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The Castle of Fu Manchu
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Reviews & Ratings for
Sax Rohmer's The Castle of Fu Manchu More at IMDbPro »The Castle of Fu Manchu (original title)

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Proof positive that Americans don't have a monopoly on bad movies.

Author: quamp ( from irving, texas
2 February 2000

European filmmaking took a big black eye the day this stinker was released. Christopher Lee, he of the wooden acting made sure this one stank.

Avoid this unless you're seeing the MST3K version.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

For $1.99 at local video store

Author: InzyWimzy from Queens, NY
12 December 2000

Ah, to be privileged to see this film finally. It wasn't as bad as I expected. of course, my system went through several blackouts, epileptic seizures, and I felt mass confusion, even worse than trying to get the square piece into the round hole back in kindergarten.

But I kid...this is one of the worst movies out there. SO bad, Fu Manchu isn't even Chinese, but another white guy with silly putty to convey the Asian appearance. very laughable fight scenes happen, you have no idea who anyone is, and death scenes harmlessly bounce off you like zeta rays. Felt really bad for Paulie who spends most of the movie lying down (no wonder he's so crabby in Rocky). Also, there's romance, guys wearing fezs, and inexplicable ending. But it ended, so thanks for that!

Best Brains put in for vacation after viewing this one....

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: Paul Riter from New York, NY
18 June 1999

This is, without a doubt, the worst movie I have ever seen. Bad acting. Bad editing. Bad casting. Bad audio. Bad lighting. Bad special effects. And a plot so convoluted that it defines the word "incoherent".

I was first exposed to this monstrosity through MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000. It was so awful that Joel and the bots were weeping after the first hour. I've heard other folks claim that the worst movie ever done on MST3K was MANOS. In my opinion, MANOS was a pleasure compared to this turkey.

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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The Crap Hole of Fu Manchu

Author: Diana from United States
30 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

dreadful. This total mess of a movie makes as little sense as our modern tax code, and is as hard to pick your way through.

Basically, we have Christopher Lee doing some of his worst work ever, dressed in Chinese drag and a terrible make-up job that doesn't make him look oriental but does make him look pretty gay. He drones on in a monotone as the dreadfully evil Fu Manchu, sucking the air out of the room in every scene he's in. The only thing I can think that is oriental about him is the obvious opium addiction, because he must have been high on SOMETHING to help him get through this stinker. Plus, his eyes are pretty glazed. That could be just boredom, however. Couldn't blame him if it was.

The plot, such as can be made out of it, is that ol' Fu has acquired a way to turn the world's oceans to ice, and is using that as his threat to make the world's government's kowtow to him a la Dr. Evil. Unfortunately, this scientist with the silly name who's the only one who can help him make this device has a heart problem and is at the edge of death. So Fu kidnaps an English heart specialist and makes him perform the world's first heart transplant. They never show on screen whether there was any tissue typing of any kind, so the scientist could easily have rejected the (unwilling) donor heart. Oh, wait, that would require the plot to make sense and be coherent, and it's not having anything to do with that, no sirree.

In the meantime, Fu's killed the governor of a province in Turkey(I think) and stolen his castle, with the aid of a girl who he promptly locks up in the dungeon. I was never sure about her role in this film, but like so many other things it was a loose end that never really got resolved. It might have been Turkey, or it might have been a huge Shriner's convention, I can't be sure.

To convince the English heart doctor to go through with the surgery, Fu obliquely threatens his girlfriend by blowing up a dam. A pretty puzzling way to carry out a death threat, but o.k. This scene, like so many of the others in this movie, was unnecessarily long and tedious. They should have called it the Sleep Aid of Fu Manchu, that would have been closer to the actual substance of the film.

Fu's enemy is a bland English guy with zero charm and a habit of blending into any background like a chameleon. I wasn't even totally sure of his name throughout most of the film. James Bland, I think it was.

