Monday, November 23, 2009

Boris Karloff and the Wall of Voodoo

Voodoo Island (1957)

Director: Reginald Le Borg

Writer: Richard H. Landau

Starring: Boris Karloff, Beverly Tyler, Elisha Cook Jr., Rhodes Reason, Owen Cunningham,

"I'd give a lot just for a shower and some clean clothes. And a double martini!"

Floating Voodoo doll guy

Time for the Boris Karloff Blog-A-Thon! I thought I'd go with something, well more up my alley. In other words something bad. Behold, Voodoo Island!

Right there with you

Wealthy hotel tycoon, Howard Carlton (Cunningham) wants to build a hot new resort on some tropical island. But only one of the four surveyors sent to the island returned. In a zombie like trance state. Carlton hires Phillip Knight (Karloff), who specializes in debunking myths and superstitions. Knight decides that taking Mitchell the surveyor to the island is the best way to cure him. Carlton agrees and sends an expedition that includes Knight, his assistant Sara, Carlton's right-hand man Barney and designer Claire Winter.

I call him Mr. Pinchy 

The next day the group boards a plane and heads to an outpost owned by the resort manager Martin Schuler (Cook), with him is his assistant Matthew Gunn (Rhodes Reason). They plan to head to the island from there and look for the other three surveyors. Gunn takes to trying to get it on with Ms Winter. But she gives him the old brush off. That night Mitchell dies mysteriously. Pointing towards the island before he dies. Knight concludes that poor Mitchell died of fright. The next morning the group takes a boat to the island, but the boat starts to break down and they have to leave it via row boat. Once they get there they discover the campsite of the survey team. So the intrepid group decide to use it as their own. They also get menaced by the worst crab puppet ever. Meanwhile, Gunn hits on Claire again.

Feed Me!  (Sorry)

Claire: "Give me a cigarette, will you, Gunn?"
Gunn: "Sure."
Claire: "Now drop dead."
Gunn: "Any time you say. You make it sound exciting."

Gunn decides it's a no-go and moves on to try his luck with Sara. The men go to the boat to get supplies. They leave the ladies to take care of the campsite. Claire goes on a stroll. She sees a pond and goes for a swim. While swimming a hungry plant decides to make a meal out of her. Later Sara finds her body and freaks out. Gunn uses this as a reason to bond with her. Finch wanders off and sees a native kid get eaten by one of the killer plants. He loses his shit and comes undone. Later on, the remaining members of the group get captured by the natives and brought to see the chief. Now it's up to Knight to get the survivors off the island without them becoming zombies.

Boris doesn't buy it 

Poor Boris, he definitely adds class to this otherwise cheap time waster. He tries to make it interesting, but sadly there's not much going on in this film other the lots and lots of walking thru the jungle. Karloff plays Knight as a rational scientist who likes to debunk anything supernatural, and a shrewd investigator. Elisha Cook Jr. is the other stand out here, playing the typical sniveling complainer type of character these movies always have. Also of interest is the touch lesbianism brought to the film by Claire who turns down Gunn repeatedly and lasciviously eyes Sara.

Hello, Hello, Hello...Hello

If you really need to waste some time this will do an okay job of it. Plus you see a giant plant eat a women and a cameo by Adam "Batman" West.


George said...

Yea, "Voodoo Island" is a pretty tough go. It's worth owning, however, if only because it shares the double bill on DVD w/"Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake," an unsung classic of B-horror. And really, any movie with Boris Karloff AND Adam West is worth watching at least once.

Professor Brian O'Blivion said...

Agreed. Boris Karloff and Adam West are a great combo, haven't got around to Four Skulls yet.

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