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Horror Island (1941)

A down-on-his luck businessman organizes an excursion to Sir Henry Morgan's Island for a treasure hunt only to encounter a mysterious phantom and murder.


George Waggner


Maurice Tombragel (screenplay), Victor McLeod (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Dick Foran ... Bill Martin
Leo Carrillo ... Tobias Clump
Peggy Moran ... Wendy Creighton
Fuzzy Knight ... Stuff Oliver
John Eldredge ... Cousin George
Lewis Howard ... Thurman Coldwater
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Professor Jasper Quinley
Walter Catlett ... Sergeant McGoon
Ralf Harolde ... Rod Grady
Iris Adrian ... Arleen Grady
Foy Van Dolsen Foy Van Dolsen ... The Phantom
Emmett Vogan Emmett Vogan ... The Stranger


Down-on-his luck entrepreneur Bill Martin and sidekick Stuff Oliver try to stay one step in front of creditors in their seedy waterfront office when they meet "The Captain," an idiosyncratic peg-legged old sailor. The Captain is convinced that the treasure of pirate Sir Henry Morgan is hidden somewhere in a castle on an offshore island recently inherited by Martin. His proof is a treasure map, half of which has been stolen by a mysterious Phantom who lurks in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to steal the other half. Sensing a moneymaking opportunity, Bill tries to recruit customers willing to pay $50 apiece for a "treasure hunt" outing to the "haunted" island. Among those signing up are heiress Wendy Creighton and her bored, ineffectual boy friend, a dimwitted police sergeant, a professor whose expertise is old maps, a wanted murderer and his moll, and Bill's cousin George, who has recently offered $20,000 to buy the supposedly worthless island. They all get more than the few ... Written by (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ilha do Horror See more »


Box Office


$93,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Carfax Abbey stone staircase seen was originally used in Dracula (1931). Many of the remaining sets were recycled from Tower of London (1939). See more »


Though the Phantom has never been in the castle before, he seems to have a detailed knowledge of the house's layout with all the secret rooms and passages. See more »


Professor Jasper Quinley: [examining the treasure map] It's amazing, positively amazing!
Bill Martin: You mean it's on the level?
Professor Jasper Quinley: On the level? Do you mean authentic?
Stuff Oliver: Oh, what we want to know - is it real?
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Scream Queens (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

HORROR ISLAND (George Waggner, 1941) **1/2
8 March 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I had first known about this through a still in the Halliwell Film Guide, though the noted late critic usually dismissed similar programmers: it turned out to be a fun horror comedy (from a story by Curt Siodmak) whose 60-minute length zips by – providing plenty of characters (even if the gangster-on-the-lam and his moll don't really work here), action, old-fashioned thrills (a caped maniac after hidden loot is loose in a remote castle), chuckles – and a surprise villain; the film is a shade overbalanced by the comedy, but the typical Universal atmosphere (and a few of its more notable sets!) are certainly present throughout. It also features a good second-tier cast: likable Dick Foran and cute Peggy Moran – re-united after the superior THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940) – are the leads and they're ably supported by the likes of Leo Carrillo, Fuzzy Knight, Hobart Cavanaugh and Walter Catlett; however, it's Lewis Howard who steals the film as Moran's chronically tired companion – even though he's absent through most of the second half!

Michael Elliott had rated this a *** and I almost did myself – but, in the long run, I don't think the film has quite the same draw as even some of the lesser titles in the Universal monster cycle; still, for an 'old dark house' type of film – of which the studio did their fair share – it's well up to par. Incidentally, I had acquired another copy of this on DVD-R last year, but the disc froze several times during playback and I had to give up after a while; I'm glad I caught up with it eventually, as the film deserves to have a legitimate DVD release along with some of the other rare/lesser-known Universal horrors, like MAN-MADE MONSTER (1941) – which I've never watched! – and NIGHT MONSTER (1942).

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