Fog Island, released by PRC in 1945, begins with an interesting premise where George Zucco’s character invites numerous people to his mansion upon an island, one that is perpetually covered in fog, so that he might exact his revenge upon them. As Leo Grainger or Grainer depending on what one wants to go by, Zucco concocts a devious plan that will see his guests try to solve a mystery while fighting amongst each other, much to the man’s delight. Grainger does this not just for fun though, he does it as he believes that these are the people that sent him away to prison for five long years, and to top it off, believes that one of them murdered his wife.
Also starring is none other than Lionel Atwill, a man who was decent as a good guy, but better at being a baddie and here he is definitely a villain. The two actors, both Atwill and Zucco, play off of each other quite well, not to mention the rest of the cast, and do a fine job at selling the suspense and mystery of it all. Terry O. Morse who directs it all, does a great job of setting the mood and atmosphere and there are times when the house seems a little claustrophobic, that being due to the fog and the fact that there is a murderer among the players of the game. There were times when the music would stop, assumedly for dramatic effect, but instead it made the picture tend to drag just a little, yet overall, there was some good tension present and it moved along at a good pace. There is a bit of a shocking twist just over halfway through the film, one that perhaps had to happen, but even so, one that was definitely not expected. It is after this moment when things really start to heat up and bodies start dropping one after the other like so much wheat before the scythe.
Considering all things, Fog Island does manage to provide a fair amount of entertainment, especially from Zucco and Atwill, though Sharon Douglas and John Witney as the young couple show a little flare as well. That being said, it is not an essential viewing and unless a huge fan of any one of these stars, is not worth seeking out. If one is able to catch it upon television at some point and there is nothing else that grabs one’s attention, Fog Island will do in a pinch.
2.5 out of 5