31 October 2014

Horror Island (1941)
61 min.
Directed by George Waggner.
With Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo, Peggy Moran, John Eldredge, Lewis Howard, Fuzzy Knight, Foy Van Dolsen.
This 1941 haunted house horror won't knock your socks off, but it's mild-mannered fun.

Seafaring captain Bill Martin (Foran) is flat broke and chased by countless creditors.

So, when his friend Tobias (Carrillo) finds an old treasure map that says there's some amazing loot located somewhere on a remote island, Bill comes up with a savvy money-making plan.

He'll charge tourists a fee to ferry them to the island, give them lodging in an old castle, and act as host for an exotic treasure hunt.

Only one catch to that, however. There's a real, caped stranger ('The Phantom') running around the island...and he's intent on preventing anyone from leaving!

A tame little romp, this creaky vehicle is another in a long line of old house thrillers which clearly owe a debt to 1927's original Cat and the Canary.

This one's held together mostly by the spunky performances of Foran and Moran, and the brief appearances of Van Dolsen as the ominous Phantom (looking like John Carradine).

Carrillo lays it on a little thick as a one-legged sailor, but hey, it's all in the name of harmless, old-fashioned chills.

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