El castillo de Fu Manchu (1969)

Spain, West Germany, Italy, UK, 1969
85m (Germany), 92m (Spain, UK, USA), 2,334 metres (Germany), 8,280 feet
35mm film, Colorscope (anamorphic), Eastmancolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

A Spanish/West German/Italian/British science fiction film directed by Jesus Franco.

Plot Summary

Fu Manchu’s latest insane plot is to use his new invention to freeze the world’s oceans. Only the redoubtable Nayland Smith of Interpol stands in his way.


* = uncredited

Director: Jess Frank [real name: Jesus Franco]
Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas, Atlantida, Terra Filmkunst, Towers of London, Italian International, Anglo Amalgamated, International Cinema
Executive Producer: Francisco Romero, Remo Odevaine
Producers: Harry Alan Towers, Jesús Balcázar
Production Manager: Juan Estelrich
Script: Manfred Barthel, Jesús Balcázar, V. Marinucci, Michael Haller
Story: Peter Welbeck [real name: Harry Alan Towers]
Character: Sax Rohmer
Assistant Director: Ricardo Franco
Director of Photography: Manuel Merino
West German Version Directors of Photography: Manuel Merino, Michael Haller
Editor: John Colville, María Luisa Soriana
Music: Carlo Camilleri, Malcolm Shelby
West German Version Music: Carlo Camilleri, Gert Wilden
Art Director: Santiago Ontanon
Locations: Istanbul, Turkey; Parque Güell, Barcelona, Spain; Parque de la Ciutdadella, Barcelona, Spain

Christopher Lee (Dr Fu Manchu)
Günther Stoll (Dr Curd Kessler)
José Manuel Martin (Omar Pasha)
Rosalba Neri (Lisa)
Gustavo Re (Dr Herakles)
Werner Abrolat (Melnik)
Maria Perschy (Dr Ingrid Koch)
Tsai Chin (Lin Tang)
Herbert Fux [real name: Herbert Fuchs]
Richard Greene (Sir Dennis Nayland Smith)
Howard Marion Crawford (Dr Ronald Petrie)
Oswaldo Genazzani
Gene Geyes, Ricardo Franco (Fu manchu’s henchmen)
Jesus Franco [Inspector Ahmet – uncredited]
Burt Kwouk *

Alternative Titles

Assignment Istanbul – UK (alternative)
Il castello di Fu Manchu – Italy
Castle of Fu Manchu – UK
Die Folterkammer des Dr Fu Man Chu – Germany
la isla de la muerte – Italy (alternative)
The Torture Chamber of Dr Fu Manchu – USA

Sequel to
The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967)
The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)


CinemaTV Today no.9963 (15 January 1972) p.29
A sorry hotchpotch of bits and pieces of plot, odds and ends of film stock, and characters who come and go with an almost total disregard or any semblance of continuity. Only in the majestic malignancy of Christopher Lee’s periodic appearances could this be said to stop chasing its own tail long enough to justify its title. When a character, played by one of the stars, appears in the synopsis as Anna, in the screen credits as Maria, and is referred to throughout as Ingrid, I may perhaps be forgiven for deducing that very little care went into the making of the film. – from a review by Marjorie Bilbow



  • Absurd no.8 – credits, review
  • Cineinforme no.177 (June 1973) p.12 – review
  • CinemaTV Today no.9963 (15 January 1972) p.29 – review (by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • The Dark Side April 1993 p.30 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.39 no.457 (February 1972) p.31 – credits, synopsis, review (by John Gillett)
  • Variety 6 November 1968 p.22 – production notes


  • The Christopher Lee Filmography by Tom Johnson and Mark A. Miller pp.187-190
  • The Cult Films of Christopher Lee by Jonathan Sothcott pp.84-89
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.132
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.186
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle and Douglas C. Hart p.125
  • Harry Alan Towers: The Transnational Career of a Cinematic Contrarian by Dave Mann pp.56, 74, 75, 79, 80
  • The International Spy Guide 001 by Richard Rhys Davies p.159 – illustrated credits, note
  • Lord of Misrule (new edition) by Christopher Lee p.222
  • Obsession: The Films of Jesus Franco pp.64, 67 – illustrated credits, review (by Lucas Balbo)