After their prison barge goes down in the middle of the Caribbean, the doctor on board, Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli), and a group of convicts washes ashore a remote island where mad scientist Prof. Ernest Marvin (Joseph Cotten) is conducting a series of horrific experiments. When the prisoners begin to disappear one by one, Ross suspects that they’ve fallen into the hands of Marvin’s grotesque creations.
Prolific Italian genre filmmaker Sergio Martino was born in Rome to a family with impressive film credits. His maternal grandfather, Genaro Rigelli, had directed films in Germany for many years and helmed the first Italian sound film, La Canzone dell’Amore. Starting his career as an assistant director for Rigelli and filmmakers such as Mario Bava and Brunello Rondi, Martino eventually moved into directing himself, with the lurid 1969 documentary Mondo Sex. Over the next three decades, Martino was responsible for some of the more exploitative films in a number of genres, moving from spaghetti Westerns (Arizona, Mannaja) to giallo thrillers (Lo Strano Vizio della Signora Wardh, La Coda dello Scorpione) to gritty crime films, sex comedies (including the minor hit 40 Gradi all’Ombre del Lenzuolo with Marty Feldman), jungle adventures, and apocalyptic science fiction. There were many duds, such as the appalling Ursula Andress vehicle La Montagna del Dio Cannibale and the ridiculous L’Isola… read more