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Fog Island

USA 1945
produced by
Leon Fromkess, Terry O. Morse (associate) for PRC
directed by Terry O. Morse
starring George Zucco, Lionel Atwill, Jerome Cowan, Sharon Douglas, Veda Ann Borg, John Whitney, Jacqueline deWit, Ian Keith, George Lloyd
screenplay by Pierre Gendron, based on the play Angel Island by Bernadine Angus, music by Karl Hajos

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Leo Grainger (George Zucco) has spent the last 5 years in prison and his wife has been killed by one of his former accomplices, but now he's out and lives on Fog Island with his stepdaughter Gail (Sharon Douglas), who still tries to get over the loss of her mother. Leo though figures the best way to get over the loss of his wife and get over five years in prison is to invite all of his former accomplices (Lionel Atwill, Jerome Cowan, Veda Ann Borg, Jacqueline deWit, Ian Keith) to Fog Island and let them take care of each other - which shouldn't be too difficult because one - the murderer of his wife - is a killer anyways. But to really make sure they all get their just desserts, Leo also sees to it that his mansion is riddled with traps, and his guests are led to believe he has hidden some invaluable loot somewhere in the house.

The plan of course works beautifully, even if Leo himself is the first victim of the killer (Lionel Atwill), but that was something he has taken into account anyways. In the end though, all of Leo's guests are caught in a sealed of room in the basement that is slowly flooded while they are at each others throat.

Only Gail, against whom Leo never had anything even though she despised him, is allowed to escape the ordeal, and with her mother's jewellery case too, and young Jeff Kingsley (John Whitney), who came to the island in his deceased father's stead, who had nothing to do with the death of Leo's wife and who in the end has become romantically involved with Gail.

 

My synopsis might make the film sound better than it is, since Fog Island suffers a bit from PRC-typical weaknesses like a tight budget, limited less-than-lavish sets and stagey direction, but still, it's one of the better horror-thrillers by the studio, thanks mainly to a great script that might be a bit convoluted and far-fetched but still works incredibly well, and great performances by movie-madmen George Zucco (in a very ambivalent role) and Lionel Atwill.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD