The evil mastermind Fu Manchu plots his latest scheme to basically freeze over the Earth's oceans with his diabolical new device. Opposing him is his arch-nemesis, Interpol's very British Dr. Nayland Smith. Written by
In scenes that were supposed to have taken place in Turkey in the 1920s, characters are shown wearing the fez, the wearing of which Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk banned (because of its connections with feudalism) in the 1920s. See more »
It is 1969. Your on your way back to your car at the drive-inn, where your fiancé is happily sleeping off her double shift at the diner and you are about half-way through a film - Folterkammer des Dr. Fu Man Chu, Die (or the Castle of Fu Manchu) - which has already put you through two bags of popcorn and 3 cokes because the popcorn is just so much more interesting, and the worst happens - you can't find your car. Nightmares flash through your mind - maybe your fiancé was so annoyed by the cruelty of your decision to force her into a late night drive-inn triple feature full of Sax Rohmer films so she drove off, or maybe the film got her so upset that she drove off the nearest bridge. Trying to get a hold of yourself, you look up to the screen to verify that you're at the right part of the drive in. No help, all you can see is a smear of dark blue and dark red shadow across the lower part of the screen. After a minute or so, the lighting crew finds the on-switch and some out of focus people show up on the screen. They appear to be three Shriners sneaking up on an Imam who has just begun his afternoon prayer. Still no help. You resign yourself to the fate natural selection has accorded you. You , after all, decided to see this film with your intended reproductive partner, and that choice has probably ruined your opportunity to allow your genetic material to be carried on in the next generation of humans. So you decide to move to California to buy that house on the side of hill overlooking the San Andreas fault where you always wanted to live, and to pursue your dream to rekindle the Fu Manchu series this film killed. More power to you.
To be fair, I did not see the touted Blue underground DVD version of the film. Supposedly, this pressing is so much better than what I saw that it is incomparable.
Even my television objected to this film. It kept trying to turn itself off, switch channels, etc. It even unplugged the cable converter for a few minutes. Whoever it was that decided that Sax Rohmer's various B-grade stories ought to be made into movies, should be forced to watch all of them in a row - at least once. As they say, garbage in, garbage out. These films are a decidedly acquired taste. And this one is even more difficult to acquire a taste for than Sumuru... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061976/usercomments-8
Peruse the IMDb reviews - you will notice that most of the people who write positive reviews for this film do not describe the plot. There are two interrelated reasons for this - (1) there isn't one to be described and (2) they've never seen the film, and simply get a perverse pleasure believing that their opinions might be taken seriously enough to convince people to see the film (a poor assumption, at best).
Christopher Lee plays Fu Manchu - an inexplicably powerful meanie who wants something from all of the world's governments (we are never privileged with the knowledge of what in particular he wants, but I couldn't care less anyway), and is threatening to freeze the world's oceans to get it. The technology he is using has been developed by a dying scientist who he has kidnapped, and soon he finds himself having to kidnap a surgeon in order to arrange a heart transplant as well. There are various fight scenes which don't appear to be related to the film and may indeed have been found on a cutting room floor somewhere in the Middle East, or even reused from a previous Rohmer feature (I really expected Sumuru, some of her army of Amazon ninjas, or even Frankie Avalon to show up at one point). There are also a few scenes with Lee standing around looking ominous and using that great voice of his. I am not sure he knew what was going on in the rest of the film, and indeed with that voice it doesn't matter, but these scenes are, nonetheless, the ONLY remotely entertaining aspect of the film. And OH YES lest I forget, there are a few inept 007s who were likely rejected from the extras audition for Casino Royal making some roughly British sounding noises and taking all of this way too seriously.
I didn't think it was possible, but this film was even more difficult to get through than Manos: Hands of Fate, and quite possibly should replace it as the worst film of all time. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060666/usercomments-419
To state what, in particular is wrong with TCODFM is an easy task - EVERYTHING. The acting is mediocre, the plot is idiotic, the cinematography and editing are so bad that I don't believe TRYING to make a hideous mess of a film would net you anything worse. You'll either laugh hysterically or stare at your screen until you start drooling, unless you take my advice and avoid this.
Why did I watch it? I enjoy challenges.
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