Horrors of Spider Island (1967)

A bunch of dancers and their possibly sleazy manager, Gary, are on their way to Singapore (to dance I guess) when a toy plane is violently torn asunder and they find themselves drifting on the open sea. The good news is they are saved when they happen upon an island. The bad news is the island is filled with spiders (just a couple actually) and horrors (actually just one). Thus the title, Horrors of Spider Island!

Later on, a couple of researchers also show up and the movie momentarily becomes some crazy teenagers dancing on the beach in the darkness movie. Not for long though, because there is a monster- a hideous half man, half spider beast (a veritable Spider-Man!)- stalking everyone. Plus the spiders (though they are not much of a problem after the first half of the movie).

I have not seen a lot of these 1950s/1960s black and white pop horror/scifi movies, so I cannot compare it to others and I apologize for that. I can tell you that this movie was surprisingly entertaining for about the first half, but then it dragged on for the second half. Like seemingly a lot of pop horror/sci fi movies from this period, the film is short at under 90 minutes but you wouldn't realize it for the pacing.

It's almost like two movies were smooshed together. The first half is a decent "bunch of people who don't like each other stuck in an awful situation" movie, but then the scientist hunks show up and the girls are basically just making out on the beach or screaming and fainting all over the place. Too bad, if they had maintained the tension from the first half of the movie this would have been a great little thriller.

My sources ("the internet") tell me this was originally a nudie flick from Germany. Of course the version I saw was the US release, which has all the good stuff cut out, though you do still get a catfights between girls in skirts and even some stripping down to bathing suits, which I imagine must have just caused massive swooning in the aisles back in puritanical 1967 USA.


The Driller Killer (1979)

The Driller Killer is the story of Reno, a starving artist, his girlfriend Carol, and her girlfriend Pamela. The three are on the verge of being kicked out of their grimy, dark Manhattan apartment since they are behind in their rent. In order to make some money, Reno has been working on a painting for an art dealer named Dalton.

Shortly after our story begins, Tony Coca-Cola and the Roosters, a punk rock band, move in to the same building. Thanks to their constant practicing Reno is unable to concentrate on his work and thus we arrive at the actual drilling killing.

It's probably no great surprise that The Driller Killer is in fact Reno (the movie sure doesn't try to hide this). So this is not your typical mystery slasher movie. It's a lot more like Combat Shock or maybe American Psycho, where rather than trying to figure out who the killer is, you just spend the whole movie watching the the lead character going insane. Less Nailgun Massacre and more Naked Massacre. In this movie the change is pretty sudden. In one scene Reno is working on his painting of the majestic buffalo, in the next he is drilling hobos to death in alleyways.

This movie actually has a lot in common with Combat Shock. You've got your absolutely filthy New York, swarming with gangs and violence and crazy homeless people. Was New York ever this awful? Who knows? Probably. But I do know this depiction makes for some skin-crawling gritty viewing and is extremely effective. NY is a character in this movie, just as much as Reno is or anyone else. In fact, it is probably the main character as I can't see this movie being pulled off anywhere else. Just like how Troll 2 could not take place in any other town other than Nilbog, kingdom of the Goblins. Well, I guess it probably could have taken place in Llort, kingdom of the trolls. That probably would have been more accurate.

So while The Driller Killer does not take place in Rellik Rellird, the kingdom of the Driller Killers, Manhattan is a good choice I guess. This is all helped by the dialog which is often terrible, but in a realistic way. I have read that it was all improvised, which explains a lot.

But you really have to be able to appreciate this gritty "NY as a character" thing, or you will probably not get much out of this movie. It is surprisingly not explicit, especially considering how it was banned in the UK back in the 80s. Sure, there is drilling (and killing), and yeah blood goes all over the place, but it could have been much worse. So I have to admit that The Driller Killer shows a lot of restraint, surprising considering the lurid title. Regardless of the sudden and unexplained lesbian shower scene, it is almost classy.


Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory (1962)

A new science teacher is hired by the titular dormitory, and then girls start being murdered by wolves, or something. Coincidence? I can't even pretend to maintain the suspension of disbelief necessary for that, mostly due to physics and stuff.

God this movie is so boring. I watched it three months ago and at the end of it I sat down to write something but couldn't muster up the motivation. I still can't, but I want to watch a movie tonight and there was the Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory DVD just sitting there, reminding me to review it and I feel like if I don't review it I can't watch something else.

Well, I decided not to review it, I will just post the title image and then talk a little bit about how I don't want to review this. I mean, Driller Killer is next in the series. What sane man would look at a Driller Killer DVD and think, "well instead I will review Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory." Not me that's for sure.

This is one of those bad black and white horror/scifi movies, the kind where nothing interesting happens, instead you have a bunch of scenes of two people in an office talking about the movie, like it's even worth discussing.

God I hated this movie.