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Horrors of Spider Island

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The premise of the "Horrors of Spider Island" (1967) is simple: A producer named Gary hires a group of showgirls for a dance tour to start in Singapore. When their plane catches fire and crashes into the Pacific, their survival depends on an island where a professor had been hunting for uranium. The professor, it turns out, has been killed by a giant spider. Maybe the same one that bites Gary, transforming him into a freaky homicidal spider guy who starts attacking the dancers and the two lugs who show up halfway through the movie.

For many viewers, the real horror in this film is the terrible acting and ridiculous monster. For others, these are exactly what make the film so fun to watch. Whether it's scantily clad women competing over an inadequate number of men or the inexplicable notion that becoming part spider would turn one into a rampant strangler rather than, say, a blood sucker, this is sci-fi cheese at its most redolent.

The film was originally released in 1960 as Im Toter hing em Netz. Two years later, the German-Yugoslavian production was dubbed and released in the U.S. as an adult film, "It's Hot In Paradise." To reach a wider audience, it was re-edited to become "Horrors" (and edited further for UEN-TV viewers), though it retains much of the wah-wah-wah music of the original.

The Science

Sylvia Torti

Sylvia TortiSylvia Torti, biologist, writer and manager of the University of Utah's Rio Mesa Center, discusses field research and the film "Horrors of Spider Island".


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