Anyhoo, Fu's plan is foiled and his castle blown up(I was never sure how or by who,the editing's pretty bad at the end). The doctor and his girlfriend escape through the sewers, which couldn't stink more than this movie. The boring hero type drags the heart patient scientist out the front way, and the movie comes to its incoherent end with no idea on the part of the viewer about what was going on for the last hour and a half. There aren't words enough to describe how bad this film was, at least not in the English language. Maybe in Mandarin? We should ask Fu Manchu, eh? Oh, wait, he probably doesn't speak any Chinese dialects, being British and all..

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

So Bad Even MST3K cannot help

Author: verbusen from Fahaheel, Kuwait
22 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In every television show there are high points....... And there are low points......... And everyone has their own opinions and what someone may consider bad, others may decide is good.

So with that out of the way, this is one bad mamma jamma movie and I mean bad in the "it is terrible" way not bad in a 1970's way that it's cool.

Why this movie is so bad...... (how bad is it?) This movie is so bad that Mystery Science Theater 3000 can't even salvage it! They are making fun of this movie and one of the robots is crying that he can't take this movie anymore!

I was hoping at the beginning part that it would be a laugh fest and they would be riffing all over the movie like Get Smart riffed "The Craw", that's "The Claw" and his "Razor Brazer", that's "Laser Blazer" Now that was hilarious.

So with that reference in mind, I was hoping this would be a good episode of MST3K.

But because the writers for that show are all big time liberals and politically correct, there is a sad lack of Chinese gutter humor, instead it's referenced mainly to the British (that's liberal writers for you). Either that or really there is so little dialog from the Chinese characters including Dr Manchu that they just could make any jokes out of that material.

Either way, along with Ring Of Terror, this is on the LOW side of MST3K for funniness. Movies that were so boring that the comedians couldn't even riff them enough to be entertaining.

Now if I had to watch this movie without MST3K? Ah, no way, it would have turned off after 30 minutes TOPS.

If you want to see a good Fu Manchu movie see "The Mask Of Fu Manchu" with Karloff, it's awesome, this deserves to be in the bottom 150 movie list of all time.

If you want to see a bad Fu Manchu type movie thats still fun, see "Battle Beneath The Earth" MST3K would have done a lot better to riff that movie, although MGM probably wouldn't let them so they picked this public domain turkey instead.

You have been warned, now go in peace, and move along.

Zero stars out of 10 if I could vote that way. 4 stars with the MST3K, this is even one of their worst episodes.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"This is Fu Manchu."

Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
12 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Even if it's only two or three sentences, I generally like to begin one of these with a brief plot outline. In the case of The Castle of Fu Manchu, that's pretty much impossible. The movie is a mish-mash of ideas that don't necessarily fit together to form a coherent plot. The movie may start out with Fu sinking a ship, but that storyline is quickly abandoned in favor of another . . and another . . and another. In the end, I'm not sure what the movie's about or what happened.

But the biggest single problem with The Castle of Fu Manchu is that it is extremely dull. You would think that any movie that included a ship sinking, a fight for a castle, explosions, kidnapping, and other 1960s secret agent type trappings would be action packed. Well, you would be wrong. The movie has no pace, no zip, and no energy. It's as if the life had been sucked out of the movie. Add to that some less than stellar acting, abominable lighting, amateurish editing, and no continuity and you've got one fine mess of a movie.

On the positive side, The Castle of Fu Manchu does feature Christopher Lee and Rosalba Neri. Also, there's the…err…uhm...did I mention Christopher Lee and Rosalba Neri?

I have now seen The Castle of Fu Manchu twice – once with and once without the Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary. And, as hard as this might be to believe, I actually prefer this one without the MST3K treatment. This MST3K episode has to be one of the worst I've so far seen. The jokes don't work. And, I was really put off by some of the comments that showed a complete lack of understanding about how European movies of the 60s were made.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This movie didn't seem to have any discernible plot.

