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Five Golden Dragons
Die Pagode zum fünften Schrecken

UK/Liechtenstein/West Germany 1967
produced by
Harry Alan Towers for Blansfilm, Constantin Film, Sargon/Commonwealth United
directed by Jeremy Summers
starring Robert Cummings, Margaret Lee, Rupert Davies, Klaus Kinski, Maria Rohm, Sieghardt Rupp, Roy Chiao, Brian Donlevy, Dan Duryea, Christopher Lee, George Raft, Maria Perschy
screenplay by Harry Alan Towers (as Peter Welbeck), based on the story Sanders by Edgar Wallace, music by Malcolm Lockyer

Commissioner Sanders, Harry Alan Towers' Edgar Wallace-adaptations, Edgar Wallace made in Germany

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In Hong Kong, Bob Mitchell (Robert Cummings) falls in love with two sisters, Margret (Maria Perschy) and Ingrid (Maria Rohm), but when he takes one up to his room, she tells him a weird story about the Five Dragons - supercriminals who want to rule the world, and who are going to meet in Hong Kong for the very first time - and is killed in Mitchell's room soon afterwards. Thing is, thepolice headed by inspector Chiao (Roy Chiao) and Commissioner Sanders (Rupert Davies) pays Mitchell a visit soon afterwards, and of course they mistake him for the killer and he finds himself on the run. Problem is, he soon finds himself on the run from the Five Dragon's henchmen led by Gert (Klaus Kinski) as well, and realizes the only thing to do to get out of this situation is to try and solve the whole riddle on his own - which is why he hooks up with nightclub singer Magda (Margaret Lee) and her boss Peterson (Sieghardt Rupp), who are involved with the Fivve Dragons, and who soon turn the tables on him and make him their scapegoat ... because you see, there are actually only four Dragons (Dan Duryea, Christopher Lee, George Raft, Brian Donlevy - all wasted in pointless roles), and Mitchell is to pose as the Hong Kong Dragon (who was only made up by Magda and Peterson) and probably lose his life in the process ... and when the fifth Dragon actually tries to confirm his identity (via a key he has to unlock a contraption linked to a gun with), he really is shot ... but the fifth Dragon is revealed to be Peterson and not Mitchell. After he's dead, the police, who have long been on the Dragons' trail, come in to arrest everybody, and Mitchell gets the girl - Ingrid, the sister of deceased Margret that is.

But why wasn't it Mitchell who was with the other Dragons?

Basically, Peterson and Magda tried to outsmart each other, and while Peterson thought it would be a wise idea to replace Mitchell to present himself as Dragon number five, Magda thought it would be a wise idea to give him the wrong key so he's shot by this weird contraption.

 

One word quickly comes to mind when watching this film: Huh?

While trying to come across as a pseudo-James Bond film, shot on exotic Hong Kong locations, the film manages to tell remarkably little substantial plot while at the same time being over-convoluted to the point of being unintelligible. And Robert Cummings as the lead can never decide whether to play the hero or the funnyman of the piece, so his performance fails to work, while the four greatest actors in the film (Dan Duryea, Christopher Lee, George Raft, Brian Donlevy) are given nothing at all to do but show their faces.

Truth to be told though,despite all of its shortcomings the film is at least competently shot, making great use of its Hong Kong locations, and has some hard-to-resist 1960's campy flair to it - which is not enough to make it a good film, but at least its watchable and mildly amusing.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
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produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD