Shadow of Chinatown (1936)

(Feature Version of Serial)
Article #1644 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-14-2005
Posting Date: 2-11-2006
Directed by Robert F. Hill
Featuring Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, Bruce Bennett

A Eurasian merchant hires a mad scientist to scare off her competition in Chinatown. Unfortunately, the scientist has plans of his own…

Yes, it’s the feature version of the serial of the same name. I’m no big fan of the original serial (despite the presence of Lugosi), and that attitude extends to this version as well. It tries to tell the whole serial in seventy minutes; it’s kind of hard to tell if this one succeeds, though, because the serial didn’t have much of a story to begin with. It does have a couple of advantages over the serial; for one thing, it cuts the whole fishbowl cliffhanger, and for the other, it’s a lot shorter. For that last advantage, I’ll return the favor and end my review now.


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