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Chinatown after Dark

USA 1931
produced by
Ralph M. Like for Action Pictures
directed by Stuart Paton
starring Carmel Myers, Rex Lease, Barbara Kent, Edmund Breese, Frank Mayo, Billy Gilbert, Michael Visaroff, Laska Winters, George Chesebro, Lloyd Whitlick, Willie Fung, James B. Leong, Charles Murphy
written by Betty Burbridge, music by Lee Zahler

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Ralph Bonner (Frank Mayo) brings an ancient Chinese dagger that seems to be of no great value from Shanghai to the USA, even though a certain Varonoff (Michael Visaroff) would offer him a large amount of money (about 10 times its value) for the object, and even though he is threatened by one of Varonoff's henchman (George Chesebro).

Bonner delivers the dagger to its rightful owner, Lee Fong (Edmund Breese), but then the lights go out, a shot is heard, and once the lights come on again, Lee Fong is dead and Bonner and the dagger are gone ... and the prime suspect in the killing is Bonner's brother Jim (Rex Lease), who just happened to accompany his brother, and who from here on is constantly bullied by detective Dooley (Edmund Breese) - but that doesn't keep him from on the one hand (successfully) romancing Lee Fong's ward Lotus (Barbara Kent) and on the other hand investigate the murder on his own.

Jim's investigations soon lead him to a certain Madame Ying Su (Carmel Myers), who has been hired by Varonoff to get him the dagger, but Ying Su is cautious enough to make Jim her prisoner - which leads detective Dooley to believe he is in league with her. Soon enough, Madame Ying Su has Lotus abducted, but Jim helps her escape, even though that messes up his own planned escape - and just when the police arrives too. Finding Jim with the villains but with an escape route open to him, Dooley is even more certain that Jim is one of the baddies ... until the dagger and Ralph are found, and while Jim is finally proven innocent, the cops take in Madame Ying Su and her gang.

And the dagger?

It had a priceless gem hidden in its handle, that's why everybody was after it ...


Ok early sound B-crime drama, nothing great, that's for sure, but as films of its ilk go, it isn't too bad either, moving along swiftly enough, featuring a few interesting plottwists and many a pulp mainstay without relying to heavily on the yellow peril motive.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD