THE VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU
(director: Jeremy Summers; screenwriters: from the novel by Sax Rohmer/Peter Welbeck; cinematographer: John Kotze; editor: Allan Morrison; music: Malcolm Lockyer; cast: Christopher Lee (Fu Manchu), Douglas Wilmer(Nayland Smith), Howard Marion-Crawford (Dr. Petrie), Tsai Chin (Fu’s Daughter), Tony Ferrer (Inspector Ramos), Noel Trevarthen (Mark Weston), Wolfgang Kieling (Dr. Lieberson), Suzanne Roquette (Maria Lieberson), Maria Rohm (Ingrid), Horst Frank (Rudy Moss), Mona Chong (Jasmin), Peter Carsten (Kurt); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harry Alan Towers; Seven Arts (Warner Archive Collection); 1967-UK/Ireland/West Germany)
“Weak script and direction bring down the third installment of the Fu Manchu series.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Weak script and direction bring down the third installment of the Fu Manchu series. TV director Jeremy Summers (“The Punch and Judy Man”/”Five Golden Dragons”) is not up to the task of using a light touch to capture the cartoonish adventure tale. The script by Peter Welbeck is just plain bad. The supposedly dead Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) returns with his evil daughter (Tsai Chin) to his Chinese hometown and has the rural northern area isolated from the world. His new plan for world domination is to become the super-villain CEO for an international organization of criminals and after killing off all the police chiefs in the world he will be free to rule the world. Fu initiates his wacky plan by kidnapping a surgeon missionary in China, Dr. Lieberson (Wolfgang Kieling), and his daughter Maria (Suzanne Roquette), and forces the doctor to make from photographs a clone of the face of his Scotland Yard nemesis, the assistant chief, Nayland Smith (Douglas Wilmer), using the body of a criminal killer. The clone has Nayland’s physical looks but the mind of a killer. Back in London Nayland’s clone strangles to death his Oriental servant (Mona Chong) and is awaiting execution. In Hong Kong, Mafia leader Rudy Moss (Horst Frank) organizes other crime leaders to work with Fu. But his nefarious activities are monitored by Shanghai INTERPOL officer, Inspector Ramos (Tony Ferrer). Meanwhile the real Nayland is kidnapped in his car by Fu’s goon squad and jailed in his palace. Fu plans to kill the real Naylan when the clone is executed. But in the nick of time FBI agent Weston (Noel Trevarthen) and Ramos arrive to save the world from a lifetime of crime. The plot was too ridiculous even for this inane film, but the cast is fine and that enables the pic to at least be somewhat entertaining as escapist fare.
REVIEWED ON 10/14//2016 GRADE: C+