Horror on Snape Island (1972)

R | 85-86 or 88-89 mins | Horror | April 1972

Director:

Jim O'Connolly

Writer:

Jim O'Connolly

Producer:

Richard Gordon

Cinematographer:

Desmond Dickinson

Production Designer:

Disley Jones
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Beyond the Fog . Fredric Abbot's name is mispelled in the opening credits as "Abbott." The print viewed was a video re-release bearing the original British title, Tower of Evil . The British version of the film was 88-89 minutes in length, while the American release ran 85-86 minutes. As noted in the onscreen credits, Horror on Snape Island , which was a co-production between The Fanfare Corporation, an American company, and Grenadier Films., Ltd., a British company, was shot on location at Shepperton Studios, ... More Less

The working title of this film was Beyond the Fog . Fredric Abbot's name is mispelled in the opening credits as "Abbott." The print viewed was a video re-release bearing the original British title, Tower of Evil . The British version of the film was 88-89 minutes in length, while the American release ran 85-86 minutes. As noted in the onscreen credits, Horror on Snape Island , which was a co-production between The Fanfare Corporation, an American company, and Grenadier Films., Ltd., a British company, was shot on location at Shepperton Studios, England. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1 May 1972.
---
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1971.
---
Daily Variety
21 Apr 1972.
---
Filmfacts
1972
p. 693.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Feb 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 1972
p. 3.
New York Times
20 May 1972
p. 20.
Variety
26 Apr 1972
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Based on an orig story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod secy
Secy to the assoc prod
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Tower of Evil
Beyond the Fog
Release Date:
April 1972
Production Date:
September 1971 at Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Middlesex, England
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Lenses/Prints
Processed by Rank Film Laboratories
Duration(in mins):
85-86 or 88-89
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A few miles off the British coast, fishermen Hamp Gurney and his elderly father John take their small vessel, the Sea Ghost , to the fog-enshrouded Snape Island where, to their shock, they discover the mutilated, nude bodies of a young couple. While Hamp explores various rooms in the island’s eerie, abandoned lighthouse, John goes to a nearby shed where he finds another young man impaled on the wall with a heavy gold spear. John is then brutally attacked by a nude, knife-wielding young woman who runs outside screaming until Hamp knocks her out. Hamp takes the now catatonic girl back to a mainland hospital, where the police discover that she is American Penelope Read from Denver. Police inspector Superintendent Hawk questions Penny’s psychiatrist, Dr. Simpson, about her condition and he suggests that an experimental hypnosis treatment might help bring Penny out of her catatonic state and help her recall the events on the island. Hawk explains he has learned that Penny, her boyfriend Gary and friends Mae Harvey and Des attended a jazz festival where they learned of the remote Snape Island and decided to spend a private holiday there. Under Simpson’s guidance, Penny recollects that Mae is uncomfortable on the lonely, barren island, while Penny and Gary find its remoteness appealing. When Penny grows agitated upon reaching a point in her narrative, Simpson brings her out of hypnosis. Hawk concludes that Penny murdered the others and declares the case closed until she can testify otherwise. A few days later, philanthropist Lawrence Bakewell, an aficionado of ancient artifacts, meets with a team ... +


