Horrors of Spider Island (1960)


I’m way too lenient on these, aren’t I?  Horrors of Spider Island (a.k.a. It’s Hot in Paradise a.k.a. Body in the Web a.k.a. A Corpse Hangs in the Web) really is a piece of shit and it’s fitting that the only company that gave the movie a VHS/DVD release was Something Weird.

According to IMDB:

“First released in the United States in 1962, as an Adults-Only movie titled It’s Hot in Paradise. Three years later, trimmed of its nude scenes, it was re-released in the U.S. as a horror/sci-fi monster film, Horrors of Spider Island.

So really Horrors of Spider Island is just a nudie-cutie flick no different from Monster at Camp Sunshine or The Beast That Killed Women only with one tiny, little problem.  THERE WERE NO FUCKING NUDE SCENES!!!  I don’t know why Something Weird released the film without the nude scenes since that seems to be their raison d’etre; to release shitty, boring nudie flicks whose only saving grace is the nudity!  But they did and what we’re left with is another snoozer that begins promisingly but soon degenerates into a series of boring sub-plots and drama that nobody cares about and make the movie seem interminable in spite of its relatively short length of 76 minutes.

The movie begins in someone’s office with a bunch of hot dancers auditioning to be part of a dance troupe and go to Singapore (or somewhere like that, I forgot) to dance.  Instead their plane crash lands and the ladies and the guy in charge of watching them end up marooned on a tropical island where a giant spider turns people into killer spider people.  Only problem is that barely happens at all.

Again it starts off promising when the ladies walk into a cabin and see a dead man in a spider’s web; an obviously freaky site (or at least it’s supposed to be if I didn’t know it was fake and the spider web was just some rope).  Then the guy who was in charge of the girls goes wandering, gets bit by a spider and turns into an honestly cool looking spider monster.  This looked like it was leading somewhere.

But, unfortunately, when your movie is just an edited down nudie flick, you can only expect the rest of the scenes to be nothing but obnoxious filler and the music to be cabaret/burlesque rather than horror movie music.  And so it goes… the rest of the film involves two sailors who stumble on the island and engage the women with their tomfoolery; one of them is suave and charming and goes after one girl after another while the other guy is just like a normal guy looking for a special gal.  There’s also a bit of sexy cat fighting and some skinny dipping.  But aside from those scenes, the film turned into one of the most uninteresting soap operas until, finally, the spider monster starts killing again, resulting in one other death – and that wasn’t even from the monster, it was from the girl jumping off the cliff trying to escape!

One last point of interest is that, during the scene when the plane takes a dive, the filmmaker or whoever was so lazy and lacking in imagination that he didn’t even try to create the inside of an airplane when showing closeups of the girls screaming.  He could have taken a couple of car seats and put them next to a window and at least tried to make it look like the shot was from inside a plane. Instead he just uses two extreme closeups of the ladies with a black, nothing background.  Truly amazing.

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