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Shadow of Chinatown 1 Season

Season 1
2.3 out of 5 stars (9) IMDb 4.6/10

A madman sets out to destroy a group of Chinatown merchants.

Starring:
Bela Lugosi, Bruce Bennett

Available to watch on supported devices.

Buy Episode 1 SD $1.99
Buy Season 1 SD $23.99
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Season 1

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1. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 1 - The Arms of the God

Sonya Rokoff (Luana Walters) hires Professor Victor Poten (Bela Lugosi) to terrorize Chinatown.

TV-NR Runtime: 26 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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2. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 2 - The Crushing Walls

Martin Andrews (Herman Brix) escapes being caught by Victor Poten's automaton.

TV-NR Runtime: 16 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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3. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 3 - 13 Ferguson Alley

Andrews (Herman Brix) saves Joan Whiting (Joan Barclay) from the crusher.

TV-NR Runtime: 17 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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4. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 4 - Death on the Wire

Andrews survives the exploding manhole cover.

TV-NR Runtime: 16 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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5. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 5 - The Sinister Ray

Andrews (Herman Brix) fakes his demise but Poten (Bela Lugosi) wants to be sure and rigs up a killer goldfish bowl.

TV-NR Runtime: 16 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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6. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 6 - The Sword Thrower

Andrews is saved from the deadly goldfish bowl by Detective, Wong (James B. Leong).

TV-NR Runtime: 17 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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7. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 7 - The Noose

Andrews escapes the sword and rescues Joan from her imprisonment.

TV-NR Runtime: 21 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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8. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 8 - Midnight

Wong saves Andrews from Grogan's noose, Poten threatens to kill Grogan by midnight.

TV-NR Runtime: 17 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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9. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 9 - The Last Warning

Joan tells Andrews that Sonya Rokoff is behind the sinister events in San Francisco and that she also has plans to destroy Chinatown in LA.

TV-NR Runtime: 18 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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10. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 10 - The Bomb

Wong saves Andrews, Joan and Willy Fu from Poten's gas but Poten and Sonya Rokoff escape.

TV-NR Runtime: 19 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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11. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 11 - Thundering Doom

Andrews manages to catch Grogan's hand grenade and throw it out an open window.

TV-NR Runtime: 18 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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12. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 12 - The Invisible Gas

Andrews and Joan survive going over the cliff and continue on to San Francisco, a psychiatrist brings Sonya Rokoff out of her trance.

TV-NR Runtime: 18 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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13. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 13 - The Brink of Disaster

Andrews and the others manage to detect the invisible gas and escape the lab in time.

TV-NR Runtime: 18 minutes Release date: October 10, 1936
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14. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 14 - The Fatal Trap

Andrews grabs hold of the fire escape but Grogan is killed from falling off the roof of Sonya Rokoff's apartment.

TV-NR Runtime: 18 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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15. Shadow of Chinatown - Chapter 15 - The Avenging Powers

A madman sets out to destroy a group of Chinatown merchants.

TV-NR Runtime: 17 minutes Release date: January 1, 1936
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By eddie on April 16, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Feature version of the serial. Another Bela classic.
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"Shadow of Chinatown" is a 15-chapter serial produced by Sam Katzman and released by Victory Pictures in 1936. This is a 71-minute "feature" made from the 282-minute original, as was commonly done for marketing the film to theaters that didn't run serials. Some of these feature versions are representative of the original; this one tries, with only some success.

The story is set in San Francisco, where European importers, suffering from Chinese competition, direct their business leader, an Eurasian woman named Sonya Rokoff (Luana Walters), to close Chinatown to outsiders, which would ruin the Chinese merchants. She hires another Eurasian, scientist Victor Poten (Bela Lugosi), who has some thugs in Chinese disguise create enough mayhem that the police will close the area. But a newspaper reporter, Joan Whiting (Joan Barclay), unsuccessful at getting information from the police, enlists the aid of her friend, Martin Andrews (Herman Brix) who, with information from his servant Willy Fu (Maurice Liu) has written a book about Chinatown. Andrews acts disinterested, but is soon involved when Joan vanishes after seeing a Chinese businessman abducted. It's no surprise that Poten has bigger plans, including a superior race of his own creation. Sonya, horrified at Poten's brutal methods, finds she is no longer in control of her project, and can do little about it.

Even more than with the full serial, "acting" expectations are not great, though Luana Walters expresses her dilemma quite well, Lugosi can stare hypnotically and has a few gadgets to aid his evil cause, Herman Brix is a good athletic hero and Joan Barclay, with the unfortunate role of a chattering newspaper reporter, at least got some of the worst of it removed for the feature.
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Format: DVD
Bela is a maniacal eurasian fella, out to destroy both europeans and asians in chinatown, in this 70 min. condensed version of the 15-part serial. Even at 70 minutes it's a chore to watch! Bela is his old self, but there's just not enough action or plot to really make things enjoyable. If you're just looking for a good Lugosi serial, I recommend THE PHANTOM CREEPS, as it's dumb but fun...
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Format: DVD
Most people find the independently produced serials of the 1930s to be the ultimate in snoozefests, and this is one case in which I go along with the masses. I'm at that stage of my life, however, when self-inflicted pain helps get me through the torturous long hours of an otherwise tedious existence, and for sheer self-inflicted pain, you can't do much better than watching a Bela Lugosi serial. Hence, I approached SHADOW OF CHINATOWN not expecting much. It was to my shock, then, that I found a serial that was cheesy, yes, plot-challenged, naturally, ludicrous, you betcha, but which held my interest and entertained in all 15 chapters, particularly the brilliant chapter 11 (more on that later).

The plot (and get this): A European importing business is feeling the competitive heat from a Chinese importing business. So they decide to keep tourists from visiting Chinatown to... to... well, it's not real clear how they figure this will help them, but they seem pretty sure of it, so it must be okay. Anyway, they hire a beautiful dragon lady named Sonya (Luana Walters) to handle this little project for them, but she outsources it to Victor Poten, a crazed Eurasian scientist who must be and is Bela Lugosi. Poten embarks on a mad plan to murder, pillage, torture, and generally embarrass a lot of people.

A feisty female reporter (Luana Walters) is investigating all the mayhem in Chinatown, and she enlists the services of a hunky young writer and Chinatown expert (Herman Brix) to help her solve the mystery.

The feisty female reporter soon ends up a prisoner of Poten, and in one of the highlights of the serial, writes "HELP!" on a mirror and reflects the sunlight so that the message shines like the Batsignal on the building next door.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This Timeless Video release is NOT the original serial but a condensed version. Like the original ran for three or four hours and this version has been condensed to 73 minutes.
There is lots of action crammed into that time span, and Lugosi is suitably creepy. There are good scenes. But it's not likely to satisfy true serial collectors.
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