Author: Joe-124 from USA
16 September 1998

This movie's a toad. I've tried watching this movie several times, under both sober and intoxicated conditions, and found it to be pure, unrelenting torture. I think the editor of the film threw all the pieces of the film up in the air and spliced them together randomly, as this movie has no continuity or discernible plot. I've seen just about every Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode (which, as you may know, is a showcase for cheese-ball movies), and I can attest that this movie is the worst of the worst. If you're seeking a study in masochism, look no further.

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Hardest MST3K to Watch

Author: boomaga1 from United States
23 May 2006

I own every single episode of MST3K, have seen each many times. Been an ardent fan since 1991.

To this day, I find e. 323 "The Castle of Fu-Manchu" the most stomach-churningly bad one of all - not that it's the most inept, most intrinsically AWFUL Mistied movie of all time - I leave that to "Beast of Yucca Flats" and "Manos"...

But for me, personally, this one punches me in the gut and kidneys. Other MisTies may disagree - but I say Bring on the Coleman Francises, your Ray Dennis Stecklers, your Bert I. Gordons... Leave me OUT of Fu-Manchu land. The levels of "bad-good" and "bad-bad" get turned upside-down when a movie is Mistied - but no amount of riffing by Joel and the bots can save this technicolor-spraypainted dog turd.

So much I'm confused about - this is a Spanish film made in Turkey ? did they just completely run out of money before post-production ? Has any movie ever had worse color printing/timing ? Did they not think anyone would notice B&W stock footage spliced back-to-back with color soundstage shots ? Did they just lose 50% of the film and spliced together as best they could ? Just what on earth was it about ? What was with the ending ? What happened ?

I think the reason this one MST3K movie makes me so livid mad and sickened more than any other is that, up to a certain point in the film-making process, "The Castle of Fu Manchu" had a budget and some promise - there are some nice costumes, some good casting, pretty women, and cool locations.

But in the end, I feel like I've watched some guro/snuff film - physically sickened. In fact, the last time I had the flu, nauseous, retching up everything I'd ever eaten EVER until there was nothing left to reverse-peristalsyze but stomach lining, I couldn't help but have the movie's bored, listless mid-tempo title music playing in my head while I dry-heaved and my head spun and I cursed the day I was born.

In conclusion, if I met this movie on the street, I would slap it in front of its own mother and spit on its shoes.

Other MST3K movies suck. "The Castle of Fu Manchu" FAILS.

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Die, Folterkammer des Dr. Fu Man Chu!!

Author: icehole4 from Irving, TX
11 April 2002

I sincerely hope someone makes a device that will alow a person to torture a movie as badly as it tortures the viewer. If someone does, I will hook this stinkburger up to it and leave it running forever. What in the world was Christopher Lee thinking when he agreed to be completely miscast in this film? Even worse, he played Fu in The Blood of Fu Manchu and Vengeance of Fu Manchu. This is supposed to be the fifth installment of the Fu Manchu series, and by #2 it was pretty clear that it was rapidly going downhill. Tsai Chin (Lin Tang) a.k.a. Fu's daughter was definitely chosen for her good looks and not her acting ability. It was incredibly dumb and very painful to watch.

Is it any wonder that when this film was skewered on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the bots were reduced to tears? Yes, there are films that are so bad that even MST3K can't save them. This is one of them.

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Be careful, your head will explode.

Author: Andrew Smith from Evergreen, Colorado
28 June 1999

Dear God, and this is the fourth one in the series. Plot holes big enough to fly a starship through! The worst editing on the face of the planet! If you want all this and more, Fu Manchu is your Manchu. A random shot of the TOP of some guys fez in the middle of the scene where the urinal cakes are dropping from the flooding dungeon ceiling and a set of random shots of people we've never seen before, some towers somewhere, and then some guy running down some stairs somewhere top off the movie. Every one goes to Britain for the effects, sets, cast and crew, but if you put a brit in charge too, you seem to always get something like this...

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