The island of Saint Laurent is commonly called “Devil’s Island”. It is a French penal colony housing everything from killers to political prisoners. The Captain of the guards is Whorf (Robert Christopher). He is in love with the Commandant’s (Niles Andrus) step-daughter Marlene (Dorothy Haney). Marlene has been stuck on the island since she was a child. Her mother died on the island and Marlene will do just about anything to get away from it.
Surrounding the prison is jungle that is inhabited by cannibals. When political prisoner Steve Duval (Robert Clarke) arrives on the island Marlene thinks that maybe he is her hope of getting off the island. She enlists his help and that of another prisoner Dione (William White).
They make is downriver to Moengo, the nearest town, but are unable to secure a plane to Brazil. They have no choice but to go into the jungle and try to make it to Brazil overland. At the prison Whorf vows to track them down. Now Duval, Marlene and Dione must avoid the dangers of jungle creatures, headhunters and cannibals while also avoiding Marlene’s sadistic jilted lover Whorf.
“Terror of the Blood Hunters” was released in 1962 and was directed by Jerry Warren. There’s not much in the way of terror or blood hunters in this movie. I’m all for jungle stock footage as long as it’s going somewhere.
A lot of people felt that Marlene was a spoiled bored daughter of the Commandant. In reality she was his step daughter and he was trying to marry her off to Whorf, his second in command, to keep him happy. He married her mother after her father, the previous Commandant, mysteriously died waiting for help from the Commandant, who at the time had been second in command himself, which never came. In a nutshell the Commandant let her father die so he could take over the prison. He then married her mother and kept them both there until her mother died. He then used Marlene as a bargaining chip to keep his second in command happy. I’d want out too.
As for voodoo, there isn’t much of that either. A few gyrating women and some native style dancing but nothing else. What you do get is a lot of philosophical conversations on the meaning of life. Duval as the intellectual who is a political prisoner due to his beliefs has become jaded when he is sent to the prison. His loss of faith in mankind is put to the test in the Amazon jungles. Heady stuff I grant you but it’s basically what the film is about. It appears that Warren is trying to make a film he sees as relevant.
Of course it doesn’t work. When the movie is titled “Terror of the Blood Hunters” and the trailer refers to savage violence never before seen. And it hits you with statements like, “Titans of terror create jolting savage excitement.” “Inconceivable rituals shock and stagger the imagination!” Then it refers to staggering spectacle of thrills of suspense of the decade, and what you see for a minute and a half is all the highlights of the film, well; you expect something a little more exciting than a string of discussions about man’s place in the world. The waxing philosophical is fine if you’re looking for that in a movie but that’s not how the film is advertised.
If you want excitement, watch the trailer.