Monday, July 4, 2016
CHARLIE CHAN AT THE WAX MUSEUM (1940)
This is the 7th Charlie Chan movie starring Sidney Toler. There were already 17 before that starring Warner Oland and all the ones I've ever seen are pretty similar. They used to play these in the 2am time-slot, in between biker movies, monster flicks and The Bowery Boys, on the local New York channel back in the 80s when TV didn't suck yet and I caught quite a few, although telling them apart is sometimes very difficult. This one uses a wax museum setting which I assume was kinda popular with the couple of 30s "Wax Museum" movies that came out before this and a crazy guy who runs said museum(isn't that always the case?). There's also some gangsters a little gunplay(and blowdart-play) and a guy who wears bandages on his head like The Invisible Man.
Nowadays I'm guessing many people hate these films for having a white-man play the role of an Asian detective but then again many people nowadays vehemently hate everything that doesn't align perfectly with their particular world-view, so who cares? I always found it strange that they did have an actual Asian fella playing Charlie's #1 son Jimmy Chan which to me made ol' Charlie stand out even more as not being authentically Chinese but they cranked out so many of these things that I'd say nobody back then gave a crap either way.
These are great movies to put on late at night if you want something light, comedic and instantly forgettable to fall asleep to and also they are usually only about an hour long which is a good thing.