Spineless, Amongst Other Things
On a remote island, with a small community, Constable John Harris (Sam Kydd) and Dr. Landers (Eddie Byrne) are at a loss when they come across a body devoid of bone. Calling in the experts in the form of pathologist Dr. Stanley (Peter Cushing) and David West (Edward Judd), a specialist in bone disease, as well as his girlfriend Toni Merril (Carole Gray) they discover that renowned cancer expert Dr. Lawrence Phillips (Peter Forbes-Robertson) has been doing experiments at a lab on the island. But with Phillips and his colleagues having also fallen victim of what ever this is the men discover that an experiment to create an organism to attack cancer went wrong and instead bone eating organisms are roaming the island.
With Terence Fisher behind the camera and Peter Cushing in front, it would be understandable if anyone thought that "Island of Terror" was a Hammer studios movie as it certainly has a similar feel to it. But nope "Island of Terror" is a Planet Film Productions movie, a company which made just 5 movies during the 50s and 60s and I mention it almost because there isn't a great deal else to say about "Island of Terror" as the whole set up is a familiar one if you have watched movies such as "The Blob" and "The Day of the Triffids".
As such what we have going on in "Island of Terror" is initially the mystery of what is going on, as in why are there some dodgy looking rubber bodies with no skeletons lying around. Then there is the horror of these organisms attacking the local population with the added horror of what happens if they were to get off the island. And of course the good doctors trying to destroy them for ever. It is simply such a typical set up that the only way I can imagine it ever being truly attention grabbing is if you have never watched another horror movie.
Sadly when a movie like "Island of Terror" is made it really needs to suck you in so that when something happens it causes you to shudder. For example when Toni screams because one of these things slides down the window of the car she is in alone, the horror of that is meant to be enough, but sadly it isn't. And sadly even when you take in to account the movies age the actual sight of not only the rubber bodies but also these organisms which divide with what looks like spaghetti in sugar syrup oozing from them is more comical than scary.
What this boils down to is that "Island of Terror" ends up a familiar movie which uses the small community under threat from a dangerous organism storyline. About the only thing different about the movie and a surprise is that despite having the feel of a Hammer Studios movie it isn't.