A few miles off the British coast, fishermen Hamp Gurney and his elderly father John take their small vessel, the Sea Ghost , to the fog-enshrouded Snape Island where, to their shock, they discover the mutilated, nude bodies of a young couple. While Hamp explores various rooms in the island’s eerie, abandoned lighthouse, John goes to a nearby shed where he finds another young man impaled on the wall with a heavy gold spear. John is then brutally attacked by a nude, knife-wielding young woman who runs outside screaming until Hamp knocks her out. Hamp takes the now catatonic girl back to a mainland hospital, where the police discover that she is American Penelope Read from Denver. Police inspector Superintendent Hawk questions Penny’s psychiatrist, Dr. Simpson, about her condition and he suggests that an experimental hypnosis treatment might help bring Penny out of her catatonic state and help her recall the events on the island. Hawk explains he has learned that Penny, her boyfriend Gary and friends Mae Harvey and Des attended a jazz festival where they learned of the remote Snape Island and decided to spend a private holiday there. Under Simpson’s guidance, Penny recollects that Mae is uncomfortable on the lonely, barren island, while Penny and Gary find its remoteness appealing. When Penny grows agitated upon reaching a point in her narrative, Simpson brings her out of hypnosis. Hawk concludes that Penny murdered the others and declares the case closed until she can testify otherwise. A few days later, philanthropist Lawrence Bakewell, an aficionado of ancient artifacts, meets with a team of archaeologists he has recruited, Dan and Nora Winthrop, Phoenician art expert Rose Mason and her former fiancé Adam Masters. Bakewell introduces them to American detective Evan Brent who explains that Penny’s parents do not believe in her guilt and have hired him to explore Snape Island. Rose relates that Bakewell has contracted them to explore the island because the gold spear that killed Des was discovered to be an original Phoenician artifact and is typical of artifacts found in royal Phoenician graves. The group suspects a high Phoenician chieftain likely died at sea and was buried on the nearest land. In keeping with their traditions, the chief would have been buried with a multitude of riches, including a gold statue of the fertility god Ba’al. The next day, Hamp and his nephew Brom pilot the archaeologists and Brent to the island. Surprised by the remote, deserted quality of the area and the dilapidated lighthouse, the group wonder who else could have killed the young tourists if Penny is not guilty. Hamp asks Adam about the explosives he has brought and Adam explains they will be used to locate the caves he suspects are under the island because of its natural rocky foundation. Inside the lighthouse, Rose comes upon a photograph of a man and woman with a baby. Hamp nervously admits the photo is of his brother Saul, his wife Martha and their baby Michael and confides that Saul tended the lighthouse for more than twenty years, before the couple went missing in a boating accident six months ago. When Rose asks about Michael, Hamp indicates the baby died in childhood ten years previously. Back on the mainland, Dr. Sampson continues working with Penny to restore her memory of the murders: As the two couples settle down for the evening, Penny and Gary go off to be intimate on the beach, while Mae and Des share a bedroom in the lighthouse. After having sex, Des is distracted by a noise outside and upon investigating the shed, is attacked by an unknown assailant with the large gold spear. The attacker proceeds into the lighthouse with an ancient scythe and hacks up the terrified Mae, whose screams awaken Gary and Penny on the beach. Returning to the lighthouse, the couple is waylaid by the assailant who slays Gary while Penny collapses in horror. Meanwhile at the island, Hamp acknowledges that the government abandoned the lighthouse some thirty years earlier, leading the men to conclude that the reason Snape Island was abandoned was because of its unsafe structure. After Brent goes to patrol the island, the other men begin searching for the caves, leaving Brom behind with Nora and Rose. Sensing that Nora is attracted to the young Brom, Rose retires and Nora and Brom have sex. Afterward there is a large explosion outside, drawing Brom and the other men to the shore where they discover the Sea Ghost has been sabotaged with some of the paraffin barrels stored in the shed. At the lighthouse, Nora explores various rooms and finds a rotting corpse in a chair. Her screams attract the others and after an examination of the corpse Adam concludes it is that of Martha Gurnery. Under Adam’s questioning, Hamp reluctantly admits that he lied earlier about his brother and sister-in-law’s deaths and confesses that Saul went mad, forcing the couple to live a solitary life on the island, where Hamp delivered supplies monthly. Insisting that his only contact was with Martha, Hamp says that six months ago, she ceased meeting him at the supply delivery after which he and his father had searched the island in vain for Saul. Determined to locate Saul in the caves, the men depart. Exhausted by the tensions, Nora retires while Rose remains in the living area until distracted by a noise outside. While Rose tiptoes to the shed, Nora hears strange pipe music and upon investigating comes across a partially clothed, bedraggled figure with long hair and a beard. Horrified, Nora flees to the top of the lighthouse pursued by the man, only to fall to her death on the rocks below. The others find Nora’s body and Adam orders Hamp and Brom to explore one part of the island while he, Rose and Dan search for an entrance to the caves. Unknown to the others, Brent has already located an entrance underground. When Hamp and Brom accidentally stumble upon an entrance, Hamp prevents Brom from telling the others in hope of locating some of the Phoenician gold. Adam, Dan and Rose create their own entrance using the dynamite, unaware that the explosion’s vibrations tip over several barrels of paraffin in the shed. Inside the caves, the Gurneys split up while Brom wanders into a large cave filled with ancient, priceless artifacts, including a large gold statue of Ba’al. Before he can find Hamp, however, the strange man attacks Brom but is then driven off by Brent firing pistol shots. The others find Brent and the dead Brom, but upon hearing pipe music, leave the cave to search for its source. Rose and Dan remain behind examining the artifacts and are attacked by the strange figure, who kills Dan before Brent returns and shoots him. After taking the dead bodies of Brom, Dan and the bedraggled Saul to the lighthouse to lay them out with Nora, Adam and Brent return to the cave to arrange to remove the artifacts. In the lighthouse, Hamp is brutally attacked and rushing to his aid, Rose hears him utter “Michael” before he collapses dead. A wild looking figure stumbles after Rose, who throws a paraffin lamp at him, immediately igniting the leaking paraffin that has trickled into the lighthouse. While the figure catches fire, Rose escapes and hearing the commotion, Adam and Brent leave the cave just as the remaining paraffin barrels explode, destroying the entire lighthouse. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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