The Blood of Fu Manchu, also known as Fu Manchu and the Kiss of Death, Kiss of Death, Kiss and Kill and Against All Odds, is a 1968 horror/adventure film based on the fictional Asian villain Fu Manchu, created by Sax Rohmer. It was the fourth film in a series, and was preceded by The Vengeance of Fu Manchu. The Castle of Fu Manchu followed in 1969.
The movie was directed by the prolific Jesús Franco and produced by international film wheeler-dealer Harry Alan Towers for Udastex Films. It stars Christopher Lee as Fu Manchu, Richard Greene as Scotland Yard detective Nayland Smith, and Howard Marion-Crawford as Doctor Petrie. It was filmed in Spain and Brazil.
Shielded from prying eyes by the jungles of South America, that diabolical mastermind of the Orient, Fu Manchu, is plotting against his enemies once again. Rather than a straightforward plan, Fu has concocted a system of transmitting deadly snake venom (played by an unimpressed green worm) to the lips of beautiful women from his harem who will them infect certain individuals in major cities by kissing them. Their initial blindness and then death will shock the world into surrender or failing that, Fu will tip a full urn of the stuff into rivers, a bit less subtle but some people never learn.
This disappointing entry into a series of films featuring the stereotypical Oriental no-gooder with the minimal moustache strands, none of which in truthfully exploit Sax Rohmer’s books, is typical fodder from Spanish director, Jess Franco. It’s stylish and full of nudity and sadism but lacking a plot you can get your teeth into with performances from the actors to whom the description ‘wooden’ would be an insult to oak.
Also known as Kiss and Kill and, bizarrely, Against All Odds in America, Lee looks the part but his clipped delivery is either a dreadful Chinese accent or an internal struggle with his lines. It appears virtually the entire world is oblivious to Fu’s attempts to rule the planet and quite rightly so, the threat being so slight that barely a drop of blood is spilt in the whole film. Only the sleaze and cheese of the film make it worth watching, a shame as the franchise clearly had a lot of latent potentials.
Daz Lawrence, MOVIES and MANIA