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Shadow of Chinatown
Yellow Phantom

USA 1936
produced by
Sam Katzman for Victory
directed by Robert F.Hill
starring Bela Lugosi, Herman Brix (= Bruce Bennett), Joan Barclay, Luana Walters, Maurice Liu, Charles King, William Buchanan, Forrest Taylor, Jack Cowell, James B.Leong, Henry T.Tung, Paul Fung, George Chan, Moy Ming, Victor Adamson, John Elliott, Harrison Greene, Henry Hall, Richard Loo, Bruce Mitchell, Roger Williams
story by Rock Hawkey (= Robert F.Hill), screenplay by Isadore Bernstein, Basil Dickey, special dialogue by William Buchanan, musical direction by Lee Zahler


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Beautiful Eurasian Sonya Rokoff (Luana Walters), who runs a European trade company, wants to force authorities to shut down businesses in Chinatown San Francisco and this way eliminate competition, and to that end she has hired Eurasian scientist Victor Poten (Bela Lugosi) - not knowing that Poten is actually a dangerous megalomaniac who hates Caucasians and Asians alike and who wants to have vengeance on simply everybody, and plans to do so with a series of increasingly dangerous inventions ... and before you know it, Sonya has gone from being Poten's superior to one of his servants ... and soon she begins to believe she has put her trust in the wrong man.

Poten's main enemy though is Martin Andrews (Herman Brix), a novelist who knows his ways around Chinatown thanks to his Willy Fu (Maurice Liu), who always seems to have a Chinese proverb on his lips. However, Poten uses many a murder method described in Andrews' latest book which makes police Captain Walters (Forrest Taylor) think that Andrews is behind the Chinatown crimewave - which forces Andrews to investigate on his own behalf, helped by his butler and by nosey girl reporter Joan Whiting (Joan Barclay).

Eventually, Sonya can persuade Poten to move his operations from San Francisco to Los Angeles by ship, but fortunately, Andrews and conpany are on that same ship following a lead, even if they have no idea who they are actually trailing. During the journey, Poten puts both Sonya and her henchman Grogan (Charles King), who has tried to kill him to save Sonya from his evil grip, under his hypnotic spell, but Andrews and company get a hold of hypnotized Sonya and bring her back to San Francisco to release her from Poten's spell - and now she tells them everything, including facts about Poten's hideout and his plans.

Poten realizes that his enemies are hot on his trail, so he hides of all places in Andrews' house and tries to kill Andrews one more time - but this time Andrews is saved by Sonya who selflessly gives her life to save his ...

Poten makes a hasty escape, drives his car into the harbour and is presumed dead ... but of course he isn't but reappears in the disguise of a waiter at a dinner the Chinatown merchants hold for Andrews - but Andrews has kept his eyes open and arrests him on the spot ... and of course he gets the girl, nosey reporter Joan Whiting, in the end ...


While this serial is far from great - essentially it lacks any special setpieces, stunts or plot elements - it's not too bad either, a rather routine crime drama with the occasional (very subdued) sci-fi touches. Not really worth your while on one hand, but not too much of a waste of time on the other.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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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
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 UK





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