Saturday, October 06, 2012

Horrors of Spider Island

(1962) **1/2

A band of showgirls are on their way to Singapore when their plane catches fire and lands in the sea. The vulnerable young women are stranded, and their only source of common sense and direction come from their show director, Gary, as they struggle to survive on a nearby island.

Life on the island isn't all naked fun and games, as they soon find out -- the girls and Gary happen upon a cabin where giant spiders have killed a man and hung them up in their web. Not one day after finding the Corpse Hung in the Web (the original German-Yugoslav title in 1960), Gary himself gets bitten on a night stroll and begins a metamorphosis into a spidery-man.
The girls continue on without Gary, but drama heightens as a food grows scarce -- these simple but beautiful girls only know how to eat out of cans, go figure -- but luckily for them, the man who died in the giant spider web was a professor and his two young male research partners arrive and promise them some temporary love and a guaranteed boat ride back to civilization. Everything a girl could want, right?

There were a couple of humorous things about this movie that I'd like to note here: firstly, the way in which the women "auditioned" for the Singapore show in the beginning of the movie.
Mr. Webster -- Hmm, legs?
Showgirl -- Pardon me?
Secretary -- Mr. Webster would like to look at your legs.
Showgirl -- Oh yes, of course! [lifts up skirt]
Mr. Webster -- [crosses legs]
Secretary -- Alright, you're hired.

Why can't all interviews be that simple to navigate?

The second thing was the big-band, swing-style music that created an atmosphere not of urgency, but of gaiety. During a high-stakes chase through the island I really thought the characters were going to break out into song and dance to uplift morale. It never happened and I think the movie would have felt more complete if it did have a cheesy song/dance routine incorporated. Any musical horror movies out there, fellow Thonners?
Use those fine legs for something productive!

6 comments:

Catfreeek said...

"- these simple but beautiful girls only know how to eat out of cans, go figure "- I love it!

There are plenty of horror musicals out there like Repo:The Genetic Opera and Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter for example. Sounds like you need to hit a sub genre to me.

AC said...

i remember watching "horrors of spider island" with mr. ac, though i'm pretty sure we went with the mst3k version.

yes, someone needs to do horror musicals some year (and don't forget sweeney todd). i nominate jpx, because he's not here to defend himself, and because he hates musicals, and because he nominated me to watch all the (blech) saw movies.

Crystal Math said...

AC I do remember reading about an MST3K episode featuring Horrors of Spider Island! I must've watched every show but I don't remember this one. It all makes sense.

And Cat, I think I've found my calling. Kudos to you for paving new ground in the depraved horror arena; I now know what I was born to do ;-)

Octopunk said...

This flick is in a great MST3K ep. There are a handful of times the girls are hanging out or dancing or drinking and Tom sarcastically booms out "The HORRORS of SPIDER ISLAND!!!"

I applaud your idea for a musical horror roundup. I don't remember much musical-ness in JC:VH, and that would be a lousy movie to watch by mistake...

DCD said...

I miss MST3K. That picture of the guy "in" the web is totally cracking me up!!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

HIlarious review. I love this movie!

As far as musical horror movies lessee.. Rocky Horror doesn't count. Some consider the Wicker Man a musical but not me.. The question is - could a musical ever be scary?