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 <email@example.com>
Shooting began March 5, 1940, released May 20. See more »
[to Capt. Cort who's about to flog Mark Sheldon, a.k.a. Mr. Smith]
Don't overdo it, Captain. There's a lot Mr. Smith ought to tell me and he may want to tell me before you finish. Oh, and be sure that he's able to work tomorrow.
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This delicious low camp kinkfest proves that studio-era censorship wasn't nearly as thorough as it's purported to have been. In what seems almost like a rehearsal for the tormented lustmurderer Dr. Rothe in "Der Verlorene," Lorre gives unexpected depth and nuance to the melodramatic villain Stephen Danel, with just a dash of his patented quirky humor. Though the film itself is crude and pulpy, with an extreme BDSM quotient (Danel's prisoners are kept in line with cat o' nine tails, as, it's strongly implied, is Mrs. Danel) Lorre's deft performance lifts "Island of Dommed Men" from the realm of the ridiculous into sublimity.
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