From aboard the IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Smith talks to the cast of "Teen Wolf" about the solemn yet celebratory panel for the upcoming season. This news and more in our Guide to Comic-Con.
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The El Condor, the fabled Mexican stronghold rumoured to contain Emperor Maximilian's mythical reserves in gold, will attract two adventurous fortune seekers, who with eyes gleaming with desire, will shortly know that only fools rush in.
Superstar athlete Jim Brown plays Le Bras, one of many inmates at the notorious prison fortress Devil's Island in French Guiana in the early 20th century. He butts heads with pacifistic convict Davert (Christopher George) while also trying to deal with nasty and sadistic guards. When he gets the chance to make a break for it, he takes it, along with fellow prisoners Jo-Jo (Richard Ely), Dazzas (James Luisi), and a reluctant Davert. The four men make it to the mainland, with prison personnel, led by Major Marteau (Paul Richards), in hot pursuit.
From then on, things get rather episodic as Le Bras and his comrades encounter lepers and Indians (not to mention a shark), and when they make it to a colourful community, Le Bras decides that he rather likes it there.
Directed by veteran filmmaker William Witney for the Corman brothers, Roger and Gene, and filmed in Mexico, "I Escaped from Devil's Island" is passable entertainment. It's not strong on story; in fact, this story starts to get more incoherent as the movie goes on, but in terms of delivering exploitation, it does its job. There's gore aplenty as well as the requisite female nudity. There's some socio-political subtext, but it never gets in the way of the admittedly lurid thrills. The photography, by Rosalio Solano, is just gorgeous, and Les Baxter composes a flavourful and fun music score. The acting is decent from our principals; Brown is commanding as usual, he and George act well together, and Richards and especially Richard Rust make for a very effective pair of thoroughly disagreeable villains.
Overall this is pretty easy to forget but it kills time in an entertaining enough manner.
Six out of 10.
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