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La Muerte Viviente / Isle of the Snake People
Snake People / Isle of the Living Dead / Cult of the Dead

Mexico/USA 1968
produced by
Luis Enrique Vergara for Azteca, Parasol, Instar
directed by Juan Ibáñez, Jack Hill
starring Boris Karloff, Julissa, Carlos East, Rafael Bertrand, Yolanda Montez (as Tongolele), Quintín Bulnes, Santanón, Martinique, Judy Carmichael, Yol Duhalt
written by Juan Ibáñez, Jack Hill, Luis Enrique Vergara

Karloff's final Mexican foursome

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Police captain Lafiche (Rafael Bertrand) & moral crusader Annabelly Vandenberg (Julissa) come to a small Carribean Island to put a few things right, most notably the laid back, alcoholic chief of police Wilhelm (Carlos East), but, as Wilhelm and plantation owner Van Molder (Boris Karloff) - incidently Annabella's uncle - tell them, there are some things outsiders just won't understand ... & the natives' voodoo rituals, complete with zombies & everything, are one of them.

But while Wilhelm has come to accept things as they are & Van Molder is even trying to use some voodoo practices to his own endes, Lafiche is determined to break down the voodoo cult & defeat its highpriest, the so-called Damballah (even though the identity of the Damballah is known to nobody).

However, when Lafiche repeatedly interrupts voodoo ceremonies, he soon becomes the center of attention of the voodoo-practitioners himself & they soon put some hex on him, causing him to see snakes everywhere. When Lafiche however remains undaunted, the cult even foes so far as to let some of their zombies loose on local people.

Finally, Lafiche learns the identity of the Damballah from a man cast out form the cult, & to little surprise it is Van Molder himself, who did need some cheap plantation workers - zombies - & while at it had some weird plans about world domination as well. Lafiche persuades Wilhelm to accompany him to the next voodoo ceremony with some explosives to end everything then & there, & Wilhelm needs little persuasion since the cult has kidnapped Annabella, intending to use her as a virgin sacrifice. Of course in the end Annabella is saved, & the cult is destroyed, but Lafiche has to give his life blowing everything with his explosives' bels, though at least he takes Van Molder with him.

 


A film like this is supposed to rely heavily on atmosphere, but neither the meager budget nor the directors' abilities did really allow much in way of creating any, so the film has a rather crude look to it ... which even works for the movie to a point, inasmuch as it gives the film a very elemental harshness. Of course that soesn't mean to say it is a good movie - it's rather bad actually on a pure quality level - but its amusing pulp horror.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

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
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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