Horrors of Spider Island



Notes: b&w, 75 minutes.
Released in Germany in 1960 as Ein Toter hing im Netz.

Gary Webster: Alex d’Arcy
Various other people as Babs, Linda, Gladys, Georgia, Ann, May, Nelly, Kate, Bobby, Joe, Mike.

Directed: Fritz Böttger
Screenplay: Fritz Böttger & Eldon Howard

Summary: We hear sleazy music and watch women in an office waiting room for their auditions for a dance troup going to Singapore. One woman called in is asked to show her legs. Yep, she’s in. One woman actually dances, but it’s ballet. Next! A stripper starts stripping. Oh, yes, she’s in. Gary reveals afterwards that when he opens his legs he wants his assistant to reject the auditioner; crossed means yes. This is seen as hilariously clever.

The plane crashes in the ocean yet the snivelling women and Gary survive on an inflatable raft. They paddle to an island and collapse. The next morning the women get orgasmic at the discovery of water. Finding a hammer means there has to be uranium mining on the island. They find a cabin but the owner is dead in a giant spider web. A diary reveals to Gary and Georgia that this was Professor Green, now with a useless fortune in uranium, who was hearing strange hissing sounds before his death. The other women fight over clothes, though then everyone is complaining about the ostensible heat. Gary kisses the slutty Linda, blames the “damned heat” when Georgia looks at him, and runs off in the night. He is attacked by a giant goofy-looking Halloween spider, which he shoots; then he transforms into a hideous thing with three teeth.

The next morning the women split up to search for Gary. We see a claw nearly grab a woman. Back at the cabin, Linda looks in the water and sees a reflection of the Gary-monster, but too late, and he kills her.

At night there are more fights. The claws nearly get Georgia but not quite. Next we hear that 28 days have passed. A smoke signal to a boat fails. Two men arrive in a rowboat, workers for the Professor. Bob sees women swimming. The women afterwards discover the shot giant spider and some traces of Gary. The other man, Joe, is held at gunpoint but Bob comes strolling along with Gladys. The women are elated at the prospect of rescue. Even Ann from Minnesota dances provocatively. One girl and Bobby are scheduled to meet at the lagoon. There’s a lot more sleazy music, as if a blaring trumpet could sound otherwise in this context. Gladys feels betrayed by Bobby. Fame from rescue is promised. Bobby calls women “hot goods for cold nights” and fights with Joe until they both laugh. Gladys is bitchy to Babs but she says Bobby says she’s just the kind of girl he’s been “waiting” for, so she goes to him. Gladys finds Bobby bitten. A claw! Scream! She runs, pursued. There’s some rock climbing and a cliff encounter. Gladys falls to her death. Joe fights the Gary-monster. Gary stalks Georgia, but she says his name which seems to dissuade him from killing her. Joe’s sparkler also drives him off, so they all get sparklers and go hunting in the woods. Gary wanders into quicksand and sinks.

Commentary: Is it random that the slutty Linda and the sleazy Bobby are the primary murder victims (with Gladys dying after agreeing to throw herself at Bobby)?

Spider Films