Island Monster/Chamber of Fear
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One interesting subplot has the family's pet dog somehow sneaking his way to where the girl is being held captive while carefully and deliberately avoiding detection. But once it finds the girl, this canine super spy immediately reverts to just keeping the girl company, thus preventing it from becoming Italy's answer to Rin Tin Tin. So it is up to the world's worst detective to come to the rescue. Island Monster is a slighly fun unintentional comedy, but is little more than a time waster.
The Chamber of Fear is Karloff's last film (he died during filming). Written by Jack Hill (a favourite of Tarantino, and a student of Roger Corman), Hill shot all the scenes with Karloff (maybe 20 minutes total) in California, while the rest was shot in Mexico by someone else.Read more ›
"Island Monster" (Italian, 1954) is in black-and-white, full-screen, and is the "better" (2 stars) of this egregious pairing. "Chamber of Fear" (Mexican, 1968) is color, letterbox, and one of the worst films I've ever seen of any genre. Karloff died during the filming -- watching this one may yield a similar effect on the viewer (chronic depression.) The title of "Chamber" isn't even captioned in English.
I'm a huge fan of older horror and sci-fi genre films and typically award 4- and 5-stars -- I would be quite remiss in doing so here. The distributor of this DVD (Retromedia) lauds these two clunkers as "rare" -- let's all pray that they remain so.
It was made in Italy for next to nothing, and it shows. The bulk of this looks like a nautical safety film, as about half of the movie is spent on varying boats of diminutive size. It's almost enough to make you seasick. Karloff is "The Benefactor," a wealthy, respected man about town and drug boss; more importantly, he is incapable of not looking like Frankenstein's monster no matter what he does. The worlds worst undercover detective is assigned to get close to a woman suspected of being involved with the plot, though his wife and daughter accompany him on his top secret mission. Amazingly it takes no time before the detective's cover is blown and his daughter gets kidnapped.
I cannot recall a more irritating screen presence in the history of film than the child actor with the voice that was apparently dubbed with maximum annoyance in mind: seriously, I could almost not stand to listen when she opened her mouth. They put the girl in a cave near the shore, where her hyper-intelligent hound (named "Dog") takes several modes of transportation covertly to find her. Unlike Lassie, though, Dog does nothing when he finally reaches the child.
There are a couple of subplots about a gangster trying to unsuccessfully blackmail Karloff, and the inspector infiltrating the drug ring ("The Genoa Gang.") The last ten minutes of the film are confusingly directed and edited, and involves a foot chase (how couldn't you catch Karloff?), a car chase (including a ludicrous coincidence), and is almost ready to get to a boat chase when Dog finally attacks Karloff.Read more ›
ISLAND MONSTER (1954) is a horrendous piece of Euro-junk starring Boris Karloff. ALL the voices are dubbed, EVEN KARLOFF'S! and the people they used for these voiceovers are so laughably bad it's unbelieveable.
I couldn't see the keyboard too well just now because I was cringing while some 40-year-old woman tried to imitate a crying 5-year old girl. Karloff has the dazed looks of a fading actor who doesn't know why he's on this Italian movie set. Frankly, I'm more than halfway into this 90 minute disaster, and I too am questioning why I didn't just give up long ago.
Oh Lord, the geriatric kid is talking again.... feh! feh! FEHHHHHHHH!!!!
Here's a sample of dialogue from an adult female:
(overwrought delivery:) "If you were a mother you'd have some idea of how I feel. She's a poor helpless baby! We adults are so MERCILESS... but the crimes we commit on each other are NOTHING AT ALL compared to the crime of keeping a small child from its mother! Please, listen to me.... Look at my face.... look into my eyes.... you MUST be human!"
Indeed I am, and as they say, to err is human.... (goes back to watching the movie...)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to get a good copy of this obscure Karloff film only to find this one is missing about 20 minutes of footage! Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mark Martucci
I would recommended this Retromedia release for 2 reasons. I waited years to actually see what there is of "Island Monster", and this is pretty much your only choice. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by larryj1
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