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Posts by Joel Wicklund

Review: Isle of the Dead (1945)

Isle of the Dead poster

Death casts a large shadow in all of Val Lewton's RKO horror productions, but never larger than in Isle of the Dead. Characters drop like flies as both science and superstition prove inept against the advances of the Grim Reaper in this foreboding tale set amid war, disease and encroaching madness.

Perhaps the most flawed of Lewton's chillers, this is also one of his most memorable and, in its climactic moments, the most outright frightening. The story was inspired by Lewton's fascination with Arnold Böcklin's painting of the same name, which can be seen under the opening credits and represented in the background as a Greek general (Boris Karloff) and American war correspondent (Marc Cramer) approach a small island where the general's wife is buried.(read more...)

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