Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Horrors of Spider Island (1960)

Poster for Horrors of Spider Island (1960)Horrors of Spider Island (1960) by #FritzBöttger
w/#HaraldMaresch #HelgaFranck #DorotheeParker #BarbaraValentin

“Seven showgirls crashed on a diabolical island and fought passionately for the ultimate prize… A MAN!!”

“One bite from a giant spider turned him into THE WORLD’S MOST HIDEOUS MONSTER with a diabolical lust to KILL!”


What can one say about Horrors of Spider Island (1960)? It’s a notorious bad movie, and has been featured on several programs that specialize in showing (and sometimes poking fun at) bad movies. I think it’s fair to say that it is a perfect example of a type of movie sometimes referred to as “so bad it’s good.”

I did not see Horrors of Spider Island when I was young. It was not, to the best of my knowledge, featured on Not Quite Classic Theatre. I watched it for the first time a few years ago, but didn’t remember too much about it until I screened again last week. And oh my god, I loved it! It’s the kind of movie that would have inspired me to write a musical adaptation of it back in the 1990s. It’s even about dancers! And the opening sequence of the movie shows them auditioning for the chance to go on tour to Singapore. A perfect opening number for a musical, if I do say so myself.

Alas, I seem to be out of that business, at least for the time being. Which could be why I feel so comfortable talking about this idea here, where anyone could steal it – I mean, take inspiration from my words and decide to do their own adaptation of Horrors of Spider Island.

Horrors of Spider Island is a German movie, shot partly in Yugoslavia. Apparently, it was originally released in the United States in 1962, as an Adults-Only movie called “It’s Hot in Paradise.” Then in 1965, they cut out the nude scenes and re-released it as the classic bad monster movie that we all know and love today. I still haven’t seen the Adults Only version, but I understand that Severin has released a Blu-ray with both cuts of the film on it (as well as some other nice extras). so I may well be ordering that sometime on the future.

Horrors of Spider Island (1960) is a minor masterpiece of #NotQuiteClassicCinema that begs to be watched again and again. I look forward to doing that, as well as checking out the Adults Only version on some future #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.