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38 user 23 critic

Isle of the Snake People (1971)

La muerte viviente (original title)
Unrated | | Horror, Mystery | March 1971 (USA)
Evil scientist runs a veritable army of LSD crazed zombies.

Directors:

Juan Ibáñez (as Jhon Ibanez), Jack Hill

Writers:

Jack Hill (screenplay), Juan Ibáñez | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Carl van Molder / Damballah
Julissa ... Anabella Vandenberg
Carlos East ... Lt. Andrew Wilhelm (as Charles East)
Rafael Bertrand Rafael Bertrand ... Capt. Pierre Labesch (as Ralph Bertrand)
Tongolele ... Kalea
Quintín Bulnes ... Klinsor (as Quintin Bulnes)
Santanón Santanón ... Dwarf (as Santanon)
Martinique Martinique
Julia Marichal Julia Marichal ... Mary Ann Vandenberg (as July Marichael)
Yol Duhalt Yol Duhalt
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Storyline

The inhabitants of a small, remote island have been practicing voodoo rites and worshipping an evil priest named Damballah for years, but the local law officials generally turn a blind eye to this death cult's bizarre activities. Captain Labesch arrives from the mainland, determined to crack down on the island's lawlessness and clean up the ineffectual, hard-drinking police force. He appeals for assistance from wealthy plantation tycoon Carl Van Molder, who owns nearly half of the island and wields a great deal of influence over the population. Van Molder has made the study of parapsychology his life's work and believes in the secret powers of the mind. He warns Labesch not to interfere with this forgotten island's ancient ways. Also visiting is Van Molder's niece, Annabella, a temperance crusader who wants her uncle to help fund the International Anti-Saloon League. She falls in love with handsome police lieutenant Andrew Wilhelm, despite his fondness for rum. Meanwhile, beautiful ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Mexico | USA

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

March 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Isle of the Snake People See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Monica, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This and the three other films in the same package were originally supposed to be shot in Mexico City, but since Boris Karloff was suffering from pneumonia and had only one lung (the other had developed cancer and been removed), his doctors told him not to travel to Mexico City because of the thin air at its high altitude. So Karloff's scenes were shot in Hollywood instead. See more »

Quotes

Anabella Vandenberg: Modern science has shown that alcohol is responsible for ninety-nine point two percent of all the world's sins.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, Boris Karloff is billed twice, once as Damballa and then as Carl van Molder. See more »

Alternate Versions

For the DVD version entitled Cult of the Dead, the 2nd scene in the film, that of zombie revival, is abridged. See more »

Connections

Featured in Monsters Attack!: 25 Movie Collection (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crappy, But Hilarious Trash-Horror With The Great Boris Karloff
1 December 2006 | by Witchfinder-General-666See all my reviews

"La Muerte Viviente" aka. "Isle Of The Living Dead" aka. "Snake People" of 1971, is an extremely trashy and unintentionally hilarious movie, and one of the last movies of the great horror icon Boris Karloff. I have utmost respect for director Jack Hill for movies like his great blaxploitation classic "Coffy" starring Pam Grier. "Snake People", directed by Hill and Juan Ibanez, however, is one of these movies that are so bad they're actually pretty good. I'm a big fan of trashy B-horror flicks, but the only two reasons why I enjoyed "Snake People" were Boris Karloff, who plays a rather small role in this, and the movie's unintentional fun value.

The tropical island "Korbai" is reigned by a bizarre voodoo cult. The cult's unholy priests, amongst them a creepy midget and a scary snake dancer, sacrifice beautiful local girls to their occult deity "Damballah". The girls, who volunteer as sacrifices in order to achieve eternal life, are then resurrected from the dead as mindless zombies. Determined to put an end, to these rituals, that are ignored by the local police, Captain Pierre Labesch comes to the island. He asks the islands richest landowner, Carl Van Molder (Boris Karloff) for help. In the meanwhile, Van Molder's niece, who came to the island to fight alcoholism, befriends a local police lieutenant.

As a horror movie, "Snake People " fails entirely. As an unintentional comedy, however, it is hilarious. The dialogue is extremely poor (and therefore extremely hilarious) and apart from Karloff, the acting is really bad too. The locations are amateurish, the plot has huge holes and many logical errors. While Captain Labesch, for example, is obviously French, and came to the island sent by 'the government', other law enforcement officers of this government have English names. I laughed a lot when I saw this movie the first time, and I will definitely watch it again. Don't expect any suspense, but watch this as the unintentional comedy it is and entertainment will be guaranteed. 3/10


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