Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Dare You Unveil ...

The Mask Of Fu Manchu

Foul fiend Dr. Fu Manchu seeks to assert his desired dominion over the world populace by attaining the eternal symbol of tyrannical terror, the sword and mask taken to his death tomb by Asia’s mightiest scourge, Genghis Khan. Possession of which Fu Manchu chillingly foretells shall afford him an even greater all conquering dominance than that of Genghis Khan himself, the historically despicable Mongolian self appointed universal king !.

Horror legend Boris Karloff is perfectly cast in the fiendishly furtive role of Dr. Fu Manchu. Notably this being his first actual big screen talking role. The application of facial make up, to attain the dastardly dark pantomime baddy look of evil incarnate, is masterfully achieved. Enhanced to perfection by the acting skills of Karloff himself.

The British government send a team to unearth the tomb of Genghis Khan and gain possession of the highly vaunted sword and mask, in an attempt to acquire before Fu Manchu does. Sir. Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard is also on the case and proves to be a useful man to have around once Fu Manchu’s minions do indeed appear on the scene.

Expedition leader Sir Lionel Barton is taken captive by Fu Manchu and subjected to the heinous torture of continuous bell ringing. Nothing quite like being tolled off when you don’t do what is asked of you. Sir Lionel is expected to divulge the whereabouts of the Genghis Khan treasures but stubbornly refuses. His daughter Sheila (Karen Morley), and her handsome beau Terrence Granville (Charles Starrett), are desperate to get Sir Lionel back from the clutches of the diabolical Fu Manchu.

Terrence Granville goes to Fu Manchu with the mask and sword of Genghis Khan in exchange for the return of Sir Lionel. Unbeknownst to the young well intentioned philanthropist, the guile of Nayland Smith to outwit his devilish nemesis, puts him in danger as the artefacts are mere crafted copies of the originals. For such insolence Granville is handed over to Fu Manchu’s daughter Fa Lo See (Myrna Loy), to express her predilection for pain upon others. Not content with physical infliction Fu Manchu himself imbues the young would be hero with a cocktail of poisons. Proficiently extracted from lizard, spider and snake, in his typically wonderfully realised mad scientist laboratory, Fu Manchu injects the mind controlling serum into Granville.

Not in control of his own faculties Terrence Granville entangles both Sheila Barton and Nayland Smith up in Fu Manchu’s web of wickedness. Shackled to a sand weighted contraption, set above a horde of hungry alligators waiting to be fed below, Nayland Smith is caught up in a fabulous old school serialised cliff hanger situation. There are other maniacal devices of torture on display in the confines of Fu Manchu’s lair, along with a formidable weapon that harnesses the power of electricity, crackling out its bolts of destruction.

High camp classic horror cinema, reinstated of its deemed racist outbursts and scenes of cruelty, The Mask Of Fu Manchu remains a strong evocation of masterly evil incarnate. A great production, with very well rendered cinematography, fabulously iniquitous sets, and a deliciously diabolical delivery of malevolence as Dr. Fu Manchu from the in his prime Boris Karloff.

The Mask Of Fu Manchu Trailer

Movie Details IMDB

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