Movie Diary 8/13/2018

The Terror of the Tongs (Anthony Bushell, 1961). Christopher Lee as the leader of a Hong Kong crime syndicate, the Red Dragon, and Geoffrey Toone as a ship captain who vows revenge after his daughter gets caught in some Tong intrigue. Lots of splashy Hammer color and a few shocking deaths in this one. Big emphasis on grisly stabbings and weird torture (“bone scraping” being the most exotic). Way too many British actors in “yellowface,” even considering the era – although Burt Kwouk gets in a couple of nice scenes at the beginning. Oddest thing about Jimmy Sangster’s script is the fatalistic note in Lee’s character, a seemingly Taoist approach that doesn’t jibe well with the whole master-of-crime routine. Lee would return to Orientalism with Hammer’s Fu Manchu series a few years later.


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