The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)

Article #1713 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-22-2005
Posting Date: 4-21-2006
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Christopher Lee, Gotz George, Richard Greene

Fu Manchu concocts a plan to hold the world for ransom when he inoculates ten women with a deadly poison and sets them abroad to destroy his enemies and the world.

I’m not surprised that Fu Manchu returned to the screen during the sixties; with the popularity of James Bond, it certainly seemed the right time to resurrect one of the great super-villains of all time. Unfortunately, with this entry in the series, directorial chores were turned over to Jesus Franco. Franco does have a nice visual sense, I will admit; there are some stunning shots in this film, and it also has some striking if improbable use of color. Unfortunately, he has no sense of pace, he doesn’t seem interested in building suspense or telling a story, I’ve never been impressed by his use of sound, and he has a tendency to sap all the interest from whatever action is happening on the screen at the time. For me, the total effect is a simple one; despite some beautiful-looking scenes, the movie is devoid of fun, and fun is essential to this type of film. Still, this is a lot better than the follow-up, THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU, but I’m afraid that’s not really saying much.

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