Friday, October 04, 2013


Freddie and Ann are cavorting on a boat near a small island. He jumps in the water but doesn't come out; instead, the water fills with blood. Ann screams and winds up engulfed by bloody bubbles.  Meanwhile, an alcoholic actress (Rita Morley) and her younger secretary (Barbara Wilkin) hire a pilot (Byron Sanders) to fly them to Providence ahead of a storm. When the engine fails, they land on the same small island where Freddie and Ann met their fates, populated only by the rather intense Prof. Bartell (Martin Kosleck), who despite a forced smile, has a touch of the Nazi about him. Bartell offers them shelter, but the problem winds up being not the storm but the fish and human skeletons that wash up on shore. Soon they all find themselves trapped on the island when the water fills up with glowing blob creatures that feed on flesh. Turns out Bartell created these things based on Nazi experiments he witnessed. After a beatnik on a raft has his stomach eaten away, Bartell tries to destroy them by electrocution, but that just makes them all merge together into one huge monster. Will the drunk, the cute girl and the studly guy manage to escape unscathed?

For a low-budget drive-in B-movie, this isn't bad, and as usual, seeing it in widescreen helped. Kosleck, one of Hollywood's go-to actors for Nazis in the 40s and 50s—he played Goebbels at least three times, including opposite Richard Basehart's HITLER—carries the movie, though honestly, I could have used a little more scenery-chewing than he does here. Sanders is stoic but not much more; Wilkin is unmemorable; Morley does a nice job fleshing out the role of the on-the-skids actress, and she's really the only character I cared about. The effects are done on the cheap but are OK, and the giant monster near the end is quite effective. Shots of blood and the glowing creatures are a bit amateurish, but the scene of the guy with his stomach gone (pictured) is a shocker—held a bit too long but still nasty for its day. It keeps a tense atmosphere going pretty well, and the black and white camerawork is a notch above average for the genre. [DVD]

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