The Mask of Fu Manchu (Karloff)

Discussion in 'Classic' started by dwatts, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Caught this on Sattelite TV this week.

    As a fan of hokey 1930/1940 genre cinema, this was a real treat. Funky story line about the search for Ghenghis Khan's sword and mask, fisticuffs (certainly not fighting), and a little bit of politically incorrect rambling.

    Karloff is brilliant in the lead role. Not only is the make-up kind of cool, but he's damn right evil - which he too rarely got to do. With some diabolical tortures (I'm sure I saw all of these reused in the later 1960's Batman TV series), and a daughter who has the hots for some new flesh.

    Wowza. Not too bad a print either. Only an hour or so long, I would love to see this on DVD. In the mean time I recorded it.

    Excellent stuff for fans of this type of thing. Thoughts?
     
  2. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    Karloff was always worth watching,just wonderful ! Was that Myrna Loy playing his evil daughter in that film ? As I recall some old VHS versions of this dropped a few un PC lines of dialogue.The film is coming to DVD on October 3rd through Warner in a box set of other underrated horrors of the 30's,including DR. X,THE RETURN OF DR. X,THE DEVIL DOLL and MARK OF THE VAMPIRE.All are newly remastered and pretty inexpensive.
     
  3. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Thanks man! I'll be picking that up then.

    Yeah, there are some off the wall comments about "whites" and the like in the version I just saw. Funny how something so minor can knock you back in your seat these days, isn't it?
     
  4. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    It's also ironic how something like that could shock today's audience while all the elements that shocked audiences in the past wouldn't phase today audience hardly at all. It's all in our heads.

    But I can't hardly wait for the Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection, I've been looking forward to Warner cracking into their films from the golden age of horror for some time now.
     
  5. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome !This should be a great set .
    Yes,it is odd how little jabs that probably didn't raise an eyebrow when these films were made are kind of jolting now.The World War 2 era pics are especially packed with lines that would never make it into a film nowadays.
     
  6. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Watched the DVD version last night. You know, parts of it might even be in worse shape that that broadcast version. Still, no matter - this romp is still easily worth an hour or so of your time. Evil Karloff, some mad science, wonderful (over)acting, and some stunning sets that at times look half-built. Great!
     
  7. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    As great as Karloff is in this, Myrna Loy is even better I think. There was somewhat of an unpredictability to her portrayal, she seemed more dangerous than her father to me. Was she born evil or brainwashed? Did she believe the rhetoric? Or did she use it to her advantage? I often wondered that about Karloff too, but she toed the line more cleverly.

    Fun film, and yeah I often thought of Batman too while watching it. As good as the modern Batman is, I was thinking recently that it'd be great to do something like Mr. Moto with Bruce Wayne.
     
  8. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Great point, Loy IS very evil in this, the way she cackles during the torture sequences.... actually, it's surprising what got through the consors in those days, isn't it?
     
  9. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    That's because Hollywood wasn't really censored until 1934, Mask of Fu Manchu came out in 1932. As "shocking" as we might think people saw this as in 1932, in reality its would be simply impossible to get a movie like this made in Hollywood.

    A scene where even a villain has a black man bitten by a snake and left to die simply so that the that venom can be drawn is simply unthinkable today.

    I miss that in todays films, torture porn is so PC it's laughable.
     

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