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

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Christopher Lee as Fu Manchu
THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU (aka Kiss and Kill/1968). Director: Jess Franco. Produced by Harry Alan Towers.

From the South American jungles and a hidden city, Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) sends forth ten kidnapped and mind-controlled women on a mission to murder ten of his most hated enemies. Fu Manchu uses special Incan black cobras to spread poison through the women, who can then deliver a "kiss of death" to their chosen victims. Sir Denis Nayland Smith (Richard Greene of Island of the Lost) is one of these victims, but he doesn't die immediately but goes blind instead. Smith insists that his friend Dr. Petrie (Howard Marion-Crawford of The Hasty Heart) take him to South America where he can meet up with his agent, Carl Jansen (Gotz George), and get an antidote from Fu Manchu. Tsai Chin is again cast as Fu's nasty daughter, Lin Tang, and Maria Rohm plays Ursula, the daughter of a murdered professor who had been traveling with Carl. The movie is nearly over before Shirley Eaton, who played Sax Rohmer's villainess Sumuru in two movies, shows up as one of the kissing assassins in scenes that could almost be outtakes from her second Sumuru flick, The Girl from Rio (which was also produced by Harry Alan Towers). Ricardo Palacios plays the irritating bandit chief Sancho Lopez, but he plays it well and his death is satisfying. Despite an amusing and workable premise and some interesting settings, The Blood of Fu Manchu has low production values and doesn't have much suspense or excitement. Lee plays Fu strictly for the paycheck. Greene is actually quite good as Smith and George makes an attractive secondary hero. This is the fourth of five Fu Manchu/Chris Lee movies.

Verdict: Sadly, there were worse Fu Manchu movies to come. **.

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