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THE FACE OF FU MANCHU (1965)

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This film is returning to TCM's airwaves in October as part of Christopher Lee's Star of the Month tribute. Plus there will be premieres for two follow-up titles-- THE BRIDES OF FU MANCHU and THE VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU.

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The Christopher Lee Fu Manchu series has its admirers. Produced by British B-movie legend Harry Alan Towers, they were directed by Hammer vet Don Sharp (first 2) Jeremy Summers (3rd film) and the notorious Jesus/Jess Franco (the last 2). Those last films are largely reviled as dull and stupid in that peculiar Jess Franco way (long, slow cameras zooms for no discernible reason, shooting scenes through screens, sloppy editing, etc), but the first couple are liked.

 

I've seen the first, second and fourth entries, but not the other 2.

 

One of the highlights of the 2007 film Grindhouse was the mock trailers for other exploitation films. One was directed by Rob Zombie, and it was entitled Werewolf Women of the SS. It features a cameo by Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu, as a nod to the grindhouse/drive-in success of the Christopher Lee series. I'd post it, but it's NSFW. It's up on YouTube, though.

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The Christopher Lee Fu Manchu series has its admirers. Produced by British B-movie legend Harry Alan Towers, they were directed by Hammer vet Don Sharp (first 2) Jeremy Summers (3rd film) and the notorious Jesus/Jess Franco (the last 2). Those last films are largely reviled as dull and stupid in that peculiar Jess Franco way (long, slow cameras zooms for no discernible reason, shooting scenes through screens, sloppy editing, etc), but the first couple are liked.

 

I've seen the first, second and fourth entries, but not the other 2.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the first one when it aired in 2015. I'm looking forward to seeing BRIDES and VENGEANCE. 

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Harry Alan Towers produced? I didn't know that. I know Harry Alan Towers as a famous producer in the realm of radio. He has a long line of success there.

Anyway yeah, I'm a fan of Christopher Lee in the Fu Manchu series. One scene I always find particularly vivid:

1) a yummy-looking Chinese babe, one of Fu Manchu's operatives, has screwed up. Her punishment is death; but she doesn't know it. She returns to Fu Manchu's headquarters and Fu swiftly imprisons her in a clear plastic or glass tube. I forget how he does this. Maybe it was a dummy-phone booth or something. Anyway its airtight and slowly fills with water as Fu Manchu describes to the girl why she failed and why failure is inexcusable in his organization. As she realizes she is about to be drowned she spazzes out, shrieking and writhing inside the tube. The water keeps rising and Fu simply looks on impassively. Really harrowing.

 

 

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