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Island Monster/Chamber of Fear (1957)

Boris Karloff , Franca Marzi , Jack Hill , Juan Ibáñez  |  Unrated |  DVD
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Franca Marzi, Renato Vicario, Patrizia Remiddi, Jole Fierro
  • Directors: Jack Hill, Juan Ibáñez, Roberto Bianchi Montero
  • Writers: Jack Hill, Roberto Bianchi Montero, Alberto Vecchietti, Carlo Lombardo, Luis Enrique Vergara
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00029RSWW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,139 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Island Monster/Chamber of Fear" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Horror legend Boris Karloff headlines two rare features! In Island Monster, one of the rarest of all his films, the King of Horror inhabits a beautiful island paradise filled with nefarious activities, shot on the picturesque Ischia, sister island of Capri. Then savor the uncut, sleaze-filled version of Chamber of Fear, one of Karloff's last films, in which living rock ignites a chain of terror and death!

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
(6)
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brainless Fun July 24, 2004
Format:DVD
Island Monster is a cheap film Karloff made in Italy, likely just for the free vacation. A narcotics officer has been assigned to get friendly with a female who works at a night club on a touristy island because she might have ties to a drug smuggling operation. Maybe it was the fact that he publically announced to his wife and daughter as they were sending him off on a boat loaded with people that they should only refer to him by his false identity while he is working undercover, or maybe it's because he spends most of his time on the island hanging around with local police or with his wife and kid (who follow him to the island because she is jealous) but SOMEHOW his cover gets blown immediately. Anyways, the detective has spent no more than 10 minutes with his target over a 2 or 3 day period when his mission is derailed because the head of the drug operation (who, unsurprisingly, turns out to be Karloff) kidnaps his daughter.

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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I won't waste your time by attempting to convey the vague plots of these two crummy foreign films except to say that "Island Monster" is a smuggling film and has nothing to do with monsters while "Chamber of Fear" is witless sci-fi exhibition about a living rock recovered from the bowels of the earth.

"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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Italy: Land Of Brilliant Dogs And Tiny Boats September 23, 2008
Format:Amazon Instant Video
"Island Monster" is probably not what you're expecting from a Boris Karloff movie of that title. Unfortunately.

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.
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