NOTE: I will leave this page up as long as this film remains on YouTube…
Based on a radio serial which the public liked so much that it ran on Network Radio twice over the years – in the 1930s and again, with a new cast and slightly modernized scripts, in the 1940s – Chandu The Magician introduced many people to the concept of Yoga Magick. The radio show ran five days a week in compelling 15 minute episodes. I have a nearly complete set of the 1940s version and it still works, bringing us all over the world from Beverly Hills, to Egypt (in one minute!), to Mitteleuropa and points in between. Some shows from the 1930s exist, but nobody appears to have a complete set. Here’s the opening of a typical 40s episode:
I prefer the 40s shows. It has better acting and tighter scripts. In their favor, the 30s shows used a full orchestra. The later series utilized the Organ stylings of one of Hollywood’s most successful hoaxers: KORLA PANDIT (nee: John Roland Redd).
With such popularity on radio back in the thirties, Hollywood saw an opportunity and replacing theater of the mind – such as radio – they put the film in the hands of production design genius William Cameron Menzies and the brilliant cinematographer James Wong Howe. The result? A state of the art Special Effects film that today would require massive Computer Imaging to equal.
Bela Lugosi has one of his best roles ever (outside of… you know who) playing “The Malignant Roxor” a scientist bent on world-domination. Oddly, in a later, cheaply done but satisfying serial called The Return of Chandu, Lugosi played Chandu himself! This serial also got edited down into two feature films.
Artist Steve Ditko always acknowledged Chandu as the source of his popular Marvel Character Dr. Strange. So check out the movie to see Astral Projection, Fire Walking, Telepathy, Crystal Skrying – and many more occult staples of… MAGICK!
Click The ON AIR Sign To Get Transported Back To The Golden Days Of Radio And… CHANDU, THE MAGICIAN! Hear 154 episodes of the 1940s Serial, plus a dozen of the 30 minute shows that followed the serial. The serial starts with show #12 on the list – THE RETURN OF FRANK CHANDLER. BEWARE! It can grab you right in!
CLICK THIS OLD RADIO AD
TO START WITH EPISODE 1…
THE RETURN OF FRANK CHANDLER!
While the magick used in the Chandu radio serial is, as generally happens in fantasy fiction, highly exaggerated for a dramatic effect, the theory behind that which they present remains grounded in reality. As you listen to all the adventures, you will hear Chandu repeatedly warn his family that FEAR brings defeat and failure. In fact, during one story arc Chandu’s family faces mortal danger in the Malay Jungle and he finds himself unable to use his powers to save them. To Chandu’s horror and dismay, his powers have vanished! The problem? FEAR! His family faces such enormous danger that it frightens Chandu, until… well, you’ll need to listen to discover what happened.
For more on the dangers of FEAR: click this image: