Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (1)
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Almost all padding, with a few cheap racial stereotypes to spice up the stew.
The new MST3K Netflix original has been released and I decided to expose myself to some of the old episodes available for streaming on Hulu and Netflix (there is a different random selection on each platform). Whether it is Joel or Mike watching these awful movies with the bots I do not envy the torture they are put through. Their snarky comments add some entertainment value, but my ratings are based on the movie's quality itself and not the extra material broadcast from the satellite of love. Absolutely awful! In the midst of making respected Hammer films I had no idea that Christopher Lee appeared in this garbage. This "Castle" picture is the 5th time Lee played Fu Manchu. International money and an international cast in this mess of a movie. Terrible action, acting, dubbing, continuity, and plot. Again I had to skip ahead while streaming looking for some piece of it with redeeming qualities. I found none.
It truly was awful, the direction was a disaster, the editing was bad, the acting was even worse. I know it's low budget but it was really obvious.
I've seen a lot of terrible films, and so I don't say this lightly... Castle of Fu Manchu is the worst movie ever created. It has no redeeming value whatsoever. It's not silly enough to laugh at. The plot is incomprehensible garble. The camera zooms in and out inexplicably while stuffy British wankers mumble stuff about things happening to people in places. Deeeeeeep Hurting.
What a difference a decent transfer makes. For ages only viewable in muddy, heavily cut, nearly unwatchable prints, The Castle of Fu Manchu is now available, thanks to Blue Underground, in all of its colorful, zoom-laden glory. The last of producer Harry Alan Towers' five-film Fu Manchu series, and generally considered to be the worst, The Castle of Fu Manchu is actually a fun, trashy time waster, and far better than the previous film in the series, The Blood of Fu Manchu, which was burdened by a tedious bandito sub plot that dragged the film to a grinding halt. Directed with a certain pulpy vitality by the highly erratic but occasionally brilliant Jess Franco, Castle has a tacky comic book verve that is hard to resist, and that is certainly more entertaining than many of the expensive, highly touted bombs that Hollywood has been dropping lately. Contrary to what others have reported on this site, Christopher Lee is in excellent form, delivering his lines with distinctive aplomb and offering a stunning, iconographic series of facial expressions as he attempts to overact under the restrictive 'Oriental' make-up. The great Tsai Chin (soon to be seen as 'Auntie' in Memoirs of a Geisha), as Fu's devoted, sadistic daughter, Lin Tang, is terrific as always, and looks particularly fetching in her white Hejab. Best of all, Rosalba Neri shows up as a tough, Fez-topped lesbian, of whom Fu says "Keep her alive. She might be useful to us. She fights like a man." 5 Stars 10-19-13
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