Reviewed by Steve Urena
When horror enthusiasts think back on classic horror films, they think of icons such as Dracula, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and The Wolf Man. Often absent from these classic figures in horror is the evil Asian genius known as the Fu Manchu. Yes, that Fu Manchu that is responsible for the popular style of facial hair.
Created by English novelist Sax Rohmer, Fu Manchu is not your typical villain. Most figures seen in classic horror are brutish monsters that attack their prey by hunting them down one by one. The Fu Manchu is nothing more than man but his character is quite complex, as his plans have more elaborate consequences, leading to a bigger picture. 1965 marks the motion picture debut of this master of melancholy in the film The Face of Fu Manchu.
The story begins with the supposed execution of the Fu Manchu. Tried for his crimes against his people and the world, the Fu Manchu is sentenced to death by beheading. Though it seems that the Fu Manchu and his reign of terror has concluded, eager British detective Nayland Smith still senses the Fu Manchu’s presence. Smith investigates the situation further and reveals that the Fu Manchu is alive and well and that he has brought his operations to a secret base underneath the river Thames. The Fu Manchu kidnaps the world renowned Professor Muller to uncover the key to using the seeds of a rare Tibetan flower for world domination. It’s a race to stop the Fu Manchu and his evil ways, but this movie delivers in action and drama.
I won’t spoil the end but I suggest everyone take a look at this movie as it is a forgotten classic. This villain is smart and ruthless and is very meticulous in his planning. Everything is planned perfectly. I like a villain that uses his brain over his brawn. He manipulates his followers with hypnosis and gets them to do his bidding. The only gripe I have with the character is that the actor playing Fu Manchu isn’t Asian. I’m sure in the 60s it might have been a problem to feature an Asian lead, but I for one would like to see a reboot of this character as I believe it could be a big hit if done correctly. I recommend this movie to lovers of the horror genre as it brings forth a different take on the horror genre. Check it out and beware the reign of the FU MANCHU!