A 12-year-old orphan who has just inherited a fortune is trapped on an island with his uncle, a former British intelligence commander who intends to kill him. A young girl is the boy's only... See full summary »
A 12-year-old orphan who has just inherited a fortune is trapped on an island with his uncle, a former British intelligence commander who intends to kill him. A young girl is the boy's only ally against the sarcastic uncle, who uses hypnotism, a pool of sharks, fire, and poisonous mushrooms as weapons. Written by
The more work I see from William Castle the more I'm starting to realize that without Vincent Price or another star then the director struggled quite a bit. I don't think it's his direction that really killed everything he was involved in but there's no question that he was doing some rather strange movies during this period of his career. In the film, young Barbaby (Pat Cardi) has $5 million left to him after his father died in a car crash. He goes to an island to live with his WW2 vet uncle (Nigel Green) and soon the boy realizes that his uncle is trying to kill him for the money. Barnaby and a female friend (Mary Badham) decide the best thing to do is just kill the uncle first. Three years prior to this film Castle made 13 FRIGHTENED GIRLS!, which was a strange mix of Nancy Drew and Cold War but the strangest thing about that film is that it put young girls in violence and sexual situations and I really wondered who in their right mind would want to watch a film like that. I felt the same way with this thing because who wants to watch a childish film about an uncle wanting to kill this kid or having the tables turned and the two kids killing the uncle? Castle brings a very childish tone to the entire film and for the life of me I couldn't figure out who he was making this thing for. Adults are going to be bored out of their minds and wondering why they're watching a movie about kids being targets and kids are simply going to hit the stop button within a few minutes of the film starting. I'm sure some would defend the light story and the simple direction but to me the thing had a very bad pace and it just never picked up any steam as it went along. The horror elements are basically a deformed cripple guy, some spiders and a swimming pool with a shark in it. Not very scary. None of the performances are all that impressive either with Green going way over the top and not making a for a very interesting character. Cardi is extremely bland in his part and at times he's so annoying that you'll be rooting for the uncle. Badham is best known for her work in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and this would be her last film until 2005. LET'S KILL UNCLE is pretty rare in terms of Castle's work and there's a good reason that this thing is still sitting in a vault.
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