Shadow Of Chinatown

1966. SHADOW OF CHINATOWN (1936-USA). 15 Episode Victory Serial. With BELA LUCOSI, HERMAN BRIX (BRUCE BENNETT), JOAN BARCLAY. Bela Lugosi, everyone’s favorite vampire, stars in this wildly outrageous serial as Victor Poten, the looniest of scientists. One of Poten’s tamer inventions is a television monitor, which allows him to spy on his adversaries. However, this “evil and mad genius” is more in his element as he ever so casually comments that he is working on an experiment in which he is “mixing blood.” Among his more deadly concocÂtions is a chemical which, when heated, releases a lethal and invisible gas. Poten works out of San Francisco’s Chinatown, where he commandeers a gang of ruthless thugs. Also, he is in cahoots with the evil Sonya Rokoff, a stunningly beautiful Eurasian who is business director of a chain of European-owned stores. This villainess will instigate all sorts of heinous acts in her determination to ruin her competition, the merchants of Chinatown. Poten and Sonya end up pitted against Joan Whiting, intrepid reporter whose aggressiveness and inquisitiveness are certain to land her in the hottest of water. She is joined by a stalwart hero: square-jawed Martin Andrews (played by Olympic shot-putter Herman Brix, before he changed his name to Bruce Bennett and went on to enjoy a career as a character actor). Andrews is a well-known author who modestly declares, “I’m supposed lo write about heroes, not act like one,” just before he commences performing the requiÂsite derring-do. The serial is loads of fun and loaded with surprises, but is especially enjoyable for the presence of Lugosi, who devilishly laughs his way through his role. 282 minutes total. Serial