Horrors of Spider Island (1960)

HorrorsOfSpiderIslandNot as deliriously loopy as the similarly-themed Bloody Pit Of Horror, this movie is still able to generate some laughs that rapidly turn into groans with its tale of supposedly sexy dancers crash landing on an island inhabited by a giant spider. (There may have been a whole bunch of giant spiders, but all I saw was one frail looking thing hanging from some very visible rope.)

Gary hires a bunch of girls to go over to Singapore and dance. The hiring process consists of these women coming into his office and showing off their chunky legs to him and his female assistant. The girls are mainly distinguishable by their hair color, though there were two blondes so I had to go to the secondary identifier which was each one’s badly dubbed voice.

Once Gary gets his team of eight elite dancers assembled, they hop on a model plane and fly off over the ocean. The next thing you know, there’s this model plane in flames and it is heading straight down into the water. To let us know that our cover girls are about to crash, these unconvincing plane crash scenes are intercut with a few, brief unconvincing cover girl screaming scenes.

Gary and his bevy of babes all survive the horrific impact, spot land and walk around until they run into a cabin. Everyone is excited until they open the door and see a dead guy hanging in a really big spider web. They’re all grossed out and wonder about the size of the spinneret on the spider that laid that web down. After about five seconds of gasping and acting scared, they move into the cabin.

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Gary has his assistant inventory the food they have and they figure they have enough to last them about a month. Somehow one of the girls has enough make up to last her about that long as well. We see her going through her purse and pulling out a mirror and lipstick and realize that it was quite fortuitous for someone to pack the life raft with those vital materials while the plane was careening straight into the ocean.

During the middle of the night, Gary decides to go out for a walk into the wilderness that surrounds the cabin despite the unexplained death of the professor and the mammoth spider web they found, but Gary is taking his gun along, so he should be okay, right?

Sure, if his plan was to get jumped by a big spider pretty quick! This ugly thing (and it’s ugly in a cheap, unreal way, not a scary, terrifying way) wraps itself around Gary’s neck and he pretends to struggle and eventually gets it off of him and shoots it several times. Gary won the battle, but he lost the war though because he has been bitten and as soon as he realizes this he turns into…something.

I was never sure what he was supposed to be. He face got all hairy, like he was one of those Mexican kids with congenital hypertrichosis. And when Gary opened his mouth, I thought I was looking at an Arkansas wolf man, because this thing only had like three fangs in its mouth!

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Gary spends the rest of the movie running around after the girls with his arms in the air like he was airing out his pits or something. Unfortunately, Gary never regains his humanity or for that matter his shirt.

With Gary missing, the next morning the girls split up to look for him. One is left behind to keep an eye on the cabin and Spider-Gary shows up and kills this woman, leaving her in a pond. When the girls come back, they’re kind of upset and once they’re back in the cabin, two of them start arguing and before you know it, it was catfight time.

It wasn’t the greatest catfight you ever saw. A couple of homely girls rolling around, but it was distinguished by the fact that it seemed to be one of those sixty minute time limit ironman matches because it just went on way too long. Catfights are best if they’re kept short and vicious, preferably with girls you didn’t find in the potato chip aisle at Wal-Mart.

Later on, a boat with two guys shows up. They’re there to resupply the dead cabin owner, a professor, and they hook up with the ladies. One of the guys falls in love with one of the showgirls and doesn’t do much about Spider-Gary except watch him run out into the quicksand to sink to his death.

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More importantly though, the girls and these two guys managed to find time to have a little party with some drinking and dancing and music . Apparently they were there to refill the professor’s whiskey supply.

The movie was a bit of a disappointment, concentrating on ugly chicks frolicking around, the horror element downplayed except for the periodic appearances of Spider-Gary. Yes, the movie is filled with some unintentionally funny moments (watching Spider-Gary fall down in the mud repeatedly while everyone claims it’s quicksand), but there aren’t enough of them to really make a viewing worthwhile.

Nothing is convincing here except that trying to mix the nudie film and the giant spider movie is hazardous at best. Bad spider props, tubby shirtless guys, ugly chicks, raunchy music, and an all around lack of anything approaching scares make the horrors that can be found on Spider Island much different than what the filmmakers intended.

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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