Fu Manchu - the alien
Max von Sydow as Ming and Boris Karloff as Fu
Ming the Merciless? The Insidious Fu Manchu? Grant
Tracey thinks so . . .
"Ming, the alien outsider, and Aura, the desiring female,
are both transgressive figures, needing to be somehow contained by the texts racist
and sexist ideology. Ming is clearly Asian-coded in Alex Raymonds Sunday
stripshis skin is colored yellow; in the film, "Asian otherness" is
implied through Mings appearance (the mustache, the exoticized fingers, the
squinting eyes, and the Fu Manchu mustache all recall Sax Rohmers Asian mastermind
bent on world domination), his stereotypical manner (inscrutable and deadly), and the
far-eastern sounds to the names that inform his identity (Mongo, a diminutive for
Mongolia; Ming, a reference to a series of imperial dynasties in Chinas history).
Mings desire for Dale and Auras desire for Flash spins the narrative in
dynamic directions, sometimes pitting daughter against father, other times aligning them
in their common lust."
From Flash Gordon by
"You might consider, by way of influence, the
way that Ming's voice, in the accompanying clip from the film, displays the alternating
'sibilant' and 'guttural' qualities noted in Fu's voice!"pathetic" soundbite -- Patrick D. Enright
Charles Middleton as Ming
Go to The Page of Fu