The evil Dr. Fu Manchu plans to freeze the world’s ocean, unless Sir Dennis Nayland Smith can prevent it. So he seizes a Turkish castle for its supply of opium?
The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969) starring Christopher Lee, Richard Greene
In short: The Castle of Fu Manchu is a bad use of good actors. It’s convoluted, with large stretches of boring exposition, and lots of reused footage from earlier films. There’s a reason it was riffed mercilessly on Mstery Science Theater 3000.
Christopher Lee returns as the diabolical super-villian who along with his sadistic daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin of THE BRIDES OF FU MANCHU and THE JOY LUCK CLUB) creates a fiendish new chemical weapon that will turn the seas into a giant block of ice. But when his Archenemy Nayland Smith (Richard Greene of TALES FROM THE CRYPT) tracks the madman’s trail of kidnapping, murder and massive global destruction, he himself becomes trapped in Fu’s impenetrable lair of cruelty. Can any of the world’s top secret agents (including a wild performance by Director Jess Franco) now stop the cold-blooded terror that lives in THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU?
Cast of characters
- Christopher Lee (Horror of Dracula; Horror Express) … Fu Manchu. The Devil Doctor himself. Who, despite have been defeated baby Nayland Smith multiple times, is absolutely confident that this time he’ll win.
- Richard Greene (Tales from the Crypt) … Nayland Smith. Fu Manchu’s nemesis, who’s convinced that his old enemy is still alive and up to no good. He’s right.
- Howard Marion-Crawford (The Hasty Heart) … Dr. Petrie. Smith’s sidekick, perpetually astounded.
- Günther Stoll … Dr. Curt Kessler. Kidnapped to do a heart transplant on Heracles.
- Rosalba Neri (Esther and the King 1960) … Lisa. Pashu’s bodyguard.
- Maria Perschy (Man’s Favorite Sport) … Marie / Ingrid. Kessler’s assistant, likewise kidnapped to perform the heart transplant. Of course, she falls in love with Curt.
- José Manuel Martín … Omar Pashu. Local crime boss, double-crossed by Fu Manchu after kidnapping Heracles for him. There’s gratitude for you.
- Werner Abrola … Melnik
- Tsai Chin (Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) … Lin Tang. Fu Manchu’s beautiful, heartless daughter.
- Gustavo Re … Prof. Heracles (uncredited) – the scientist whose discovery about crystals are the key to Fu Manchu’s plan to freeze the oceans. Until they’re not, for no reason at all. And he’s dying, and needs a heart transplant.
- All of the footage at the beginning featuring a large ocean liner striking an iceberg and sinking is stock footage from the British Titanic movie A Night to Remember.
- The fifth and final Christopher Lee Fu Manchu movie. Editor’s note: I’m betting that made him happy.
- A sixth movie was contracted, but due to this movie’s dismal box-office performance, and even worse critical reaction, it was swiftly cancelled.