Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Vamp or Not? Tower of Evil

A 1972 film directed by Jim O'Connolly this is a very quick and dirty ‘Vamp or Not?’

The film starts with two fisherman, John Gurney (George Coulouris) and his son Hamp (Jack Watson), braving the fog to land on Snape Island. They find a group of butchered teens and one survivor, Penelope (Candace Glendenning), who is mad with fear and who kills Gurney.

She is hospitalised in a catatonic state and part of the film is the doctors trying to unlock the secret her shutdown mind holds.

Meanwhile one of the kids was murdered with a Phoenician spear made of solid gold and a museum sends a team to the island as they believe there must be caves holding a Phoenician burial chamber from 3000 years before – probably dedicated to the fertility god Baal. Hamp and a relative Brom (Gary Hamilton) take them out along with Evan Brent (Bryant Haliday) a PI hired by Penelope’s family to prove she didn’t murder her friends. However they are not alone on the island and Hamp, Brom and Brent each know more than they are letting on.

the lighthouse
What follows is a murder mystery with a touch of the gaillo about it, but not a sniff of the supernatural. Indeed the supernatural is barely hinted at – the nearest they get being one of the kids, Mae (Seretta Wilson), suggesting the place is evil and saying she sensed it (due to her being psychic) – and certainly doesn’t raise its head during the main sequence of the film with the museum team. So why the ‘Vamp or Not?’

The film has several titles. I watched it as Tower of Evil, it was released in America as Horror on Snape Island and the French TV release was titled Le Vampire de L'ïle du Diable – or the Vampire of the Island of the Devil. There is absolutely no reason for the inclusion of the vampire part of the title – false advertising I’m afraid. Not Vamp.

The imdb page is here.

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