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CHRISTOPHER LEE IN HAMMER FILMS 'THE TERROR OF THE TONGS'

Poster for Hammer's TERROR OF THE TONGS with Christopher Lee Year: 1961

Geoffrey Toone, as the hero in Hammer's THE TERROR OF THE TONGS, is an extremely passive one, and displays extremely sparse emotion, even after his daughter's killed by the titular menace played by an "Asianized" Christopher Lee, who also does surprisingly little except for — like many mob chieftains — sitting in a large chair giving orders...

It's Marne Maitland's undercover Beggar... providing Toone's British captain in Hong Kong expository information of what to do and when... working the hardest. That's if you don't count the also British-turned-Asian Yvonne Monlaur, who headlined Hammer's previous years' BRIDES OF DRACULA and becomes Toone's faithful, lovely yet equally tough/resilient Geisha girl; and future NIGHT CREATURES bald giant Milton Reid as a precursor to the James Bond GOLDFINGER henchman Oddjob...  

Milton Reid as a Tong Henchman in TERROR OF THE TONGS Movie Rates: ***1/2

In fact, there's a Bond vibe a year before Bond movies existed, but with Toone's sophisticated aura it's more Moore than Connery and, despite the flaws, TERROR is a worthwhile action-packed experience, lacking the thriller-style of the non-horror Hammer entries, replacing suspense with a myriad of fist fights...

With little downtime, our intrepid dandy wanders throughout Hong Kong, avoiding various murder attempts from Lee's Tong henchmen while showcasing the terrific looking sets that bring the Asian port-town to splendid reality, the same way Hammer made Victorian-era Europe it's own colorful, timeless playground. 

Yvonne Monlaur in Hammer's Terror of the Tongs
Yvonne Monlaur in Hammer's Terror of the Tongs
Marne Maitland in Hammer's TERROR OF THE TONGS
Geoffrey Toone played the ZERO HOUR doctor who'd Leslie Neilson would play in Airplane
Geoffrey Toone as Dr. Baird in Airplane's basis Zero Hour with Dana Andrews

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