The Black Magic cult of Ubasti, based on the isle of Lemuria, believes that Nadji, a princess of Egypt, is a reincarnation of their long-dead goddess, Ossana, and intend to sacrifice Nadji ... See full summary »
Clara Kimball Young
On the mystic island of Lemuria, the cult of Ubasti seek the Egyptian Princess Nadji to sacrifice so that their goddess Ossana, whose soul resides in Nadji's body, may be resurrected by ... See full summary »
Clara Kimball Young
Megalomaniac and would-be world dominator Roxor has kidnaped Robert Regent, along with his death ray invention, in hopes of using it to degenerate humanity into mindless brutes, leaving himself as Earth's supreme intelligence. Faced with revealing the machine's secrets or allowing his family to die a horrible death at the hands of Roxor, Regent's only hope lies with the intervention of his brother-in-law, the be-turbaned yogi and magician Chandu, who has the power to make men see what is not there 'even unto a gathering of twelve times twelve'.Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cost-conscious Fox studios paid $40,000 for the rights to Chandu. Lugosi received $2500, Ware $1250, Hammond $100, Walthall $1000, and Stuart $300.Filming was completed July 1932. See more »
During the scene where Chandu sneaks into the slave auction by luring the guard away with an astral projection. The guard chases the illusion, corner it, only to see it disappear before him. Shot over his shoulder we see him raise his hands in amazement and drop his rifle. There is a cut and the new angle shows the guard from the front with a look of stupefaction on his face - but still holding the gun. See more »
... I almost expect somebody in this film to say those tired old lines. This is one of the few precode Fox films that has managed to survive. So many were lost to vault fires or just nitrate deterioration from neglect. Odd how this obscurity survived and is on DVD even!
Chandu (Edmund Lowe) is a magician who seems to just be "graduating" as the film begins with a ceremony full of mumbo jumbo that I cannot make sense of even when I rewind and replay it several times. Chandu finds out that his brother-in-law, who was working on a death ray invention, has been kidnapped by Roxor (Bela Lugosi), and so he rushes to his sister's side to protect her and her daughter and try to save his brother-in-law before Roxor can learn the secret of the death ray. And what does Roxor want? Power? RIches? Fame? no he wants to destroy society so mankind will revert to beasts and he can be the smartest guy in the world. Weird. I guess this is what happens when a sociopath is forced to wear a dunce cap as a kid.
If this sounds like something out of silent film, that is how it plays out too. The romance scenes, the action scenes, everything plays out with silent film technique in direction and acting. I generally really like Edmund Lowe and his roles, so I have to lay this at the feet of the director. I could take this in stride in 1929 and 1930 during the transition to sound, but that time is long over.
Probably the most tiresome character, though, is Albert, Chandu's loyal companion. He is cowardly, a drunk, and always having to be rescued by Chandu even though saving Albert from himself is NOT his primary mission. Prohibition was still in force, so maybe all of these unfunny drunks I encounter in these Prohibition era films are supposed to be knocks at an unpopular law. But today, it's just not funny.
Mildly recommended for fans of Edmund Lowe and Bela Lugosi.
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