Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Execrable Spiderman


___"Horrors Of Spider Island"(1960)___

Directed by:

Fritz Böttger

(Gary)Alexander D'Arcy

Tag Lines:
"A handful of girls enslaved by a diabolical human beast on an island where there is no way out..."
"The MONSTER is terror-crazed by his deathly fear of fire!"
"Blood-Curdling! Hair-Raising! Spine-Chilling!"
"One bite from a giant spider turned him into THE WORLD'S MOST HIDEOUS MONSTER with a diabolical lust to KILL!"
"He strangles his victims with his mammoth claws!"
"SO TERRIFYING AND SHOCKING you will be frightened out of your wits!"
"Shock upon shock! Terror upon terror!"
"Craving the Blood of Beautiful Women!"

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Just when you thought you've seen it all, a movie like Horrors of Spider Island comes up to prove you wrong. Movies like this make you feel like you just stumbled upon some great lost treasure, forgotten by time. The film is a 1960's monster flick with all the things you expect and love from a bad movie. Horrible acting, bad dubbing and crazy ass creatures. The idea is pretty simple, a group of dancers end up on a strange island with some mysterious creatures lurking around in the shadows. Watching the film I grew to like it more and more, and it reminded me exactly why I do this, and watch these films. The reason is to see crazy ass entertaining films that were found in a trash can outside a shitty cinema. I really needed this too, since I had just viewed a lot of slasher films recently that we will get to here eventually. Every once in awhile I need to see a good cheesy monster film, its really good for the mind. Monster films are just good fun, you don't need to put too much attention to it, just watch and enjoy; And this is exactly why I like this film so much. I really believe the beauty and fun of monster films have kinda been overshadowed by movie like Saw, and all those remakes. We really hadn't had very many Monster films recently, aside from Cloverfield and the upcoming Wolfman remake. So lets get right to the nitty gritty of this review, lets talk a little bit about the film.

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If you know of this film, then you most likely heard of it from the great Mystery Science Theater 3000. Their riff of the film, like most of the episodes, is great, and makes the film much more fun to watch. Not to say its not a fun movie, like I said earlier, I love this film. Horrors Of Spider Island is a German horror skin flick originally titled "It's Hot in Paradise". That title is good, but doesn't really sound like a horror film. Another title of the film was "A Corpse Hangs in the Web", which would probably be a much better film title; but on a b-movie level, "Horrors of Spider Island" is so much better. Those were the titles they used once it came to America, the German title being "Ein toter Hing Im Netz". The American version has all it's nude scenes cut from it, making it mainly a monster film. If they hadn't of done this, this would be that much more schlockier and probably slightly more entertaining. But unfortunately this movie was overlooked by the slew of horror and monster films of the 60's. The movie was later released mainly as a bargain bin film. The movie was later found and released by Something Weird Video; I briefly mentioned Something Weird before in my Herschell Gordon Lewis reviews, and god bless them for making these films available. Now most people know of the film through the great Mystery Science Theater 3000, which is where I first came into knowledge of it as well. The riffing in the episode is pretty good, and makes the already great movie, even more entertaining to watch. I got influenced into seeing the film again after watching a video of a guy named Mike Vraney. Mike Vraney works for Something Weird Video, and is interviewed by Evening Magazine in the video. The video is from 1992 and has Mike talking about films like Horrors Of Spider Island, Godmonster of Indian Flats, Girl and the Geek, The Curious Dr. Humpp and more. All of those, films I really want to see. Well I decided to check the movie out after this, and surprise to me, I really enjoyed it

