Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

RETURN OF CHANDU


RETURN OF CHANDU (1934). Director: Ray Taylor. 12 chapter serial.

Edmund Lowe played Chandu the Magician battling Bela Lugosi in the 1932 feature film Chandu the Magician. In this serial, Chandu was played not by Lowe, but by Lugosi! Chandu has hypnotic powers similar to The Shadow, and becomes embroiled in a sinister plot surrounding a beautiful princess. This woman, Chandu's girlfriend, is the reincarnation of the Cat God of Magic Island. There are ocean voyages, fogbound islands, human sacrifices, underground traps and the like – but as fascinating as it sounds it's all very slow, dull and disappointing. Lugosi is fine, if a little miscast, and spends much of his time knitting his brows and calling on the power of the Yogi who was his teacher. Some of the sets were left over from King Kong. This is by no means one of the more memorable chapterplays.
Verdict: Not worth the eye strain. *1/2.

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