In 1910, Hong Kong members of a secret Tong crime syndicate protect their identities by murdering the daughter of a British sea captain who vows revenge.


Anthony Bushell


Jimmy Sangster





Complete credited cast:
Christopher Lee ... Chung King
Yvonne Monlaur ... Lee
Geoffrey Toone ... Capt. Jackson Sale
Marne Maitland ... Beggar
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... District Commissioner Harcourt
Ewen Solon ... Tang How - Tong Leader's Aide
Roger Delgado ... Tang Hao - Tong Enforcer
Richard Leech ... Insp. Bob Dean
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Dr. Fu Chao - Tong Member
Marie Burke ... Maya
Barbara Brown Barbara Brown ... Helena Sale
Burt Kwouk ... Mr. Ming


A secret society of Hong-Kong at the beginning of the century called "The Red Dragon Tong" kidnaps the captain of a ship in the harbour of Hong-Kong as he tries to detain the killers of his daughter. Because the secret society is very powerful it is not easy to free him from their hands. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Deadliest, Diabolical Brotherhood of Terror! See more »


Action | Adventure


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film takes place in Hong Kong in 1910. See more »


The film is set in 1910, but the knee length female costumes, revealingly slit to the hip, are strictly 1960 Suzie Wong. See more »


The Tong Leader: Have you ever had your bones scraped, Captain? It is painful in the extreme I can assure you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: HONG KONG - 1910

A bustling, growing city - but hidden deep amongst its teeming thousands was an organisation that thrived on vice, terror and corruption- THE RED DRAGON TONG See more »

Alternate Versions

The film suffered extensive BBFC cuts which removed shots of bloody bodies and a mutilated hand, and also heavily edited the infamous 'bone scraping' scene where Jackson Sale's chest is pricked with needles. A scene featuring Helena's fingers being severed with an axe was also re-edited, so it appears she passes out before the impact of the blade. All later releases have featured the same print and the uncut version may no longer survive. See more »

User Reviews

Another wonderful villainous performance by Lee.
29 August 2015 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Sir Christopher Lee warms up for his later Fu Manchu characterizations by playing an Asian villain here. He's Chung King, the leader of the deadly criminal organization The Red Dragon Tongs in early 20th century Hong Kong. The Tongs reign supreme, and seemingly can't be touched, not by the underwhelming local police force, anyway. However, they make their biggest mistake when, in the attempt to obtain an all-important scrap of paper, they murder Helena Sale (Barbara Brown), the daughter of sea captain Jackson Sale (Geoffrey Toone). He embarks on a one-man campaign for revenge, taking on The Tongs almost by himself.

A good cast and a snappy pace make this fun. It's far from prime Hammer, but it is entertaining to watch. It's easy to feel uncomfortable in this day and age seeing so many obviously Caucasian actors and actresses playing Asians; unfortunately, it was a sign of the times. It is amusing to see the determined Toone take on all comers, assisted on occasion by a "beggar" (Marne Maitland) whose people are plotting an overthrow of The Tongs. Romance is also part of the mix as the young lady Lee (lovely Yvonne Monlaur, whose French accent remains intact), who's mixed up with The Tongs, falls for our stubborn hero.

As usual, James Bernards' soundtrack is enjoyable, and the sets are evocatively designed. Director Anthony Bushell, himself a former actor, does a decent job; the action builds towards a brief but diverting mass confrontation between citizens and criminals. Lee is authoritative, with his deep, rich voice being perfect for an unflappable antagonist. Also very good are Maitland, Brian Worth as the district commissioner Harcourt, Roger Delgado as the primary henchman, Charles Lloyd Pack as the sinister assassin Dr. Fu Chao, and the briefly seen Burt Kwouk as the brave businessman Mr. Ming.

Clocking in at 77 minutes, "The Terror of the Tongs" provides a modest diversion for Hammer fans.

Seven out of 10.

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Release Date:

15 March 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terror of the Hatchet Men See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor)| Color (Eastmancolor) (UK prints)| Black and White (USA, theatrical prints)| Color (Technicolor) (USA, TV prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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