Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Island of the Fishmen


1979 **3/4

I really want to hail this as a fantastic so-bad-it's-good discovery, because it certainly has all the ingredients. It's an Italian 70s monster movie with Barbara Bach in it, it features a generous amount of Fishmen footage, it's got a bad guy with an extremely nasal accent in the British Evil tradition, it has a forest full of deadly traps, it's got mad science, voodoo, Atlantis, stock footage of volcanic eruptions, amusingly questionable decisions and the occasional surprise psychedelic guitar soundtrack -- it even has a couple of adorable tiny models lit on fire just for me.

But something's missing. There's a subliminal understanding that none of this matters, as if we're all watching while lounging on a hot summer porch and we're in between pitchers of iced tea and it's just too damn hot to talk or move or care (it was 108 degrees where I live today, and this might be affecting me). I can fault things like a lack of nudity or gore or decent acting, but it's like those things haven't even earned my notice.

If horror movie quality were represented by a dart board, we'd find delight in the darts that hit close to the center and the darts the hit the edge or missed the board altogether. I think this movie hits some weird nodal point that causes the dart to disappear into thin air at the moment of impact, instantly making everyone forget it had been thrown at all.

10 comments:

Octopunk said...

P.S. This was also released as Screamers.

Catfreeek said...

Well that's a bummer, the picture looks so promising. I love the serious look and the way she's tenderly holding his fin.

JPX said...

Fantastic last paragraph! What a wonderful analogy and review. Sorry the Gil stinks but now it's been reviewed!

JPX said...

Gil, of course is film. Stupid iPhone assuming it knows what want to say.

Catfreeek said...

Gil is almost appropriate when it comes to fish men.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

B-b-but... that picture... so awesome! Those are the coolest looking fishmen I have ever seen, and believe me, I have seen some fishmen.

DCD said...

That is a brilliant last paragraph. What a disappointment that the film didn't live up to it's awesome ingredients!

Landshark said...

Seems like I should have known that Barbara Bach was married to Ringo Starr.

50PageMcGee said...

it's a shame to hear of a wasted opportunity to advance fish-people culture. right now, the landscape is dominated by donatella versace's face.

AC said...

wow, i am heartbroken this Gil didn't live down to it's promise.