After being in jail for seventeen years a crook is met by the girl he kidnapped as a baby. She now thinks he's her father. When he returns her to her real father there's a job and a reward,... See full summary »
Sadistic Stephen Danel owns a penal island, and when he is not humiliating and mistreating his wife, he is torturing his convict prisoners and using them for slave labor. Government agent Mark Sheldon is sent to infiltrate the island and bring Danel to justice. Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Island of Doomed Men is directed by Charles Barton, written by Robert D. Andrews and features cinematography by Benjamin Kline. It stars Peter Lorre, Rochelle Hudson and Robert Wilcox.
Federal agent Mark Sheldon (Wilcox), by a strange quirk of fate, is framed for murder and sentenced to serve time on the Pacific Island penal colony he was to investigate anyway! Once there he finds harsh conditions and the camp run by a sadistic task master named Stephen Danel (Lorre). Catching the eye and befriending Danel's beautiful wife, Lorraine (Hudson), herself a prisoner of Danel's tyrannical behaviour, Sheldon knows he must act quick if he is to survive the Island of Doomed Men!
Neither good nor bad, Barton's film is standard fare that features strong themes fighting to impact during the relatively short running time (just under 70 minutes). Much of it is a sweaty prison drama driven by Lorre doing another one of his insane antagonist portrayals. Within the narrative is sadism, spouse and animal abuse, bondage and corruption of power, but these are just shards of potency in an otherwise very talky piece. Performances around Lorre are adequate and Barton and Kline have a decent eye for mood via the black and white photography.
Not very memorable and not nearly as throat grabbing as thematics suggest it could have been, but enjoyable while it's on and certainly one for Lorre completists. 6/10
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