Over the course of his career, Boris Karloff has made some astoundingly good pictures and some truly bad ones as well, but The Island Monster has to be one of the most boring films he has ever agreed to star in. Here, Karloff is a drug smuggler posing as a doctor or a doctor who decided to take up drug smuggling. Either way, the man plays a villain and a dastardly one at that, resorting to the kidnapping of children in order to keep his operation running. Renato Vicario is essentially the leading man of the feature even though Karloff got top billing and is all right, though a little too stoic at times.
Il mostro dell’isola as the film was originally known never seems to find its footing to create a truly riveting picture. Everything follows the usual three act structure of beginning, middle and end and while you can follow the story, it simply never captures your attention as fully as other movies do. Yes, Karloff was a get for the makers of this film which included Roberto Bianchi Montero behind the camera, but without any really good actors or actresses to back him up, the movie is more tedious than anything else. The only other bonus of the movie was Franca Marzi who was decent as the femme fatale, but even she was not able to save this film from descending into drudgery. Additionally, there is no monster aside from Karloff. A play on words in the title to throw one off, but a little disappointing as well for those looking for some strange creature.
Top to bottom, the film could have been better than it was and though it was ultimately tolerable, you could watch a million other movies that are much better.
2 out of 5