Island of Lost Souls (1974)

Rene Cardona, the man responsible for GUYANA: CRIME OF THE CENTURY, adapts this cheap Exploitation film from the unfortunate autobiography of Mexican native Jose Leon Sanchez, a man who escaped from one of the most ruthless prison camps in history, The Island of Lost Souls. After murdering a crooked land owner for ravishing his wife, Jose is sentenced to the remote island prison, where he is subject to cruel tortures and backbreaking labor under a crazed and sadistic Colonel. Some of the more brutal experiences he witnessed on the island include an inmate who is blown to bits by a stick of dynamite while attempting to escape (swimming to sea with a dead pelican strapped to his head, no less), merciless beatings, and a death by cannon ball. While Cardona Sn. possessed a slightly less carpenterly approach to filmmaking than his son, future Horror director Rene Cardona Jn., his rough edits and documentary style filming still lack the polished look and professionalism of the Hollywood mainstream. ISLAND does manage to produce a decent level of uncomfortability, but it inevitably fails due to the fact that the central protagonist is absent from the majority of the picture. In a film based on one man's trials and tribulations, this lack of character development cannot be overlooked. Even with its flaws, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS does occasionally provide for some unexpected moments of bloody Exploitation madness, but a slower pace and detached filming style must be expected.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 1.

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  1. That's too bad. It sounds like it has the makings of a good movie.

  2. I guess I'm not adding that to my Netflix queue.

  3. Dude, you're on a roll! Another one I haven't seen. For only a few dollars, it's a no-brainer for me. Check out Cardona Jr's. TREASURE OF THE AMAZON. It's all kinds of pulpy, gore drenched goodness. Bradford Dillman! Stuart Whitman! Donald Pleasence! Hugo Stiglitz!

  4. Truth be told, I have been given the opportunity to review VCI's entire catalog, which has made for a great couple of weeks! They hold the rights to many of Cardona's films, so I will be hitting GUYANA for the first time this week as well. I will be sure to put in for TREASURE on my next request!