The Castle of Fu Manchu / Die Folterkammer des Dr. Fu Man Chu / El Castillo de Fu Manchu
UK/Spain/West Germany/Italy 1969
Harry Alan Towers
directed by Jess Franco
starring Christopher Lee, Richard Greene, Howard Marion Crawford, Günther Stoll, Maria Perschy, Tsai Chin, Rosalba Neri, José Manuel Martin, Werner Abrolat, Gustavo Re, Jess Franco
written by Peter Welbeck (= Harry Alan Towers), based on characters by Sax Rohmer, music by Gert Wilden
Fu Manchu, Harry Alan Towers' Fu Manchu
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This time around, Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) has a plot to conquer
the world by carefully controlling water to flood whatever part opf the
world he likes with the help of opium (really), but the only person who
knows how to do such a thing is professor Heracles (Gustavo Re), who
unfortunately lies on his deadbed. So Fu Manchu has no better solution
than to abduct his family doctor, Kessler (Günther Stoll) along with
his assistant Ingrid
(Maria Perschy) to give the professor a healthy heart transplantation.
But of course, Nayland Smith (Richard Greene) & doctor
Petrie (Howard Marion Crawford) are hot on the oriental villain's trail
again, as they have already figured out the only place where you have
really large amounts of water as well as really large amounts of opium
must be Istanbul (they are of course right). But Fu Manchu is not easy
to overcome, so Smith forms an alliance with drug smuggler Omar Pasha (José Manuel Martin),
once an opium king tricked by Fu Manchu, who also holds his girl Lisa (Rosalba Neri)
prisoner. Of course in the end everything goes well, Smith manages to
save the professor, doctor Kessler & Ingrid, Fu Manchu's HQ is once
again blown up & Omar Pasha & Lisa die a hero's death. But Fu
Manchu ... the world will hear from him again - but possibly not in a
Harry Alan Towers production.
Fu Manchu's daughter Lin Tang is once
again played by Tsai Chin.
It is very obvious that Jess
Franco hat extremely little interest in doing this movie, a
straightforward adventure yarn - never Franco's forte in the first place
- that is graced by a rather bad script, & so Franco put next to no
effort of giving this movie some personal touches, making it a boring
& disappointing affair indeed. The only memorable things in this are
some psychodelically lit caverns & Franco's own strange performance
as a Turkish police inspector that ably demonstrates his disinterest
into the movie.