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Blood of Fu Manchu / Der Todeskuss des Dr. Fu Man Chu / Fu Manchu y el Beso de la Muerte
Kiss and Kill

UK/Spain/West Germany 1968
produced by
Harry Alan Towers
directed by Jess Franco
starring Christopher Lee, Richard Greene, Howard Marion Crawford, Götz George, Maria Rohm, Ricardo Palacios, Tsai Chin, Frances Kahn, Loni von Friedl, Shirley Eaton
written by Peter Welbeck (= Harry Alan Towers), based on characters by Sax Rohmer, music by Daniel J. White

Fu Manchu, Harry Alan Towers' Fu Manchu

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Hidden deep in the South American jungle, Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) has devised a plan to kill all his enemies by having them given lethal kisses by his slavegirls (!). & one of his arch-enemies is of course Nayland Smith (Richard Greene), who is soon kissed by one of Fu Manchu's girls but only goes blind (which is a side effect of the snake poison that makes the girls' kisses lethal). But what Fu Manchu does not know is that Smith's top agent Janseen (Götz George) has already found him out in the jungle, & he tells Smith, along with Doctor Petrie (Howard Marion Crawford) where to go to get the antidote. Fu Manchu's only natural enemy in the jungle meanwhile is Sancho Lopez (Ricardo Palacios), who he first tries to have eliminated by a death kiss, but the bandit is to clever to let just anyone kiss him, & he shoots the exotic dancer who already puckered up to give him his farewell present. So Fu Manchu switches to plan B, which involves all of Lopez' followers to be killed & him to be captured & interrogated. Fearing he would be one of Smith's spies at first, Fu Manchu is soon persuaded otherwise & employs the bandit himself, but as a precaution giving him Carmen (Frances Kahn), one of his deathkissing girls, as companion. Smith & Petrie have in the meantime met up with Jansen & Ursula (Maria Rohm), niece of Jansen's deceased associate, & soon Jansen, Ursula & Petrie decide to enter Fu Manchu's headquarters all on their own, thinking they would be a match for the villain's many minions - a mistake of course, since Petrie & Ursula soon are captured by Sancho Lopez & his men, & Jansen, after losing a fight against Fu Manchu's guards, is left to die in the jungle. But then Fu Manchu makes the mistake of also incarcerating Lopez - & that man is too clever to stay behind bars all that long, soon persuading Carmen (yes, the death-kisser) to set him free, & then freeing Ursula & Petrie as well. All four of them escape together, soon to be joiuned by Jansen who hasn't died after all, & who agrees to hold off Fu Manchu's minions at the headquarters exit. Lopez meanwhile is kissed by Carmen & dies instantly, but Petrie & Ursula get the firl back to Nayland Smith & extract the antidote out of her body, so they can soon go back to the villain's HQ, free Jansen who has just been captured & blow up Fu Manchu's hideout. The villain himself, of course, escapes ...

 

Jess Franco was never really the man for a straight, larger scale adventure yarn, as this movie ably proves: The story is way too clichéd, with the active, heroic male & passive female, very little kinky stuff, sex or sleaze, & the spontaneity & the tongue-in-cheek-humour that permeate so many of his other pulp movies, are totally missing here. Ricardo Palacios as Sancho Lopez, the rude but likeable bandit-turned-villain-turned-hero is pretty entertaining, though. 

Shirley Eaton has a little & totally pointless walk-on-appearence here as someone doing something (really, there's not more to it), which was allegedly filmed under the pretense that it was for Girl from Rio, which was produced at the same time, just to have her name to feature prominently on the Blood of Fu Manchu-poster without paying her extra.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
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out now on DVD