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The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu - The Golden God of Dr. Fu Manchu

episode 2

USA 1956
produced by
Republic Pictures (Studio City Television/Hollywood Television Service)
directed by Franklin Adreon
starring Glen Gordon, Lester Matthews, Clark Howat, Carla Balenda, Laurette Luez, Rick Vallin, Jean Willes, Keye Luke
written by Richard H. Landau, based on characters by Sax Rohmer

tv-series
Fu Manchu, Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After a train carrying a large amount of gold crashes, it is robbed, with the gold to be smuggled out of Macao by none other than Fu Manchu (Glen Gordon). Of course Sir Nayland Smith (Lester Matthews) & surgeon general Dr.Petri (Clark Howat) are on the case, but their only lead turns out to be an amnesiac woman (Jean Willes) found besides the corpse of a man who was to be an undercover agent at Fu Manchu's. Fu Manchu meanwhile tells his (caucasian) employee Bill (Rick Vallin) to take care of that woman, unbeknowest that Bill is actually that woman's hubby - my my, do coincidents happen ?! Bill refuses to kill her of course, instead wants to escape with her & the gold, leaving both Fu Manchu & Macao behind forever. But Fu Manchu has already grown wise to Bill, in the end having him killed when he is defending his wife - but luckily, Bill was followed by Smith & Petri, who can clean up Fu Manchu's operations in Macao thanks to Bill's help. The arch-villain of course escapes as usual.

 

Republic Pictures' main product was serials & b-movies of all genres since its founding year 1935. By the mid 50's however these sources of income had run relatively dry, the serial & the b- or series-western being a thing of the past (their audiences having long shifted to television) & the market for b-horrors & science fiction mainly occupied by AIP & Allied Artists. So Republic tried a few rather half hearted stabs at television (besides this one there was also Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe from 1953, which was re-using the lead characters & much footage from a popular latter-day Republic serials, Radar Men from the Moon) before closing production altogether in the late 50's - the company, mind you, is still in existence today, mainly living on licensing off their stock.

The Fu Manchu series itself was utterly unremarkable, mainly shot indoors with outdoor sequences almost entirely consisting of stock-footage, all pasted together in a so-so way - as was usual with 50's tv series -, there was little to remind audienes of the great outdoor Republic serials of yesteryear, which were full of stunts & action - but that also was usual for 50's tv series.

This episode fares little better or worse than most others of the 13 episodes made, with the script taking just a few twists & turns too many to stay believable - that Bill finds out that the woman he is supposed to be killing is of all people his wife means really stretching it a tad far.

Glen Gordon - a caucasian of course, as was always the case with Fu Manchu-actors - is actually pretty bad in the lead role, actually doing precious little to bring the character to life - besides from a phony accent maybe.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD