Island of the Doomed [La isla de la muerte ] (1967)

(AKA, Maneater of Hydra, Bloodsuckers, Death Island)


The biggest difficulty about this one is discussing it without giving away the ending.

Not because (as with Nothing But The Night) the elements that make it of interest here appear only in the ending, but because everyone else has already blabbed the ending. Seriously.  The original poster actually shows the…

Well, what can you call it without giving it away?

…And the film itself overflows with enough hints and clues it really doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

This one is a Spanish/West German co-production, and falls into the general run of Euro horror and crime thrillers so common at the time – with all the problems we expect from such films:  bad dubbing, poor sound, and American cowboy star, Cameron Mitchell, with someone else’s voice dubbed over his.

However, I find myself liking this one far more than I should.  It moves nicely, builds up a bit of suspense, and plays out more as a mystery than a horror film for most of its run.  We get plenty of hints about the Baron Von Weser’s botanical research, about the nature of the soil on his island, and his creepy castle and laboratory.  The ending is quite obvious – but it is also beautifully done.  It is a wild and atmospheric little scene, complete with rain, a fight with axes, and of course, the star of the show, a bloodthirsty…

Like I said, it’s hard.

Oh, well.  It isn’t a great film.  It’s just way better than one would expect from this sort of production.  Those expecting the…well, we’re not saying what it is…to appear will feel a touch cheated that it never shows up until the very end.  But they manage to make the mystery mostly suspenseful, and the big reveal cool and silly enough to make the film memorable.

Hey, you already know that a film with this many titles isn’t great art.  But it is fun, if you’re in the mood for B Horror and SF.



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