February 8, 2017

The Horrors of Spider Island

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What happens when a group of dancers and their beefy employer end up on a deserted island that may or may not contain giant radioactive spiders?

No, it's not the latest Spider-man reboot. It's the 1962 film The Horrors of Spider Island!

Derek picked this week's movie, and it is a doozy; a big dumb guy, his much smarter assistant, several leggy dancers, a giant spider, some dancing, and a lot of women wrestling around in their underpants. Alexander D'Arcy is Gary, a promoter of some kind who is looking to hire some lady dancers for a show in Singapore. To that end, he and his assistant, Georgia (Helga Franck), go see talent agent Mike (Walter Faber, who looks like a young Roy Orbison), who has lined up a number of women to audition for them.

What follows is an excessively long scene where woman after woman is brought in to be displayed (and occasionally made to dance) for Gary, who has a complicated and stupid method of letting Georgia know which girls he wants without having to use any inconvenient words.

Babs and Mike: Theirs was a forbidden love.
Once the troupe is chosen (including Helga Neuner as Ann, Dorothee Parker as Gladys, Eva Schauland as Nelly, Barbara Valentine as Babs, and...actually, you know what? It doesn't matter; they're all pretty interchangeable, with the exception of Babs, who kind of stands out in a crowd), they head out to what they think is going to be a nice, long working vacation. What actually happens, though, is a laughably ridiculous plane crash that lands them on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Adrift for at least one day, the women bicker about water rations, while Gary spouts pointless gibberish to make himself appear smarter than he actually is.

When one of the girls spots land, they paddle their way to what appears to be a deserted island. When they arrive, they all pile out of the boat and languish on the beach while Gary takes a look around. Somehow, the big lunkhead stumbles (literally) across a freshwater spring, and he calls to the girls, who come rushing over to get all wet and make murmuring noises while Gary slurps the water noisily.

A further search inland reveals a cabin, and upon investigation, they find a dead man hanging in a giant spiderweb. The women, because this is 1962, are frightened and run away, except for Georgia. She and Gary bury the old man and set up a place for all of them to sleep. The women come around after that so the can rummage through the old guy's clothes and other personal belongings, picking out things with which to make new skimpy outfits.

He died how he lived--DANCING!
When the night falls, one of the girls--let's call her May(?)--tries to play some tonsil hockey with Gary, who doesn't appear too upset about it until Georgia catches him in the act. All of a sudden, he's overcome by the heat on the island and claims to not know what he is doing. (Yeah, we've all tried that one. It doesn't work.) Gary lumbers off into the night to frighten small animals, while Georgia stays behind and roughs up May(?).

While lurching aimlessly through the forest, Gary is, in fact, bitten by a spider, shoots it, and immediately transforms into what looks like a homemade werewolf mask made from household items by someone who has only ever had a werewolf described to them. We think he was supposed to be some kind of spider-mutant.

West-siiiiiiide!
The women search for Gary, with the exception of May(?), whom Georgia tells to stay at the cabin in case Gary comes back, and to put things in order. Gary does come back, but it's not the cheerful hugfest you might expect. Instead, he strangles May (?) and drops her lifeless body into what appears to be the outhouse runoff stream. When the women come back, they find her body and bury her.

Things settle down for a while, and the women do what every single man out there assumes women do when the men aren't around: skinny-dipping, making clothes, doing dishes, cleaning. When one of the women (let's say...Linda) is taken from the pond where they were swimming, the others find her gettin' busy in the long grass with Bobby, one of the people who worked with the old guy that was found dead in the cabin. Bobby's partner, Joe (Temple Foster), is also rambling around, and he arrives just in time to help the women throw a sexy dance party because these bozos found them and are willing to give them a lift back to civilization.

But  we don't have to, like, pretend we know you,do we?
Much dancing, drinking, and debauchery ensues, and Linda(?) announces that she wants to marry Bobby when they get home. Naturally, this is a show of weakness to the other women, who immediately try to bag Bobby before he gets too into the idea of monogamy. The only one to come close is Babs, who could probably squeeze the life out of Bobby with one gigantic hand, but she decides against it when Gary comes back and tries to murder more of them.

Will Bobby and Joe save the "helpless" women (who have now been on the island a month with a murderous monster stalking them, yet have only lost one up to that point)? Or will Babs punch Gary to death because he committed a party foul by knocking over her brewski? Will they get off the island to resume their more normal and less spidery lives? What happened to Joe the agent? Tune in to find out! (Except that last one. Joe only turns up in one more scene and then disappears for the rest of the movie.)

Will Gary get the dental work he is sorely in need of?
Derek picked this one, and he does not regret it one little bit. He also has a weird obsession with Babs that the others find somewhat unnerving. He doesn't care. He also wishes Joe was in the movie more.

Larry likens this movie to a school bus accident; it's horrible, but impossible not to look at. He finds Babs interesting, but not nearly on the level that Derek does. What's with that guy?

Jake is the only one who found anything approaching actual "art" in this movie, although it is relatively easy to miss. He also lays down groud rules for a drinking game based on the movie. It sounds really dangerous.

So put on your best stockings and garters, wrestle in your underwear, and listen to this week's episode!