Combustible Celluloid
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With: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer, Katherine Emery, Helene Thimig, Alan Napier, Jason Robards Sr., Ernst Deutsch
Written by: Ardel Wray
Directed by: Mark Robson
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 71
Date: 08/31/1945

Isle of the Dead (1945)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Undead of Night

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

When a plague strikes in the year 1912, General Nikolas Pherides, a.k.a. "the Watchdog" (Boris Karloff), is among a group of people quarantined on a Greek island. Paranoia sets in when an old woman accuses a beautiful housekeeper (Ellen Drew) of being a "vorvolaka," or a kind of vampire. Directed by Mark Robson, it's probably the most uneven of all the Val Lewton horror films, but it also contains a few genuine scares, and a few of Lewton's trademark visuals. Warner Archive released the film on a gorgeous Blu-ray in 2021, with a commentary track by film historian Dr. Steve Haberman and a theatrical trailer.

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