"Fog Island" (1945) is another murder mystery movie set in an isolated house with a motley gathering of individuals stranded together under increasingly alarming conditions. This movie bears a distinct resemblance to "The Black Raven" described in last week's post. In fact, the role of enigmatic host is portrayed by the same hardworking actor, George Zucco! This time the setting is an eerie mansion on isolated Fog Island, where Zucco's character, Leo Grain(g)er, has been living in seclusion along with his murdered wife's daughter after his release from prison. To discover his wife's murderer as well as the culprits who framed him for embezzlement, Grainger invites four former business associates to his island home, hinting that there may be monetary gain to be made. Even though all of the guests know that Grainger suspects them of framing him, they are convinced that he has stashed away some company assets and their greed compels them to travel to the remote island. Once there, host Grainger gives each guest an unusual gift as a clue which foreshadows sinister events to come.
Like "The Black Raven", "Fog Island" is another low-budget B-movie release from PRC. Most of the actors rise above the predictable plot and turn in solid performances. The diabolical if rather improbable retribution exacted by Leo Grainger is an interesting plot twist, as is the previously mentioned ploy of presenting mysterious gifts to each guest. If you are in the mood for a decent mystery movie with no aspirations to greatness, give this one a look!
Interesting Fact: Lionel Atwill, who portrays one of the invited guests, is best remembered for the numerous horror films in which he appeared. His promising career was ruined after he was implicated in a Hollywood sex scandal, and thereafter he was only able to find steady work in Poverty Row B-movies.
Gore Guide (0=none to 5=extreme): 0