Field guide to Invertebrates in Film: The Horrors of Spider Island
Horrors of Spider Island (1960)
Critter: The dreaded tropical five-fingered monkey spider and its mutant creation, Gary
Size: About Chihuahua-sized, man-sized
Modus Operandi: One bite from this critter will either kill you or turn you into a hairy faced, toothy thing that likes to run around shirtless
How the Menace Emerges: Our crew of dancing gals encounters this undescribed spider species after they are stranded on deserted island
End Goal: Hard to say, neither critter seems to eat
Hmmmm. Let’s see, what if a plane wrecked in the middle of the ocean with 8 buxom dancing girls and you were the only guy? You might enjoy the strip-joint sax soundtrack, but watch out, you’re on an island with an oddly buck-toothed spider sporting monkey paws, and soon you’ll become a were-spider-monkey more interested in strangling than making out. That’s the German sexploitation wonder that is The Horrors of Spider Island (a.k.a. A Corpse Hangs in the Web or It’s Hot in Paradise). Here, the sexploitation comes first, catfights, cattiness and skinny-dipping all trump horror, critters and critter attacks. When we finally get some monster action, there’s only about 10 minutes of film left. Once we discover that the barely mutated spider-monkey-were-man is afraid of flares, and barely remembers his lost human self, poof: we’ve reached the sorriest of all endings.
When I viewed Mesa of Lost Women, I had to add a drop my rating scale a notch (to zero) to hold such a wretched film. Still, with its leering dwarves, it had more charm than this piece of schlock. Even for a cheap sexploitation film, The Horrors of Spider Island sets a new low. Granted, the version I’ve seen had been burned from a video transfer, trimmed to remove the nudie bits and terribly dubbed, but I still doubt that a crisp, restored version of this would help one whit.
Nit-picking Science: Science? What science?