Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Return of Chandu (1934), Ray Taylor.

How refreshing to see Bela Lugosi paternal, protective and possibly even romantic.  This to me is so typically 1930s:  elegant and tinged with Orientalism.  In the story, Egyptian princess Nadji is at risk of being kidnapped by the priest of a mysterious cult who wishes to sacrifice her, thereby transferring her soul into the body of the cult's dead priestess.  In other words, the same plot as The Mummy (1999)! 

This is a serial B that originated as a radio program.  Initially in Chandu the Magician (1932), Lugosi was the evil nemesis but here he stars as Chandu, also known to a family of well-to-do wonderbread Californians as Uncle Frank. Each segment is 20 minutes long and ends with a crazy cliffhanger.  Loved it!  

 Slightly embarrassed henchmen praying to Bast in kitten garb.

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