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Isle of the Snake People

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Isle of the Snake People (1971), starring Boris Karloff, Julissa, Yolanda Montes, Yolanda Montes
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Isle of the Snake People (1971), starring  Boris Karloff, Julissa,  Yolanda Montes, Ralph Bertrand, Carlos East

Synopsis of  Isle of the Snake People

In Isle of the Snake People, a  small remote island is a home for voodoo rites, death cults and an evil thing named Damballah. Local law officials turn a blind eye to their evil ways … Until Captain Labesch arrives from the mainland.

Review of  Isle of the Snake People

I’ve often said that Boris Karloff never turned in a bad performance, and that’s still true. That really can’t be said for the rest of the cast.  With the exception of  Yolanda Montes, who turns in a good performance. The story is more than a little disjointed, but it basically has a straight-laced, by the book police officer named Captain Labesch (Rafael Bertrand) comes to a small Caribbean island, where he’s upset by the disheveled condition of the local police, notably Lt. Andrew Wilhelm (Carlos East) who has a “live and let live” attitude towards the natives …  And turns a blind eye to their voodoo practices.

Isle of the Snake People (1971), starring Boris Karloff, Julissa, Yolanda Montes, Yolanda Montes

On the same island is  Carl van Molder (Boris Karloff).  He is investigating both the mysteries of telekinesis and voodoo with the aid of his maid Kalea (Yolanda Montes).  She has notable abilities with both.  And his niece Anabella  (Julissa) arrives,  a temperance crusader who begins falling in love with Lt. Wilhelm — despite his fondness for rum. While the hard-liner Captain Labesch starts trying to stomp out voodoo on the island, his men start disappearing and dying … And at the zombie ceremony at the conclusion of the movie, the voodoo monster Damballah shows up … or does he?

One of Boris Karloff‘s final films, and frankly only worth watching for fans of Karloff.

Editorial review of  Isle of the Snake People courtesy of

Voodoo! Zombies! Cannibal women!” exclaims the Chief of Police (Ralph Bertrand) after finding a mutilated corpse shortly assuming control of a mysterious island in the Caribbean. Also newly arrived to the island is Mademoiselle Wunderberg, the niece of mysterious Mr. Van Molder (Boris Karloff) a plantation owner who conducts strange experiments with telekinesis involving his maid Kalea (Yolanda Montes), queen of voodoo. Kalea does lots of scantily dressed snake dancing amid the flames and beating bongo drums, while a painted dwarf in sunglasses keeps the candles lit, and the victims whipped to within an inch of their lives.

Elsewhere, a group of cannibal women devour errant men, and one of Van Molder’s ringleaders has resurrected a zombie for necrophiliac purposes. In the film’s weirdest moment, Kalea casts a spell over Mmme. Wunderberg and she has a dream her double rises out of a coffin and sexually molests herself with a snake. It’s all part of the mysterious plan to make Damballah appear, but the identity of Damballah is a mystery, as are what other horrors may await in this bizarre Mexican-American production, one of Boris Karloff’s final films.

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