The Mask of Fu Manchu Reviews
The original 'torture porn' horror film is replete with racist 'yellow peril', out-of-this-world tortures, and a menacing performance by Karloff as the Sax Rohmer character.
Lewis Stone is unflappable as the definitive Nayland Smith. The hysterically bi-polar performance by Karen Morley almost overcomes the scenes she is in and only really comes into its own when she suspects Terry, culminating in her cries in a raging rainstorm "He's possessed, possessed!"
The testing of the sword in Fu Manchu's lab is an atmospheric example of pulp fantasy with its wild display of electrics conducted by Karloff. The alligator death trap Smith is tied to is a setpiece that puts even the 007 movies to shame. But its the operation scene that is one of the bizarre sequences put on film. Manchu's operating lab is stocked with giant boa constrictors, spiders, and nearly naked muscled black men who's job it seems is only to stand on pedestals with their arms crossed. The cuts between the operation to Fu Manchu's daughter calmly smoking away are creepy indeed.
The finale with the armies of the East gathered together and a laser blasting away are quite spectacular for its time.
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.?
I love it due to the exciting acting of THE UNCANNED ZAR BORIS!!
Doctor Fu Manchu is a pretty sweet character.
Boris Karloff is pretty dope as Fu Manchu.
Oh and I love the bit where they milk the venom from what is quite obviously a Boa Constrictor, a snake that everyone in the world knows isn't poisonous