Movie Review: Island of Terror (1966)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1966 horror movie starring Peter Cushing and Carole Gray.

Synopsis: A cancer research experiment goes wrong and results in the creation of seemingly indestructible bone-eating creatures, endangering everyone living on a remote island. With no way to escape and the creatures multiplying at a frightening rate, a team of scientists must figure out a way to destroy them before the monsters kill every other living thing.

Who's in it?

Island of Terror [VHS]

A scientist searching for a cure for cancer unleashes deadly bone-eating monsters on a tiny Irish island.

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A Good Classic Horror Film

I told my daughter I would watch a movie with her last night after school/work and, when I let her pick the movie, this was the film she chose. Since I hadn’t seen it before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it. However, as it turns out, it was actually a pretty interesting and somewhat creepy movie.

I will start out by warning you this movie is much more graphic than many other horror movies from this era. I’m pretty much desensitized now but there were scenes in this film that had even me feeling a little squeamish. There wasn’t anything that left me feeling this movie wasn’t suitable for my 10-year-old daughter. But, it was a little more intense than either of us expected.

The thing I really liked about this movie is it put the characters in a pretty hopeless situation. The island was isolated and the only way off was by ferry or helicopter, neither of which was readily available. To make matters worse, the creatures multiplied whenever they ate (and they were constantly eating) and nothing seemed to hurt them. In fact, the only thing the island residents had going for them was the fact the creatures weren’t very fast.

The special effects in this movie weren’t anything that I would consider overly impressive (the creatures reminded me of something I would expect to see in a classic “Doctor Who” episode). However, given the year this movie was made, I did think they were decent enough. And, as I said before, while some of the worst scenes (such as the creatures sucking the bones out of a herd of cattle) were conveniently kept off screen, there was just enough shown to make the alien-like creatures creepy (especially with that annoying noise they made).

Probably my only real complaint about this movie is I wasn’t a big fan of Gray’s character. She was obviously brought in as eye candy, which is OK. However, she really didn’t seem to have much of a purpose when it came to the overall plot, other than to being the weak female the strong men had to protect (something that has always been a big pet peeve of mine when it comes to movies like this).

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Final Opinion

If someone were to remake this film with modern-day special effects, I would probably take the time to see it at the theater. However, as it stands, the 1966 version is definitely a movie that is worth watching if you like classic horror films.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 01/12/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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