Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
In the opening chapter of Shadow of Chinatown, Eurasian Sonya Rokoff (Luana Walters) is assigned by a group of European businessmen to ruin the lucrative San Francisco Chinatown tourist trade. Rokoff hires a fellow Eurasian, Professor Victor Poten (Bela Lugosi), to wreak havoc, which the good professor does by sending an army of faux Chinese to terrorize Chinatown. Later, Poten, whose hatred to whites is matched only by his disgust of Asians, uses his newest invention, a remote television contraption, to spy on a meeting between the Chinatown merchants, Mayor Foley (Harrison Greene), Police Captain Walters (Forrest Taylor) and a disingenuous Sonya. The conference is interrupted by girl reporter Joan Whiting (Joan Barclay), who has little luck convincing the assemblage to hire noted author -- and Chinatown specialist -- Martin Andrews. Refusing to take "no" for an answer, Joan persuades Martin Andrews (Herman Brix aka Bruce Bennett) to look into the mysterious goings-on, which the author agrees to do only when a couple of Poten's henchmen, Grogan (Charles King) and Healy (William Buchanan), abduct his houseboy Willy Fu (Hawaiian crooner Maurice Liu). Brought to Poten's, Willy is summarily dispatched to a rather damp underground cellar by the professor's other "invention," a giant automaton decked out as a mysterious deity. Into this cozy scene stumble Andrews and Joan. While the pair manages to subdue Grogan, Andrews wanders straight into the giant claws of the automaton.