To discuss all western films which depict the asian as
Yellow Peril would be far beyond the scope of this humble article.
Instead, I narrow it down to the movies of Fu Manchu. In addition to the
nine films listed here, the 1950s serial The Drums of Fu Manchu
should also be mentioned, as well as the 1980s Peter Sellers comedy The
Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu
. Completists must, for now, do without an
analysis of these two, the first being considered a serial and not a film
(although it was later edited into a feature length picture), and the
second being considered not worth the effort to add, for the moment.
Most fans of the Fu Manchu films consider Boris Karloff's Mask of Fu
to be the best, and he surely is the top in terms of demonic,
monstrous evil. But for my money, the best Fu Manchu has to be Christopher
Lee. Somewhat wooden, a weird, occasional accent, strange gestures, and
really poorly written lines somehow just add to my enjoyment of his
performance. The fact that he is the most hulking, gigantically tall
Chinese man I have ever seen, makes it even better. Humorously enough, Sax
Rohmer's widow, on the set of The Face
of Fu Manchu
, claimed that Christopher Lee was the 'spitting image' of
the man Sax Rohmer saw in London's Limehouse district so long ago, the man
that became the inspiration for the character of Fu Manchu.