This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity. From a wheelchair a handicapped white man rules an area of Africa as a ...
See full summary »
Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »
This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity. From a wheelchair a handicapped white man rules an area of Africa as a living god. He rules the local natives through superstition and stage magic and he rules the few white people through sadism, keeping them virtual prisoners. He lives for the day he can avenge himself horribly on the man who stole his wife and crushed his spine. Strong and macabre stuff in a nearly forgotten horror film. Written by
Mark Leeper <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Walter Huston plays Flint, a paraplegic living in a self-made ivory empire in deepest, darkest Africa. Flint is cruel, brutal, and autocratic. Using simple stage magic and sleight of hand to make the superstitious natives believe he is semi-divine, he also employs a handful of Europeans to help him run his trade. He is a vengeful man and his vengeance when it comes to an old rival and his daughter is horrifying. Some of the implications are far darker and more grim than would be permitted to be openly portrayed in a film of the 1930s.
Until it aired recently on a cable television movie channel, I was totally unaware of this film. It is impressive. It is set in the tropics and just watching it makes you want to sweat. Walter Huston's chilling performance as Flint is excellent. The supporting cast is solid and the romance that blossoms between two characters seems far more genuine than many such relationships that are portrayed in other films of the early 1930s. This is a film that is not to be missed by anyone who enjoys classic suspense or adventure.
30 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?