Noble-born cad Denis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), an evil madman who can't get over the death of his beloved, twenty... See full summary »
Down-on-his luck entrepreneur Bill Martin and sidekick Stuff Oliver try to stay one step in front of creditors in their seedy waterfront office when they meet "The Captain," an idiosyncratic peg-legged old sailor. The Captain is convinced that the treasure of pirate Sir Henry Morgan is hidden somewhere in a castle on an offshore island recently inherited by Martin. His proof is a treasure map, half of which has been stolen by a mysterious Phantom who lurks in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to steal the other half. Sensing a moneymaking opportunity, Bill tries to recruit customers willing to pay $50 apiece for a "treasure hunt" outing to the "haunted" island. Among those signing up are heiress Wendy Creighton and her bored, ineffectual boy friend, a dimwitted police sergeant, a professor whose expertise is old maps, a wanted murderer and his moll, and Bill's cousin George, who has recently offered $20,000 to buy the supposedly worthless island. They all get more than the few ...Written by
Out of Universal Pictures, Horror Island is directed by George Waggner and stars Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo, Peggy Moran, Fuzzy Night, John Eldredge, Iris Adrian & Lewis Howard. Screenplay is written by Victor McLeod & Maurice Tombragel from an original story by Alex Gottlieb, music is by H. J. Salter and cinematography comes from Elwood Bredell.
Thought to be the cheapest made of all the Universal Pictures releases in the 1940s, Horror Island is in no way a great movie. However, if viewed on its own fun comedy chiller terms it delivers for those of the Dark House mystery persuasion. Plot sees a group of dissimilar human beings gathered on the titular island of the title under the guise of searching for hidden treasure in a haunted mansion. Quelle surprise as things actually do start to go bump in the night and the group start being picked off one by one. Very much in the flavour of Ten Little Indians, but with Universal's trademark sets and atmosphere building (Bredell always impressive whatever the budget), Horror Island (ignore the foreboding sounding title) is a whole bunch of fun. Some of the plot doesn't add up, but that adds to the mystery; which why we are on the subject, the mystery reveal of the villain is a pleasant surprise. While the cast have fun and play it accordingly, particularly the delightful Adrian and Foran with his little knowing looks throughout.
Full of creaky doors, moving floors and all that sort of ghost house stuff, Horror Island is hugely enjoyable horror comedy fare for the discerning old time viewer. 6.5/10
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