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Chandu the Magician

USA 1932
produced by
Fox Film
directed by William Cameron Menzies, Marcel Varnel
starring Edmund Lowe, Irene Ware, Bela Lugosi, Herbert Mundin, Henry B. Walthall, Weldon Heyburn, June Vlasek (= June Lang), Nestor Aber (= Michael Stuart), Virginia Hammond, John George
screenplay by Barry Conners, Philip Klein, based on the play by Harry A.Earnshaw, Vera M.Oldham, R.R.Morgan, cinematography by James Wong Howe

Chandu the Magician

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Egypt: While innocently working working on a death ray, Robert Regent (Henry B.Walthall) is abducted by mad world conquerer Roxor (Bela Lugosi), who wants to use the death ray for his own evil purposes (are there any non-evil purposes to use a death ray for ?). Thank god though Regent's wife Dorothy (Virginia Hammond) has a brother called Frank Chandler (Edmund Lowe), who is otherwise known as Chandu the Magician, and is (as the name suggests) a magician.

Soon enough, Chandu tries to track down Roxor with the help of Princess Naji (Irene Ware), an Egyptian noblewoman who's madly in love with Chandu, and his sidekick Miggles (Herbert Mundin), who is known to drink a bit. But while they still try to track Roxor and Regent down, Roxor tries to make Regent finish the death ray for him, and when Regent refuses, he kidnaps first his daughter (June Vlasek), later his wife and son (Nestor Aber) too. But Regent won't lose hope as long as Chandu is around, so ultimately Roxor has to temporarily blind Chandu - whose magic power apparently emmanates from his eyes - then blindfold him, tie him up, lock him in a sarkophagus and throw him into the Nile ... and when he has done that and threatened Regent's family's lives, Regent finally gives in and finishes the death ray ... but Chandu, magician that he is, of course managed to free himself under water, and ultimately Roxor proves to be no match for him, and it is his own death ray that finally makes his hide-out crumble and buries him and his henchmen under the debris. Only Chandu and company (naturally) manage to escape.

 

Chandu the Magician is high on camp value - it's got lavish ancient Egyptian sets, a death ray, all sorts of magic and Bela Lugosi as a supervillain -, yet it fails to totally work, mostly because the film lacks decent pacing: There is an overlong exposition showing Chandu demonstrating his skills, there are numerous scenes of Chandu and Naji confessing their love for each other, extended pointless dialogue within the Regent family, and of course unfunny comedy by sidekick Miggles, that slows the proceedings down ever so often. All that said, Chandu the Magician isn't all bad, it still features some well-made action as well as some exhilarating scenes ... it just could have been so much better.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

Amazon

Amazon UK

Vimeo

 

 

 

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
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