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Chamber of Horrors/Brides of Fu Manchu
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CHAMBER was intended to be the pilot for a proposed TV series featuring Cesare Danova and Wilfred Hyde-White as Wax Museum owners who also solve bizarre crimes but the show never materialized. This accounts not only for the dramatic lack of on-screen violence throughout but the unusual ending where a girl is found murdered. Shown in theaters instead, the WB marketing department came up with the "Horror Horn" and the "Fear Flasher" as gimmicks to hook people in which it did as the film was successful at the box office but no sequels followed. Taken on its own merits as an unofficial remake of HOUSE OF WAX (it even uses the same sets), CHAMBER OF HORRORS is pretty good with atmospheric old style cinematography and a delightful turn from Patrick O'Neal as the demented killer building a corpse from parts of the people who sent him to prison. Scary?, hardly, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.Read more ›
"The Brides of Fu Manchu" (1966) stars Christopher Lee as the Asian villain who kidnaps the daughters of the world's leading scientists. The ransom he demands is that they build for him a death ray, a weapon he will use to achieve his goal of world domination. Lee joins the ranks of the many non-Asian actors who have portrayed Asians on screen, as diverse a group as Boris Karloff, Fred Astaire, Cedric Hardwicke, Peter Lorre, and Warner Oland. Douglas Wilmer as Sir Dennis Nayland Smith, Fu Manchu's nemesis, doesn't make much of an impression with Lee's deadpan delivery and aura of evil taking center stage.
In brief the movie is about a man sentenced to hang for the murder of his fiancee`. After the murder, he marries the corpse holding the clergyman at gunpoint.
Demented? I'll say. After the trial, he is being transported by train to the prison. The guard handcuffs him to a brakewheel while he goes back for luggage. During this time the convict loosens the bolt holding the brakewheel, takes a fireax and jumps the train into the river ... where he escapes by cutting off his own hand with the ax. From there, the story centers around his revenge on those who sent him to prison vs the amatuer detective who tries to find out who is behind the latest seriel killings.
This is a semi-gothic horror show and is well done in spite of the melodrama. Some of the most interesting footage is of the wax museam, the chamber of horrors, at which Anthony Draco (the amatuer detective) works. It's a true mystery, although we as the audience know who the killer is. The sidelights of famous murderers of the past is as interesting as the psycotic man they are currently after. All in all a well done film themed in turn of the century Baltimore.
One of the unique features of this flick are the "horror horn" and the "fear flasher", which display and sound each time a grusome killing is about to take place. They are really superflueous though as no gore and little blood is shown in the picture. The most frightening thing about it is the soft-spoken killer who seems to strike out of nowhere and keeps eluding the police.Read more ›
As a previous reviewer noted, CHAMBER of HORRORS and BRIDES of FU MANCHU have nothing whatever to do with each other that the fact that they were both released by Warner Brothers in 1966. That aside, I picked this disc up for $3 in the discount bin at one of my local retail stores and bought it mainly for the chance to see Christpher Lee in a Fu Manchu picture (none of which I've ever seen).
Surpsisingly, CHAMBER of HORRORS with its lurid poster and gimmicky "Fear Flasher" and "Horror Horn" -to say nothing of William Conrad's voice of doom opening narration- turned out to be the better film overall.
The print used for CHAMBER is near pristine, razor sharp, with no appreciable scatches, splice or edits marks. Film grain is also minimal, even on an HD monitor. The audio is very clear, with a strong monaural track with minimal hiss and no appreciable pops or distortion (a plus if you really want to listen to William Lava's very good musical score).
Conversely, BRIDES appears to have been mastered from an older, theatrical print because the film grain is particularly eveident, the colors seem faded and there are very noticeable audio/video artifacts (pops, scratches, dust, ect.).
FYI: The disc has no special features -not even a trailer. Buy the disc for CHAMBER by itself at a good price and you can call BRIDES the special feature.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This little known 1966 movie tells of a murderer taking revenge on those responsible for his capture in various warped ways. Read morePublished 2 months ago by A. Griffiths
I bought this for the Fu Manchu movie. Fun action film from the "pulp" era.Published 6 months ago by William Jergensen
Family Black sheep(O'Neil) captures strangles and marries his finance, priest leaves the wedding and contacts the police on what happened at black sheeps house cops arrive to find... Read morePublished on October 31, 2013 by Sandra J.
Both are good movies to watch. I especially liked the Chamber of Horrors. It was a fun movie to watch and I loved the plot and the actors in it.Published on October 12, 2013 by Elizabeth
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