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The film was directed by Fritz Böttger a German director, and the producer is Wolf C. Hartwig. Wolf C. Hartwig is a producer of exploitation flicks, mainly German sexsploitation films. He got his start in 1953, helping to make a dramatic film about the romance of Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun. The movie, being German, had to be dubbed for a American audience. I always love hearing dubbing in these old movies, because its just so damn ridiculous. This film is lucky enough to have some of the worst accents, and acting I've ever heard. Now, something I noticed in the version I saw is the fact that it didn't say "Horrors Of Spider Island", but instead "It's Hot in Paradise". But, in the one Mystery Science Theater had, it says and even announces the title as "HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND". The film follows Gary, a burly business man who's looking for a dance troop for a job in Singapore. He hires 7 girls, and during the audition at the beginning he signals if he wants the girl hired by crossing or uncrossing his legs. Gary is played by Alexander D'Arcy, a Egyptian actor who has been in such films as "Blood of Dracula's Castle", Roger Corman's "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" and Russ Myer's "The Seven Minutes". While flying to Singapore, the plane malfunctions and crashes into the ocean. Gary and the girls are the only ones who survive, and float off to a island on a raft. They decide to look around the island to see if there is anyone there to help them. While looking they stumble upon a cabin out on the island, and when going into it they find mineralogist Professor Greene. The only thing is, hes a little hung up at the moment, being dead and stuck in a giant spider web. This scene is hilarious to me, mainly because of how ridiculous the guy looks stuck on the web. I also don't get how they know who the Professor is. Well they get rid of the body and decide to stay there till they can get some kind of help off the island. Every one's getting irritable from the heat, and the fact Gary is spoiling his assistant Georgia. After some cat fights, arguments; Gary decides to go walk around the island. While walking around, a giant spider attacks Gary; probably the one that killed Professor Greene. The Spider is freaking awesome looking; its huge, and has a crazy cartoony expression on his face. I would love to have the spider tied up in the corner of some room of my home. Well Gary throws the spider and kills it with his gun. Unfortunately for him, the spider's bite makes him into a horrifying spider creature. Yeah, Werespiders. This has got to be, one of the most ridiculous transformations I've ever seen. He looks horrifyingly bad, with weird facial make up, 3 horrifying fangs, and crazy body hair. Not to mention his hairy abomination of a hand-claw. Thus, the first official Spiderman is created. This doesn't make sense to me, because if Gary is turned into a monster by a bite, why Isn't Professor Greene running around a crazy looking spider man? Gary then, throughout the rest of the film is lurking around the shadows and plants menacing the girls. His first victim is Linda, while the rest of the girls are out looking for him.
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Time goes by and the girls are running out of supplies. A couple of Greene's assistants come by to check up on the doctor, Bobby and Joe. Joe decides to go and take the supplies into the cabin while Bobby hears some voices coming from the shore. He sees four of the girls skinny dipping out in a rocky cove and decides to go down and grab the girl Gladys. The other girls scared what had grabbed her, had killed Linda run off. Joe is questioned by the girls at gun point, thinking hes the person who had killed Linda and Gladys; that is, until they see her walking up with Bobby. And before you know it, the girls through a luau for the boys. If they're stuck on a deserted island, how exactly is there music playing? Ann and Joe fall for each other, and Gladys with Bobby. That doesn't keep Bob from pretty much making out with nearly every single girl on the island. After a few arguments and a fist fight, the party is cut short as Spider-Gary makes his appearance. He kills Bobby, and terrorizes the others. Joe finds out that Spider-Gary is actually frightened by fire. Isn't anything that is alive scared by fire? I mean its fire, come on. They chase him off into a marshy shore and he sinks to his death in quick sand. The scene is pretty boring, but I managed to find a way to make it more entertaining.

The film doesn't take much energy, or thinking. Its just a fun monster film with lots of cheese. From the monsters to the catfights, this bad movie is a must see for fans of bad movies, or strange movies. But if your not a fan of Bad movies, this will probably bore you a lot. There isn't much of the monster, though when he does appear it, at lest for me, left its mark. Mainly because of the strangeness of how he looks. You can also probably see the film online, being public domain.
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Monster:4/5 Yes hes ridiculous looking, but that's why hes so damn great!
Best Scene: Gary getting bitten

3 out of 5

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Got to love that poster art..

"Why, hes a big uranium research man"
"A researching researcher"

"Must be for the purpose of excavating some metal...Most probably Uranium"
"Can you eat that?"
"Yeah, you can try it!"

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