Island of Terror (Night of the Silicates) (The Creepers) Reviews
Were did their bones go? :O
Minor science fiction from a minor production company (Planet Films never were much of a threat to Hammer). I think the "Island" of the title must be Craggy Island (everyone's Irish and the inn serves only Guinness). The Silicates look pretty good at a distance - if you squint - but close up, they're quite ...paper-mache (the bit where one of them jumps on a guy from a tree branch is a hoot).
The character played by Carole Gray (of Curse Of The Fly) isn't exactly a strong female (more of a whinging bastard, actually); her 'romance' (she's a really crap screen kisser - about as passionate as kissing a brick wall ...or a Blarney Stone, perhaps) with Edward Judd seems totally inappropriate, thank you (or at least crowbarred in).
Cushing's usual grounded performance gives the whole thing a respectability it probably doesn't deserve. But hey - Peter Cushing? Terence Fisher? Need I say more? "No" is the answer.
Starring: Edward Judd, Peter Cushing, and Carole Gray
Director: Terence Fisher
Bone specialist Dr. David West (Judd) and patheologist Dr. Brian Stanley (Cushing) travel to a remote island off the coast of England to help stem an outbreak of a strange disease that seems to be dissolving the very bones of animals and island residents. The soon discover that the island is about to be overrun by gigantic, mobile, mutated cells that survive by sucking calcium and other minerals from their victims. Will the scientists find a to destroy the seemingly indestructable, rapidly multiplying monsters before they kill everything on the island... and then spread to the rest of the world? More importantly, will the lovely Toni (Gray) slap Dr. Stanley for his heavy-handed flirtatious comments?
"Island of Terror" is a GREAT monster movie with a fabulous setting and a cast that deliver excellent performances. The movie starts creepy, builts tension steadily, and ends up with an exciting climax where survivors are crammed into a single building for a desperate last stand. It is a classic in every sense of the word, from the Golden Age of sci-fi in at the cinema.
I've heard this film compared to the original "Dr. Who" series, both in a favorable and a disparaging sense. I tend to think the comparison is accurate, particularly of the John Pertwee and Tom Baker years. The monsters bear some resemblence in design to many of those we saw on "Dr. Who" (and perhaps they may seem laughable to the "sophisticated" viewer in the 21st century) and the setting, nature, and development of the story is likewise similar to the stories featured on the TV show. However, "Island of Terror" is much better paced, far better acted, and far better filmed than any "Dr. Who" storyline. (I also suspect that a couple of people who have made such comments have had limited exposure to British sci-fi from the 50s and 60s... and so perhaps everything would remind them of "Dr. Who.")
If you like monster movies and classic sci-fi films, you owe it to yourself to check out "Island of Terror." Another reason to see it is Peter Cushing's performance. He gets to show off his more comedic side, as his character of Dr. Stanley is a loveable joker who is always playfully hitting on his collegues fiance, Toni.