struck in black and white and it played on the bottom half of a double bill with "The Shuttered Room".