The Island Monster
THE ISLAND MONSTER. 1954
(IL MOSTRO DEL'ISOLA, 1953)

Director: Roberto Montero

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



The Island Monster Military police investigate an island where drug smugglers have set up headquarters in the Italian crime film The Island Monster (1954).

Boris Karloff is a local saintly fellow whose free clinic assists the poor. Although Karloff can play grandfatherly sweetness extremely well, we can't help but realize he's Karloff; even his character's name Don Karlo Gaetano seems to beg the reminder that he's Karloff for crine out loud & therefore likely to be a villain. When he turns out to be the head of the drug cartel, a murderer, & all-round stinkpot, it's no surprise.

Some of the b/w cinematography is adequate for nostalgia's sake, but it's such a lame story. The screen somewhat comes alive whenever Karloff is in front of the camera, but he's not really the primary character though he gets top billing as the only actor of consequence.

We have to spend way too much time with the crime investigator who has to stay close to the nightclub femme fatale without being tempted to be unfaithful to his wife, & whose little kid gets kidnapped by one of the bad guys.

Much of the story is spent saving the kid from the dark & dirty cave she's locked in. A wee child in peril can be a quick if seedy way to build suspense, but the lousy dubbing spoils it. They got some middleaged lady to give the kid a cartoon chipmunk voice. (Boris is very strangely dubbed by a Boris impersonator, which I guess is better than not sounding at all like Boris.)

What kept me watching this stinker to the end, apart from the presence of Karloff, was the titular promise of there being a "monster." But there is no monster, just a line of dialogue about the drug dealer being a monster. What serves as a climax is the little girl & her cute doggy are saved by poppa after a perfunctory chase scene. Very, very awful.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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