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the Christopher Lee Collection - Limited Edition (The Blood of Fu Manchu / The Castle of Fu Manchu / Circus of Fear / The Bloody Judge) (1967)

Christopher Lee  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

List Price: $59.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Lee
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Box set, Color, Limited Edition, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 383 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000096IBZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,768 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "the Christopher Lee Collection - Limited Edition (The Blood of Fu Manchu / The Castle of Fu Manchu / Circus of Fear / The Bloody Judge)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • The Blood of Fu Manchu
  • The Castle of Fu Manchu
  • Circus of Fear
  • Bonus Disc: The Bloody Judge
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Bloody Jess - Interviews with Director Jess Franco and Star Christopher Lee
  • The Riss of Fu Manchu - Interviews with Director Jess Franco, Producer Harry Alan Towers, Stars Christopher Lee, Tsai Chin and Shirley Eaton
  • The Fall of Fu Manchu - Interviews with Director Jess Franco, Producer Harry Alan Towers, Stars  Christopher Lee and Tsai Chin
  • The Facts of Dr. Fu Manchu
  • TV Spot
  • Poster & Still Galleries
  • Talent Bios
  • Liner Notes by Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas
  • Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1
  • Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Christopher Lee has defined macabre for generations of horror enthusiasts." -- George Lucas

Product Description

Christopher Lee, Richard Greene, Tsai Chin. A 4-disc collection of films starring Christopher Lee (of Fu Manchu fame) includes The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969/94 min.), The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968/94 min.), Circus of Fear (1966/91 min.) and The Bloody Judge (1970/96 min.). Color/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(7)
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection; Bad Disk October 12, 2003
Format:DVD
First, the presentation of these four movies by Blue-Underground is superb. All widescreen format, wonderful color, and only a slight bit of age showing though any of them. Not a problem. If you're a Christopher Lee fan, these movies are a complete joy. And for those of you who enjoy Leo Genn, you've got to check out "Circus of Fear". Leo Genn gives a wonderful performance as an incredibly humble, compassionate police detective, who genuinely cares about people. But...
That brings me to the "bad disk" comment. Apparently there are problems with this first disk. I have two dvd players, and in the G.E. brand player, it kept spitting the disk back out and displaying "unplayable disk" on the digital readout. I finally got it to play by hitting the play button two or three times while it was reading the disk. But, further problems ocurred; skipping again and again, finally freeze ups. I was upset, to say the least.
Then I tried it on the other player, a Panasonic DVD-RV20, and it played flawlessly. I don't know why there would be such an increadible differance between the players. However, I know others are having the same difficulty with their players. So beware. Blue-Underground has issued a statement that they believe something happened during the manufacturing of the disk, and are considering how they can replace the disk in the very near future. I hope so, because this is a great box-set, and I believe any Lee fan would give a lot to own it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection for an excellent actor September 28, 2003
Format:DVD
When I was very young, I was only allowed to watch certain horror movies- mainly Vincent Price vehicles (especially the ones based on Poe's work) and Christopher Lee's Hammer films. So for most of my life I had a great admiration for this deep voiced, dignified actor. This set contains movies from his 70's B-picture work, but the quality is amazing.
"Circus of Fear" is a fun little picture, and Lee raises it above your usual schlocky circus setting movie. There are also many funny moments scattered throughout. The Fu Manchu movies are a lot of fun- Lee plays the part perfectly and the makeup is amazing. About the only really "offensive" picture on this is The Bloody Judge, and not that much. Jess Franco and Lee seemed to be a great team on these latter pictures, even if at times they disagreed.
Technically, Blue Underground completely gave these releases the red carpet. The transfers are near perfect- all are in widescreen, there is very little grain, colors are just the right tone and they all look superb. The sound is also very well done, I heard no pops or crackles and there are no sound fade outs. The box is very attractive, and the covers are very nice (the inserts contain the original poster art.) Extras are a bit sparse- mainly commentaries and interviews- but they are well done, interesting and informative.
This is a great treat for Lee fans, especially fans of his earlier genre work. However, if you're looking for a group of scary pictures, you should look elsewhere. If you only know him from Star Wars: AoTC or the Lord of the Rings movies you may be dissapointed, but it's still worth a look to see some of what made him such a legend. This set is a must! Hopefully we'll see Blue Underground release more Christopher Lee pictures in the future.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Mixed Bag March 5, 2004
Format:DVD
First, to get it out of the way, some copies of the Circus of Fear disc are bad, but Blue Underground's website has instructions on getting a free replacement disc. Overall, these aren't the best films Lee made. The common thread uniting all four is that they were produced by Harry Alan Towers. In addition, three out of four of the films are directed by Jess Franco.
Circus of Fear (the only film not directed by Franco) is based on a story by German suspense writer Edgar Wallace. As is typical of his stories, the film depends not so much upon a good mystery or skilled detective work, but upon the police unravelling hundreds of red herrings designed to confuse the viewer and keep us guessing. It has great acting, including a minor role by Klaus Kinski, and a great setting (a circus), but is not a great film. Lee does not get any major screen time, and for most of that time his face is masked, but it is still a fun role.
The two Fu Manchu films would have been a lot more enjoyable if they both didn't suffer from poor pacing. However, even when they're bad, Franco's films are always interesting, and here we get to see him working with budgets closer to what he deserved. Both films are pure pulp fiction adventure, with members of Scotland Yard attempting to stop the evil Fu Manchu's plans for world domination. As with pulp fiction, most of the characters are pure stereotypes, although this 1960s series made a point of occassionally noting that Fu Manchu does not represent most orientals and is wanted by eastern authorities as well. I far prefer Lee's earlier Fu Manchu films, but neither have Jess Franco as a draw. Lee gets very little screen time in both and seems to be bored with the role.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should Be Retitled. September 12, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Although Christopher Lee appears in every film, this collection should really be called the Harry Alan Towers collection. Towers (who just died in July at the age of 88) was a prolific low budget English producer who was responsible for all of these films and, unlike Roger Corman, was rarely able to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The major difference between Corman and Towers is that Towers fancied himself a writer and wrote the scripts for most of his movies under the pen name of Peter Welbeck. In the end it didn't matter as most of his movies turned a tidy profit. Towers would sell a film based on a star performer (in this case Christopher Lee) and then shoot it in exotic locales for as little money as possible. Most of the films featured his wife, Austrian actress Maria Rohm and were directed by Spanish director Jesus (Jess) Franco. Action/horror films have traditionally had sexist elements but the amount of nudity/torture/porn in Towers' movies are excessive considering when they were made (the late 1960s) and border on undisguised misogyny. One could argue that they opened the door to the torture porn movies of today. They also represent the shift in European horror films from the fanciful to the literal.

Three of the four films included here (the two FU MANCHUS and THE BLOODY JUDGE) were directed by Jess Franco. They make excellent use of their outdoor locales and are less successful when they move indoors. It's not a question of cheap sets so much as what Franco does with them which isn't much (BLOODY JUDGE is the exception). The films are competently shot and edited and the international casts (all dubbed into English with varying degrees of success) wander through with various degrees of conviction.
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