Sunday, August 19, 2012

Voodoo Island (1957)

Genre: Supernatural, Zombie(?)

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: C-

      You know honestly I really wish that I could say that I loved this movie and that its a great late 50s Karloff horror film but I can`t even pretend that I liked it. Its just to much of a bad movie that its not even good. Its overwhelmingly underdeveloped and most of the movie feels like a really dull drama than a horror movie. If it were not for Boris Karloff, a couple cool plus point, and a few hilariously stupid moments this movie would be a complete lose and probably earn a D or F.

      I`m going to start with the good stuff of this movie; for one its got the great Boris Karloff. Who whenever is simply on screen is awesome. In this movie though they put him in a more unusual role, were instead of playing the voodoo priest or mad scientist of the "voodoo island" like you'd think, he plays a famous skeptic who is notorious for debunking myths and legends and is going to this island to debunk its voodoo claims. He`s different as this type of character but essentially plays the part to full satisfaction.
     Elisha Cook is this movie also and plays pretty much the same kind of character he plays in The Haunted Palace and House On Haunted Hill. That overly fearful guy who no one takes very seriously. Like I said before they're are somethings he does in this movie that are just hilariously stupid, like for example if you get kidnapped by a bunch of cannibals like they did in this movie do you up right call them "inferior animals that don`t deserve to live"? Well apparently he thought so and of course met his demise because of it.
      Oh and lastly something I didn't know or even notice until after I finished watching was this movie was Adam Wests film debut. He has a super small role as a weather station radio operator. Which I found to be actually pretty funny. Other than this I cant think of anything else that's really nice to say about this movie.
      The biggest problem with this movie is that its so painfully underdeveloped and obviously rushed. It seems the writer wrote the thing in one day and just went with the rough draft (kind like how a lot of Roger Cormans early movies like The Last Women On Earth and Creature From the Haunted Sea were done). On top of that none of the cool horror elements introduced were barely used, for instance the man eating plants that are on the island were pretty much squandered and replaced with nonsensical and super dull drama between all these uninteresting characters who wear there pants really high. When the movie does finally end it is an extremely abrupt ending that outdoes resolve barely anything. I could not tell you the ending its so random, your just going to have to see it yourself.

     Unfortunately I was not a fan of this movie. I've always known it was not one of Karloff`s best movie`s but I still tried to hold onto this faint hope that maybe i`d end up liking it. In fact if Karloff was not in this movie at all i`d say it would just be a cheap bad forgettable horror movie. So unless your really compelled to watch this movie I say avoid it and watch one of Karloff`s better 50s horror movies like Frankenstein 1970 or Corridors of Blood.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Four Skulls Of Jonathan Drake (1959)

Genre: Supernatural

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: C

     I always have a hard time reviewing particular movies such as The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake because it isn't a necessarily terrible movie were I can just go on and on about all the bad things in it but at the same time its not that special so I can`t go on praising it. Nope its right there in the middle, an overall OK but kind of forgettable little horror movie.

     The movie is just another one of those "family curse" movies, only in this movie the curse involves ever time one of the Drake family members turns 60 they die "mysteriously" and have they're head stolen and eventually returned shrunken. The reason for this curse has something to do with a member of the Drake family way back when killed a tribe of natives in the Amazon. Though at the end they pull this "twist" to the whole story that is neither interesting nor necessary at all.
      Though one thing I did really like was the creepy looking guy who killed the Drake family members he had his mouth shown shut and stuff. Without a doubt his character was the highlight of the entire movie. Anyways his character is like  the henchmen to the main bad guy Dr.Zurkue whose played by one of my favorite actors of all time Henry Daniel ( you might know him from such movies as Robert Wises The Body Snatcher and Charlie Chaplins The Great Dictator). Unfortunately though due to probably his older age or lack of interest his performance in this movie just didn't have the life or effort that his performances in prior movies had; though this was one of his last movies.
       As for the rest of the cast I really have nothing to say. The rest of the cast wasn't bad or anything they just didn't do anything special and just don`t have anything to add to them.

     Finally I cant say that this movie is for everyone. I can imagine a lot of people would find it terribly dull and slow, but if you love Black and White horror movies like I do and are at all curious about then by all means please give it shot. Its only 70 mins long so it won`t be like you wasted a ton of time if you watch it and find out you absolutely hate it. Unfortunately though for me this movie was just OK and i`m probably going to forget about most of it since the movie really didnt leave much of an impact on me personally. (Though I have to admit I really like the Poster)