The world of horror movies is filled with mad doctors. From Dr. Frankenstein on down, you just can’t trust those scientists. It makes sense, after all they’re always hanging out in creepy castles and surrounding themselves with hunchbacked weirdos. They may be brilliant but there’s a few screws loose as well. As for the doctor in today’s film, you’ve got to figure that nothing good will come of things when he happens to take up residence in a place with such a grisly name. Prepare for 1969’s Mad Doctor of Blood Island.
Our story begins with three people making their way to the island by boat. Sheila (Angelique Pettyjohn) is looking for her father, Carlos (Ronaldo Valdez) is going to bring his mother back to the mainland, and Dr. Bill Foster (John Ashley) is going to investigate some strange goings on involving a dead body with green blood. Carlos soon finds that his mother is the main squeeze of the mysterious Dr. Lorca (Ronald Remy).
Things are not well on Blood Island, however. No brainer there, I mean it is called BLOOD Island. Anyhow, there have been several murders at the hands of a strange green creature. Sheila experiences the creature herself soon enough. As Carlos and Dr. Foster investigate they are let to the grave of Carlos’ father. It turns out that the grave is empty. It seems that dear old dad, who was dying of leukemia, ended up as Dr. Lorca’s tests case to experiment a treatment created with chlorophyll. Yep, he’s a plant zombie…but can he be stopped?
Mad Doctor of Blood of Island is a film that will make you want to puke. It’s not because of anything graphic or gory, this film is neither of those things. Where you will get woozy is whenever the creature attacks. The filmmakers decided that if would be good to zoom the camera in and out quickly, over and over again, throughout every sequence when monster is terrorizing someone. It’s right up there with the Bourne films on the movie seasickness scale. The jumpy editing doesn’t help matters either.
The whole film is just kind of out there. The story is half-baked and seems to take its basic idea by twisting around some concepts from HG Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. The cast is a strange mixture of a few Americans with a cast of mostly Filipino locals. John Ashley, a regular of AIP’s beach party films, just doesn’t quite fit as a scientist/tough guy. Angelique Pettyjohn certainly looks good here but isn’t given anything to do other than run and scream. The so-called mad doctor doesn’t get all that much opportunity to be “mad,” either. He doesn’t have any big plans of taking over the world with plant zombies, he’s just a laid back guy. The creature is pretty weak as well, sporting one of the worst makeup effects ever. He kind of looks like a guy with lime Jello smeared on his face.
I guess there’s just not enough madness in Mad Doctor of Blood Island. Fans of cheapo monster films will enjoy it on a certain level. Those prone to motion sickness, however, stay away or pack and air sick bag.