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Bigshot Carlton (Owen Cunningham) desperately wants to build a hotel on a
remote Caribbean island, but after a scouting team of 4 went missing - safe for
Mitchell (Frederick Ledebur), who returned as a zombie - he hires professor
Knight (Boris Karloff), a professional cynic & investigator into the
supernatural, to prove to him that everything's alright on the island.
soon has a motley crew assembled, consisting of him, his assistant Adams
(Beverly Tyler), Carlton's assistant Barney (Murvyn Vye), Claire Winter (Jean
Engstrom) - I have not the faintest idea why she comes along -, adventurer Dunn
(Rhodes Reason), greedy trader Schuyler (Elisha Cook jr), the zombie of course
and his doctor (Herbert Patterson).
The little expedition is of course
plagued by problems right from the start, when their plane gets into freak
weather, later the zombie dies (for good) but leaves a ouanga bag containing
enough deathwishes for all the others behind, yet later their boat that is to
bring them to the island mysteriously breaks down ... & that is all before
they even reach the island. On the island they seem to be constatnly watched,
and they have to realize it is inhabited by giant carnivorous plants who
promptly eat up Claire.
Knight soon supects that all the weird occurences are
only set up to lead them into a ceertain direction, & before long he is
proven right, as they reach a native village & are taken prisoner, &
Barney is turned into a zombie as well.
The natives' chief (Glenn Dixon) tell
them that the island is the last resort of his tribe, & if it was
discovered & exploited for tourism it would be the tribe's end ... which is
why they grew these giant carnivorous plants.
Knight tires to convince the
chief that the natives' secret would be safe with him & his friends, when
Schuyler, rather foolishly, disagrees, reminding everyone of the promises
Carlton had made to him concerning tourism on this island. Our group is taken
captive, & the next day, Schuyler, thanks to some voodoo spell, kills
The rest are allowed to leave the island (!).
has all the right ingredients for a trash masterpiece - zombies, voodoo,
carnivorous plants, unconvincing natives & jungle sets, and of course Boris Karloff - but
for some reason it isn't. The problem lies most probably in too big an
ensemble, & desperate attempts to fill each of the characters in with an
individual story ... which might even have worked were the stories not overly
clichéd & thus uninteresting, & wouldn't these stories stand in the
way of the real plot. However the (obviously plastic) carnivorous plants make
up for at leaast part of the film's deficiencies.