BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW: Shout! Factory’s Island of Terror (1966)

On a tiny island off the coast of Ireland, a new breed of terror is unleashed. In his quest to find a cure for cancer, a research scientist conducts an experiment involving mutated cells. But this attempt to benefit humanity becomes a nightmare that threatens the entire human race.

The tranquil island is suddenly rocked by the mysterious death of a local farmer. When he is found in a cave, not a trace of bone left in his body, he has been reduced to a horrible, shapeless mass. Enter eminent pathologist Dr. Brian Stanley (horror icon Peter Cushing, Brides of Dracula, The Gorgon) and Dr. David West (Edward Judd, First Men in the Moon), a brilliant bone specialist. Working together in a desperate race against time, they must find a way to destroy the seemingly indestructible, ever multiplying horde of bone-eating creatures before the mutant monsters kill everyone on the island and spread like a deadly plague across the entire planet! This chilling horror film is directed by the talented Hammer Films veteran director Terence Fisher (HORROR OF DRACULA, THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY).

I only vaguely remember seeing this film as a child. It wasn’t until I saw the silicates, the name given to the creatures, did I remember it. Re-watching this recently brought me back in time, making me realize that Saturday nights were made for films like this. When I was growing up in the 1970s you could always find films like this playing on one channel or another. This is a very polished film with great performers, a lot of atmosphere, and fun special effects.

The special effects include the creatures themselves, bodies who have had their bones sucked out, and a gory scene of Peter Cushing’s character getting his hand chopped off by an ax. The scenes of the silicates dividing are also pretty disturbing, but in a good way.

The movie itself has never looked better. The colors are rich and even dark scenes look great. Though this is a threadbare release, it is the best way to see this classic film. The only extras are film commentary by film historian Dr. Robert J. Kiss and blogger/actor Rick Pruitt. There is also a still gallery and theatrical trailer. It is possible though that there just may have not been a lot of material available. The cover of the Blu-ray is also reversable so that you have two choices for how your copy will look.

I strongly recommend this Shout! Factory release. It is well worth the money and it is a film you will watch over and over. To get your own copy, just click HERE!

I hope you enjoyed this review. Don’t forget to read the other blogs in my BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW series.

~David Albaugh

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