Fu Manchu (Christopher Lee) is sentenced to death by beheading in China in front of his captor, Scotland Yard’s Commissioner Nayland Smith (Nigel Green) as punishment for the numerous crimes and atrocities he has committed.
Later in London, Smith’s intuition that Fu Manchu is not really dead is proved true – Fu has now managed to assemble a crime empire underground adjacent to the River Thames, with his loyal daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin) by his side (an actor altered to look like him was executed in his place).
Fu Manchu abducts brilliant scientist Professor Muller (Walter Rilla) and his beautiful daughter Maria (Karin Dor) as Muller has the skill to distil a deadly potion from the seeds of the Tibetan black bull poppy.
Fu plans to use the resulting concoction to take over the world (natch!)
Smith is hot on his trail, assisted by his friend and sidekick Dr Petrie (Howard Marion-Crawford) and Muller’s assistant Carl (Joachim Fuchsberger) but Fu has already used the deadly potion as a plague to wipe out the population of a small English town (just as he promised via an interrupted broadcast on BBC radio), along with the troops brought in to protect the town.
The British/German co-production was filmed largely on location in Ireland.
This film is considered to be the best of the Fu Manchu series by most fans and film historians.
James Robertson Justice