Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


MYSTERY ON MONSTER ISLAND (1981). Director: Juan Piquer Simon.

Jeff Morgan (Ian Sera) wants to see the world before settling down, and goes on a voyage arranged by his Uncle William (Peter Cushing). But the young man winds up shipwrecked on Spencer Island with all manner of beasties, the nervous-nellie instructor Prof. Artelect (David Hatton), and a fellow named Taskinar (Terence Stamp). They encounter everything from giant steam-snorting caterpillars to crazed kelp creatures, as well as phony rubber fish men. Most of the monsters are barely mobile, but for once there's an explanation for this, which I won't give away here. Very loosely based on the novel "L'École des Robinsons" by Jules Verne. There's some charming stuff in this, including a chimp who wears men's shoes, and a good sequence when the group uses primitive weapons to fight off some invaders.

Verdict: Not quite as awful as it could have been. **1/2.

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