Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Horrors of Spider Island (1960)

Horrors of Spider Island is a strange little 1960 German exploitation movie. A group of female dancers are recruited for a show that’s going to tour Asia, starting with Singapore. Unfortunately their plane crashes, and they find themselves on a deserted tropical island. Eight beautiful girls, and Garry their manager. Things seem hopeful when they find a cabin on the island, but the cabin turns out to contain the corpse of a scientist, trapped in a gigantic spider’s web. For a while it looks like it’s going to be a straightforward horror movie, then a couple of the dead scientist’s young male assistants arrive, and it mutates into a kind of beach party movie. Then it goes back to being a horror film. A very bad horror movie. But this is one of those rare cases when a movie really does work in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way. It’s so goofy and good-natured you can’t help liking it. And, although the set-up – eight beautiful girls trapped on an island menaced by a monster – would lead you to expect an outrageously sexist movie, surprisingly enough it isn’t sexist at all. The hunky guys are as scantily-clad as the girls, and the girls (although some are obviously the type of girls who enjoy having a good time) are never portrayed as brainless bimbos. If you love bad campy horror movies then Horrors of Spider Island delivers the goods. The Something Weird DVD release includes three very strange little short films, all involving young women and spiders.

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