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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 his diabolical daughter will enslave the world! Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
Wonderfully inventive exotic horror movie from the early days of talkies.
An expedition from the British Museum sets out to find the long searched for tomb of legendary warlord Genghis Khan and get to the fabled sword and mask before it is found and usurped by Dr. Fu Manchu, evil contemporary warlord with an unquenchable ambition to extinguish the white race in his lust for power.
'Mask of Fu Manchu' is well worth a watch for its stunning look alone. The sets by Cedric Gibbons are gorgeous to look at, a uniquely Hollywoodian blend of art-deco and tasteful Orientalism, photographed to fantastic effect by Tony Gaudio and evocatively lit. The acting is top-notch with Karloff an exquisitely seductive Fu Manchu and the young Loy a delight as his sadistic daughter. This film could not have been made just a couple of years later, it is decidedly pre-Code in its sexual frankness and the lusty demeanor of the characters. Ex-football star Starrett is more than sufficiently hunky stripped down to a loincloth in a torture scene! But then, the torture of this movie is always a naughty delight, it has so many things in store for us.
Obviously, the question with 'Mask of Fu Manchu' as with others of its time is, Are you able to forgive its naive racism? "You hideous yellow monster!", our heroine hisses contemptuously, but then again, the Brits aren't exactly angels either, the barbaric way these so-called scientists go about breaking open Genghis Khan's tomb, desecrating everything on their way, only barely concealing their avarice ...
A really good film, highly recommended.
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