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Confessions of an Opium Eater
Souls for Sale

USA 1962
produced by
Albert Zugsmith for Photoplay/Allied Artists
directed by Albert Zugsmith
starring Vincent Price, Linda Ho, Richard Loo, June Kim (= June Kyoto Lu), Philip Ahn, Yvonne Moray, Caroline Kido, Terence de Marney, Geri Hoo, Gerald Jann, Vivianne Manku, Miel Saan, Joanne Miya, John Mamo (= John Fujioka), Keiko, Victor Sen Yung, Ralph Ahn, Arthur Wong, Alicia Li, Vincent Barbi, William Baskin, David Chow, Roy Jenson, Angelo Rossitto, Carol Russell
screenplay by Robert Hill, based on Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey, music by Albert Glasser

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Drifter Gilbert De Quincey (Vincent Price) travels from China to Chinatown, San Francisco, to accept an assignment from Tong boss Lin Tung. Once there, it turns out that Lin Tung hasn't been seen by anyone in years, but still seems the most powerful figure of Chinatown, especially when it comes to trading women for opium. But lately quite a few competitors tried to muscle their way into his business - so he has his right hand, dragonlady Ruby Low (Linda Ho) give De Quincey the names of those he wants executed. De Quincey's mind might be addled from opium already, but even he can't help but notice there's more to Ruby Low than meets the eye and she seems to have an agenda all of her own.

Chinatown is a weird and spooky place where De Quincey is hounded by both tong assassins and dragon kites ... but somehow he finds a way into Lin Tung's den, saves one of his slave girls from being killed, loses her again, but finds a midget woman who might be a bit on the insane side, but she becomes his trusted sidekick nevertheless (and De Quincey will never regret it). Chases through the Cinatown sewage system bring him back together with Ruby Low, get him caged, and let him become part of a slave auction, where he finally comes face to face with Lin Tung ... who turns out to be Ruby Low in disguise.

De Quincey manages to sabotage the slave auction and save his girl, and his midget sidekick dies a heroine's death protecting them. But whatever became of Lin Tung's whole operation? And could everything have been a drug-induced nightmare after all.


An enjoyably weird movie, that, made on a low budget, creates its very own version of Chinatown that might not be wholly realistic but all the more atmospheric, that doesn't always follow logic as we know it but at times feels like a drug trip gone bad. And at the same time, the film feeds richly on mainstays of pulps from earlier decades, from its depiction of the tong as such to its many hidden panels and secret passageways, women in cages and exotic dances. Oh, and then there's of course Vincent Price in the lead, on one of his less than hammy days but still owning every scene he's in.

Well, basically: Fun!


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