Megalomaniac and would-be world dominator Roxor has kidnaped Robert Regent, along with his death ray invention, in hopes of using it to degenerate humanity into mindless brutes, leaving himself as Earth's supreme intelligence. Faced with revealing the machine's secrets or allowing his family to die a horrible death at the hands of Roxor, Regent's only hope lies with the intervention of his brother-in-law, the be-turbaned yogi and magician Chandu, who has the power to make men see what is not there 'even unto a gathering of twelve times twelve'. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
During the scene where Chandu sneaks into the slave auction by luring the guard away with an astral projection. The guard chases the illusion, corner it, only to see it disappear before him. Shot over his shoulder we see him raise his hands in amazement and drop his rifle. There is a cut and the new angle shows the guard from the front with a look of stupefaction on his face - but still holding the gun. See more »
Willian Cameron Menzies does a more than adequate job creating suspense in this early serial-style thriller about a yogi mystic named Chandu protecting the world, his sister and her family, and his Egyptian princess love from the evil megalomaniacal ways of Roxor. Roxor has built a death ray to make himself master of the world. Only trouble is that the inventor will not give him the secret of the ray and Chandu is on to his dastardly scheme. Edmund Lowe makes a dashing, affable hero with his ready wit and his theatrical gestures conjuring magic. Roxor is played with aplomb by heavy Bela Lugosi. Lugosi steals all of his scenes and gives a first-rate performance. Irene Ware as the Princess Nadja makes an attractive, bright leading lady, and the rest of the cast fares well too. A thoroughly nice comedic turn is performed by Herbert Mundin as Mr. Miggles. He is a drunken friend/servant of Chandu and sees himself in miniature every time he takes a drink. The film boasts what must have been relatively high production values for the day. It plays well considering it was made in 1932. There are some great scenes in the film. Menzies, best known for directing Invaders From Mars, uses a very fluid camera. A scene where Chandu looks into a crystal is most impressive as the camera zigs and zags through a Egyptian tomb. Another memorable scene depicts the scientist's daughter, clad only in a tight slip, offered on the slave trading block. The scene was risque for its time to be sure. While Chandu is certainly not a great film, it is definitely a cut above many films made in its time.
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