Director: Jim O'Connolly
Screenplay: Jim O'Connolly
Cast: Bryant Haliday (as Evan Brent); Jill Haworth (as Rose Mason); Anna Palk (as Nora Winthrop); William Lucas (as Superintendent Hawk); Anthony Valentine (as Dr. Simpson)
A Night of a Thousand Horror (Movies) #19
A proto-slasher set on Snape Island - where four American youths go to only to almost all be killed barring a catatonic survivor - a group of archaeologists go to said island when this incident reveals the possible discovery of Phoenician artefacts, but at the possible cost of being bumped off by whoever killed most of the American group. It's surprisingly explicit for its era in terms of a British horror film - nudity, graphic murders including decapitation - but it's still incredibly bland, a lack of grace or ill-ease found here where for all this it still feels stilted. Snape Island and its central lighthouse in the middle of its land should evoke nautical dread but instead you have a lot of actors speaking bland exposition in groups without any sense of atmosphere to the environment. For all its transgression only the dialogue of Nora (Palk), a disgruntled and adulterous wife of one of the archaeologists, really still has teeth in it in how sexually open she is in her words, the only real entertainment to be found in how blunt she is to everyone in front of her husband despite the fact the character should arguably be hateable.
The datedness even by this period - what teen goes to a jazz festival even in 1971? - is worse when the survivor of the first attack is barely used, only within post-psychedelic psychological experiments which are meant to bring back her memories of the original attack that involve a lot of over large, flashing disco lights. The threat at the end, only spoiling part of the end, partially involves a man with a beard and dungarees, that hasn't washed for months, who is the leas threatening horror bogeyman you could get, undermining Tower of Evil further. Sandwiched between films like Witchfinder General (1968) and The Wicker Man (1973), too many British horror movies are like this one in how lack sure they are, missing the potential in their premises and dragging along in spite of the sex and gore they started adding.