Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Island of Terror (1966)

Director: Terence Fisher

Writers: Edward Mann, Al Ramsen

Composer: Malcolm Lockyer

Starring: Peter Cushing, Edward Judd, Carole Gray, Eddie Byrne, Sam Kydd, Niall MacGinnis, James Caffrey, Liam Gaffney, Rogher Heathcote

More info: IMDb

Tagline: How could they stop the devouring death...that lived by sucking on living human bones!

Plot: A small island community is overrun with creeping, blobbish, tentacled monsters which liquefy and digest the bones from living creatures. The community struggles to fight back.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

What a silly yet watchable horror film.  It starts out with an interesting concept, a creature is loose and reproducing (it splits in half, creating two creatures out of one and it does this a lot).  When it touches you it releases an enzyme that liquifies your bones leaving no trace of calcium in the bodies of the victims.  Then you bring in the always amazing Peter Cushing (as Dr. Brian Stanley) only he hasn't a fucking clue of what to do so he brings in Edward Judd (as Dr. David West) and he doesn't have the other fucking clue and somehow they figure out how to rid the island of these things.  Cushing is unusually care free and happy in this and he's surpisingly so minutes after having his hand chopped off.  He's cracking wise about it and everything, like he was at a cocktail party charming the pants of the crowd.  I'd like to think I'd do the same.

But the real scene-stealer is Edward Judd.  He's soooooooo melodramatic it's too funny for words.  His physical emoting is so over the top that once you notice it you won't be able to not snicker every time he moves afterward.  It all ends well for the islanders but there's a surprise non-shocker tagline that suggests all is not well in another part of the world.  If it weren't for Judd's over the top performance and the earnestness of all of the other actors there wouldn't be much to this.  But you've got Terence Fisher behind the camera (director of lots of the best Hammer films like HORROR OF DRACULA (1958) and THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957)) and he milks as much as you probably could out of something like this.  It's fun but lower your expectations.

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