This is a grim and morose film with strong undertones of sadism and, toward the end, brutality. It is also a genuinely frightening film involving Banks as a mad Russian count who lords over a mist-enshrouded island and waits like a vicious spider for wayward ships to wreck themselves on the dangerous reefs surrounding his sinister domain. One of the sinking ships delivers up flotsam in the form of McCrea, Wray, and Armstrong, who are, at first, warmly welcomed to Banks's lavish estate. But slowly, as Banks describes his passion for hunting the wild beasts on the island, he begins
to finger a scar on his forehead, one caused by a lion. Before they can realize their h...