The Mask of Fu Manchu Reviews
From a purely plot-centric standpoint, the reliance on Dr. Fu Manchu's "Eastern-ness" to make him a convincing villain is unimpressive. Others might argue that it was the Doctor's cunning or intention to take over the world that made him a great villain, but that argument fails once you put the movie in the historical context that it's defender love to put it in. At this time the British had a very extensive empire. They had, for all intents and purposes, taken over the world themselves. The movie is not as clear as the book in making the audience aware of a British empire, but that makes it no less of a reality. The British were scared of someone else, someone who did not look like them, having control over what they had. The film seeks to justify that fear as much as it plans to entertain, although it certainly did one better than the other.
Boris Karloff is one of the greats, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, and Lon Chaney Jr. are all some of the greatest early film actors of all time. What we have here is a group of scientists searching out the mask and sword of Genghis Khan. Dr. Fu Manchu wants to get his hands on the items so that he can summon Genghis Khan to come and destroy the Western World. More importantly kill all of the white men.
There are some amazing electricity effects that Boris Karloff does himself with, what looks like, a Tesla Coil. The effects are enough for you to really sit through it. On the scary scale though this has to rake in a easy 6 of 10. Though it is not scary what-so-ever.
Kill the white man - Dr. Fu Manchu
Dr. Fu Manchu is a believer in the ancient arts of witchcraft and magic. He believes that he can obtain the sword and mask of Ghengis Khan and bring him back to life to rule the world. He is not the only one after the ancient relics. The English, amongst others, will battle the doctor to the death to prevent the return of Ghengis Khan.
?You think Fu Manchu doesn?t know that we have a beautiful white girl here??
Charles Brabin, director of Ben-hur, Rasputin and the Empress, The Broadway Peacock, The Raven (1915), and Vanity Fair, delivers Mask of Fu Manchu. The storyline for this picture was interesting and well delivered. The characters were well portrayed but only Manchu was well developed. The performance was magnificent by the infamous Boriss Karloff.
?We have to beat him.?
My wife and I are huge Karloff fans and catch as many of his films during the Halloween season as possible. This was an interesting film and reminded me of Marlon Brando?s The Teahouse on the August Moon in which Brando portrayed a Vietnamese man. In both films, the performance by the lead character was an A+ but the film was a C. The performance by the lead characters make these films worth watching but the film is not great overall.
?He?s insane with power.?