Shadow of Chinatown Reviews
My copy came from my legendary Mill Creek 50-pack 'Nightmare Worlds', and if you enjoy serials, Lugosi or 30's detective films such as the 'Charlie Chan' series, it's a decent poor-boy's version and worth a watch. I would prefer to see the full version, but that's just me. If you're just marginally interested in them or prefer Lugosi in his more horrific fare, this may prove boring for you, and I would suggest that instead, you stick to his better-known projects with more money behind them and better directors--they offer you much more meat to sink your *ahem* teeth into.
Starring: Herman Brix, Joan Barclay, Luana Walters, Maurice Lui, and Bela Lugosi
Director: Robert F. Hill
A pair of self-loathing "eurasians" (Walters and Lugosi) team up to use their business savaay and scientific know-how to enrich themselves and take their revenge on both the White and Oritental peoples. But they haven't counted on interference from a San Francisco society page reporter wanting to graduate to investigative reporting (Barclay), her Chinese culture-loving private detective friend (Brix), nor the assortment of superflous secondary characters and bumbling henchmen.
"The Shadow of Chinatown" that I watched is the feature-film version, which is a condensing of a 15-part serial. That explains for some of the disjointedness of the story, but it doesn't account for the atrociously wooden acting on the part of the actors--except Luana Walters, the only performer who gives a decent accounting of herself--the erratic and contradictory abilities and powers of Lugosi's character, and the lame, anti-climax of the movie's end.
This 70-minute version was so dull I almost didn't make it to end. It starts out strong enough with Walters and Lugosi's minions fanning out through Chinatown and terrorizing business patrons while disguised as Chinese gangsters, and providing Barclay's character an opportunity to get captured by the villains and then escape... but then it starts to sink into a mess of bad acting and even worse plotting. Walters remains a bright spot throughout, but she's really the only thing worth watching here.