Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Return of Chandu is a 65-minute feature version of the 12-chapter Principal Pictures serial, based on the radio program Chandu the Magician. Bela Lugosi, who played the villain in a previous 1932 adaptation of Chandu, here portrays the famed magician himself, better known to friends and family as kindly Frank Chandler. When Egyptian princess Nadji (Maria Alba) is slated for sacrifice by members of the cat-worshipping Ubasti cult, she is shielded from harm by her fiancé Chandu. Cult leader Vinhyan (Lucien Prival) retaliates by targeting Chandu's sister Dorothy (Clara Kimball Young) and her children Betty (Phyllis Ludwig) and Bob (Deane Benton) for abduction and/or extermination. The ongoing battle between Chandu and Vinhyan culminates in a final showdown on the island of Lemuria (actually the Skull Island set from RKO's King Kong). To avoid the "jerkiness" prevalent in most feature-length serial abridgements, producer Sol Lesser reshot several of the cliff-hanger chapter endings, permitting Chandu and his friends to segue smoothly from one peril to the next. Another feature version of Return of Chandu, Chandu on the Magic Island, was edited from chapters 5 through 8, and runs 60 minutes.
cult, fiancee, human-sacrifice, island, magician [performer], princess