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

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Dangerous tentacle of silicate
ISLAND OF TERROR (1966). Director: Terence Fisher.

When the body of a man is discovered with all of his insides somehow sucked out on an isolated island, Dr. Brian Stanley (Peter Cushing) and Dr. David West (Edward Judd of First Men in the Moon) are called in for consultation by the local constable, John Harris (Sam Kydd). There the two men discover more dessicated corpses, and learn that researchers attempting to create living matter to counteract cancer cells only succeeded in creating silicon-based tentacled creatures ["silicates"] that feed on humans and animals by leeching away bone via osmosis. While the monsters themselves aren't the most frightening things in the world, Island of Terror is still quite creepy, has good performances from the leads, Kydd, and Carole Gray [Curse of the Fly] as West's plucky date, and offers some fairly unusual beasties in the bargain. There are a couple of illogical moments, such as when one character takes an axe to another's arm instead of chopping at the tentacle that ensnared it, and the idea of herding everyone on the island into one place so the monsters can congregate and feed on them is also a boner, especially when they've already herded some animals together for that purpose. Cushing is as marvelous as ever.

Verdict: Fun monster movie despite some dumb moments. ***.

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