Fu Manchu (1929 franchise)

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The diabolical Dr. Fu Manchu, from The Face of Fu Manchu (1965 film)...

Summary

"The Frankenstein of the Orient! The most evil man the world has ever known! The master of evil takes a harem of horror! The Wickedest Man in the World!" Dr. Fu Manchu is a fictional character introduced in a series of novels by British author Sax Rohmer during the first half of the twentieth century. The character was also featured extensively in cinema, television, radio, comic strips, and comic books for over 90 years, and has become an archetype of the evil criminal genius while lending the name to the Fu Manchu moustache.

  • The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu (1923 serial)
  • The Further Mysteries of Dr. Fu Manchu (1924 serial)
  • The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929 film)
  • The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930 film)
  • Daughter of the Dragon (1931 film)
  • The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932 film)
  • Drums of Fu Manchu (1940 serial)
  • Drums of Fu Manchu (1943 film, edited from serial)
  • The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu (1956 TV series)
  • The Face of Fu Manchu (1965 film)
  • The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966 film)
  • The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967 film)
  • The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968 film)
  • The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969 film)

And similar "Yellow Peril" films:


Details

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG - R (notes)

Though generally rated PG, typical Fu Manchu films are loaded with violence and torture, thinly-veiled adult content, and racist "Yellow Peril" themes that would probably call for some parental discretion.

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

It would require a bit of stretching to get very much "Lovecraftian" out of this film series, though Sax Rohmer's creations may have been at least a small influence over the "Lovecraft Circle" and their creations (Plateau of Leng, Kathulos, "Ageless Chinese" cultists, etc.)

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • (review needed)


Synopses

  • (unknown actor):
    • The Mysterious Mr. Wu Chung Foo (1914 serial) - An "expy" of Dr. Fu Manchu is kidnapping westerners and working them to death in his underground prison; detectives Lord Lister and Charles Brand are the only ones who can stop this diabolical plot.
  • Sydney Seaward:
    • The Yellow Claw (1921) - "Mr. King", a prototype creation by Sax Rohmer, is a master criminal battling against English Inspector Dunbar and French detective Gaston Max while plotting to terrorize wealthy London socialites.
  • Harry Agar Lyons:
    • The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu (1923 serial) - A killer kitty with poison-tipped claws, giant noxious mushrooms and aphonia-inducing flowers are just some of the challenges faced by Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr Petrie in their battles against arch-villain Fu Manchu.
    • The Further Mysteries of Dr. Fu Manchu (1924 serial) - Fu Manchu threatens the west with The Coughing Horror and The Green Mist.
  • Warner Oland:
    • The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929 film) - Recounts the beginnings of the doctor's life of crime: the deaths of his wife and son during the Boxer Rebellion drives Dr. Fu Manchu to kill off, one by one, the British colonialists who put down the Rebellion, using diabolical cunning and fiendish methods.
    • The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930 film) - Fu Manchu returns from apparent death in the previous movie to seek revenge on those he holds responsible for the death of his wife and child.
    • Daughter of the Dragon (1931 film) - Vowing to avenge her dying father, Ling Moy becomes entangled with Ah Kee, a Scotland Yard investigator.
    • "Murder Will Out" (1931 short) (from anthology Paramount on Parade (1931 film)) - Detectives Sherlock Holmes and Philo Vance team up against the latest plot by the diabolical criminal mastermind, Fu Manchu.
  • Boris Karloff:
    • The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932 film) - After a British archeologist discovers the location of Genghis Khan's tomb, an expedition rushes to Mongolia to get the sword and mask of Genghis Khan before criminal mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu can use the relics to proclaim himself the new Khan and lead the Eastern races on a massive jihad west to kill all westerners.
  • Henry Brandon:
    • Drums of Fu Manchu (1940 serial) - Fu Manchu attempts to conquer the world by acquiring the Sceptre of Genghis Khan, which will unite the people of Asia under his rule.
    • Drums of Fu Manchu (1943 film, edited from serial) - Fu Manchu attempts to conquer the world by acquiring the Sceptre of Genghis Khan, which will unite the people of Asia under his rule.
  • Glen Gordon:
    • The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu (1956 TV series) - Dr. Fu Manchu, evil genius and possessor of seemingly unlimited financial resources, has pledged to bring about the downfall of western civilization using assassination, germ attacks, and all-out war, to avenge unknown wrongs of the past.
  • Christopher Lee:
    • The Face of Fu Manchu (1965 film) - Detective Nayland Smith pieces together clues that reveal that Fu Manchu has hypnotized a double to be executed in his place, while the evil criminal doctor kidnaps scientists in his attempts to unlock the deadly power of a rare Tibetan flower from a secret base under London.
    • The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966 film) - Fu Manchu and his army of henchmen kidnap the daughters of prominent scientists and threatens to make them his wives/slaves if the scientists do no help him to build a death ray.
    • The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967 film) - Fu Manchu turns his cruel plots against Inspector Nayland Smith of the Scotland yard, threatening the detective with ruin and death.
    • The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968 film) - Fu Manchu inoculates ten women with poison, to kill ten world leaders.
    • The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969 film) - The evil mastermind plots to freeze the Earth's oceans
  • Shirley Eaton (as Sumuru, Fu Manchu's female counterpart):
    • The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967 film) - Sumuru is a beautiful but evil woman who plans world domination by having her sexy all-female army eliminate male leaders and replace them with her female agents.
    • The Girl from Rio AKA Rio 70 (1969 film) - Sumuru, the beautiful leader of the all-female kingdom of Femina, plans to use her women to take over the world.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO
  • setting: Pulp Cthulhu
  • fiction: Sax Rohmer's numerous novels
  • character: Dr. Fu Manchu
    • perhaps a member of the imperial family of China who backed the losing side in the Boxer Rebellion
    • claims to hold doctorates from four western universities,including Heidelberg University, the Sorbonne, and University of Edinburgh
    • has extended his life by decades using an elixir of life of his own invention
  • organization: Si-Fan, secret society behind a wave of assassinations targeting Western imperialists
  • character: Sumuru, Fu Manchu's female counterpart in crime
  • organizaton: Order of Our Lady, a crime organization led by Sumuru
  • character: Fah lo Suee (or Fah Lo See; sometimes Ling Moy or Lin Tang), daughter of Fu Manchu; she too is a devious mastermind, and plots against her own father almost as much as anyone; has held numerous false identities (Koreani after being brainwashed by her father; Madame Ingomar; Queen Mamaloi)
  • characters: Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie, arch-enemies of the evil Fu Manchu, acting as a team of detectives in the Sherlock Holms/Dr. Watson tradition
    • character: Kâramanèh ("Kara"), a "seductively lovely" agent of the Si-Fan sold to them by Egyptian slave traders while still a child; over time she falls in love with Dr. Petrie, and saves the heroes from Fu Manchu's plots numerous times.
    • Fleurette, daughter of Dr. Petrie and Kara


Keeper Notes