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Film: Horrors of Spider Island
(The) Horrors of Spider Island is a 1961 exploitation film.

A troupe of dancers is assembled in New York City for a special performance in Singapore. Unfortunately, their plane crashes and the survivors (the troupe plus their manager Gary and his assistant Georgia) become castaways on an island. A little exploration reveals that the island used to be the home of a scientist mining for uranium, before he was killed by spiders. One night Gary gets bitten by a spider and turns into a spider-monster, stalking his former friends and killing them.

The film was a German flick, but represented an interesting midpoint in cinema between the traditional horror film and the nudie cuties that would pop up in the early-to-mid 60's that would lead to the eventual creation of the MPAA ratings.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.

Horrors of Spider Island contains the following tropes:

  • All Women Are Lustful: The ladies are stranded on an island, one of the only competent members of their group has gone missing, and the food's running out. When two average-looking men show up, you'd think the ladies would have bigger concerns than seducing them, but, well...
    • The guys do bring food and supplies with them (they were resupplying the scientist who lived on the island), but forgetting about their missing friends is harder to justify.
    • As Mike and the bots proved, when you're in a plane crash, you instantly become languid, helpless, and sex-starved, and you murmur a lot.
  • As You Know
  • Bat Deduction: When the other women find the body of Linda, the stripper, they find marks on her neck that indicate she's been strangled and immediately come to the conclusion that "the spider" had done it. Despite the fact that spiders poison their prey, not strangle them.
    • The spider did try to strangle Gary, but they had no way of knowing that the spider is a strangling spider.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The women start going barefoot all the time not long after crashing on the island.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A man bitten by a radioactive spider turns into some sort of..."spider-man?"
    • Actually predates Spider-Man by a few years. Maybe Stan Lee saw this movie and was inspired?
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Joe and Anne. It starts with him saying he's glad her plane crashed (so he could meet her), and, well, if this movie were more competently written it would get worse, but the bit ends rather lamely.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Plenty of easy ways to get killed by spiders by remaining unaware of surroundings.
  • Fanservice: There's lots of scantily clad women in this movie. However, in the bathing scene, they wear light-colored body stockings. So they're nude, but they're not!
    • The auditions themselves have the girls showing off their legs and getting nearly naked.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: At the plane crash. Though the title is about the Horrors of Spider Island, the first 10-15 minutes are nothing like a horror movie plot at all.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Just being vaguely near uranium deposits is enough to make spiders into giant mutants.
  • Immodest Orgasm: The moans from the sun-stricken dancers sounds... erotic. Lampshaded and deconstructed by Mike and the 'bots.
  • Kill It with Fire: They somehow deduce that spider-Gary can only be destroyed with fire, so they drive him into quicksand by brandishing torches.
  • LEGO Genetics: They don't even bother to explain how or why radiation makes spiders mutate, or why their bites turn you into a werespider. Other than uranium deposits being nearby, and that's barely a Hand Wave.
  • Love at First Sight: Minutes after her first meeting with Bob (which involved him grabbing her while she was skinny-dipping), Gladys begins to consider marrying him.
  • Misogyny: Overt, condescending and smug about it.
  • Monster Misogyny: Kind of hard to avoid when the only two other guys come to the island in the last third of the film - and Gary is the first victim.
    • The Professor is the first victim in an offscreen death.
  • Mood Whiplash: The girls escape the island to some easy-going music, then "THE END" abruptly appears on a black screen, accompanied by a creepy, dissonant music cue.
  • No Ending: Well, sort of. There's a shot of the girls leaving the island on a boat, then the film just... stops.
    Tom: So, you want to end your movie that way, huh? Okay, get bent, we're outta here.
  • No, Except Yes: "There's absolutely no reason yet to fear the worst. Until now, we only know that the plane caught fire and we've lost radio contact."
  • Official Couple: Gary was closer to Georgia than a boss and secretary normally are until Gary got spiderized.
  • Offscreen Crash: The plane crash. One moment the plane is coming down, a few ocean scenes later they're all on the raft.
  • Plot Armor: The only way that only the females and the talent agent were able to survive the flaming, nose-down, off screen plane crash - with nary a scratch, while the pilot, and any other crew or passengers don't survive.
  • Quicksand Sucks
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Two of the dancers seem to have this going on.
  • The Scourge of God: Spider-Gary's first victim is the lone stripper of the group, who previously threw herself at Gary and only managed to get slapped by an angry Georgia.
  • Sexophone: Heard whenever one of the dancers acts sexy, even when she's by herself.
  • Show Some Leg: The Movie. During the odd auditions for dancers, it's the first thing Gary asks of the first dancer. Which gets her a job. Something tells us that he's not hiring dancers to go to Singapore. The one classically trained dancer gets turned away.
    • To be fair, how many dowdy ballerinas would you hire as erotic dancers? Joe even tells her that there are other jobs he has in mind for her.
  • Smart Ball: When the group finds a hammer, Gary correctly says that since it's got a long handle it's a mining hammer, probably used for mining radioactive elements like uranium.
  • Soft Water: Because it's easy to survive a plane falling nose-first into water, uninjured.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Fire?: The only thing Spider!Gary shows any fear towards is fire. The second a torch is lit, he flees in terror.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Linda strips to her unmentionables during her "audition" as a "dancer".

His Girl FridayPublic Domain Feature FilmsHouse on Haunted Hill (1959)
The Guns of NavaroneFilms of the 1960sThe Hustler
The Horror of Party BeachMystery Science Index 3000 The Human Duplicators
The Horror of Party BeachHorror FilmsHorsemen

alternative title(s): Horrors Of Spider Island
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