Sunday, September 30, 2012


The SS Intruder is negotiating rough waters when a passenger is found murdered in his stateroom. The captain is told by police detective William B. Davidson that the dead man was a jewel thief he'd been tailing, but the jewels he was carrying are missing.  Just as Davidson collects a group of suspects, all of whom had been in or near the dead man's room, the ship founders.  The cop gets all the suspects, the captain, and some crew members on one lifeboat, and they wind up on a deserted island—well, deserted except for a gorilla and a wild man, apparently a survivor of a previous wreck, who runs around doing a Tarzan yell. Tensions build in the group, including the dead man's valet, a comic relief drunkard, two lovely young women, and the sort-of strapping hero (Monte Blue) who seems to do a better job of detecting that the detective. Eventually, a ship comes along and rescues them, and in the last five minutes, the mystery is solved. Though this ultra-low-budget mystery is included in a DVD set of "Forgotten Horrors," this is in no way a horror film.  True, the best parts of the movie are those that feature the wild man and a cave full of skeletons that he talks to, and there are a couple of murders, but this is simply a Poverty Row "old dark house" mystery, set instead on an isolated island. Lila Lee (pictured), a silent movie starlet and the mother of James Kirkwood who co-wrote the musical A Chorus Line, is the heroine, and film buffs may recognize Russian actor Mischa Auer (the dance teacher in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU) as the wild man and Arthur Housman (who specialized in drunk roles) as the drunkard. Housman gets the best line, shouted in the middle of a heated group argument: "Hurray! We've gone primitive!" Short, under an hour, and nothing special. [DVD]

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