Saturday, September 1, 2012

L'ISOLA DEGLI UOMINI PESCE - Luciano Michelini - "Island Of The Fishmen" (1979)

Here's the thing I like about "Island Of The Fishmen," it's a genuine monster movie!! Is it the best movie ever made? Hell no, but since when did that bother anybody around here?

Claudio (The Mountain of the Cannibal God) Cassinelli is Dr. Lt. Claude de Ross! He was in charge of a bunch of prisoners, but after a storm, he ended up on this beautiful beach in Cala Luna, Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy, I mean on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere! Doesn't really seem like such a bad deal!

Claude soon meets back up with the surviving prisoners and they have a run-in with the locals, Richard ('Bulldog' Drummond) Johnson as the island Boss Edmond Rackham, Beryl (VOODOO BLOOD DEATH) Cunningham as Shakira (That's right, Sharika!), and the quite lovely Barbara (Ringo Starr's wife) Bach as Amanda Marvin, even though she's introduced here in a bit of deceit as Edmond Rackham's wife!

The rest of the local populace is fleshed out by this group of guys and their women, and they are over the top loyal to all of Edmond Rackham's wishes and desires!

Well, after almost all of his men disappear, it doesn't take Dr. Claude very long at all to figure out there's something fishy going on around here!

For a quarter, the Boss takes Dr. Claude on a little underwater tour, and shows him the lost city of Atlantis, and explains to him that the fish people are the citizens of Atlantis who have evolved over the years, and now he has them working for him gathering up lost treasure before the island, just like almost all islands in the movies, explodes in one last fiery outburst of volcanic fury!

"The Island Of The Fishmen" was directed by Sergio (ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK, THE MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD) Martino! You've got to admit it's good to see some rubber suits being put to good use again!! The creator of the Fishmen monsters was Massimo Antonello (CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, CONTAMINATION, EATEN ALIVE, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST) Geleng!!

Dr. Claude then discovers the truth when he finds one of his prisoner buddies, Franco (BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE) Iavarone as Jose, being transmuted into one the fish guys! Pretty grisly! It's not evolution, it's mad science!!

Veteran actor Joseph (CITIZEN KANE, FROM EARTH TO THE MOON) Cotton has the role of mad doctor professor Ernest Marvin, the poor misunderstood bastard who thinks he's going save mankind! Indeed Barbara Bach's character is actually his daughter, not the Boss's wife, and also the only one who can really communicate with the fish fellows!

The wild music throughout this film was created by Luciano (The Black Decameron, The Suspicious Death Of A Minor) Michelini! During one of the chase scenes, it sounds like the guitarist's distortion pedal is totally out of control and might have a mind of it's own!

I thought this was going to be the turning point in the movie, when the Boss shoots Shakira and a couple of the other gals, but the native guys stand by their Boss no matter what, and their allegiance is steadfast even if there are no more women on the island!

In this claustrophobic scene towards the end, the Boss seals up Dr. Claude in this tank, turns the water on, and leaves him to die! I won't bother telling you how he escapes, because I found it exceptionally stoopid! Sadly, in 1985, Claudio Cassinelli died at the age of 46 during the filming of another Sergio Martino film, "Hands Of Steel" when a helicopter he was riding in crashed!

The Boss takes a second kick to the nuts, but keeps on ticking! Richard Johnson had an obvious stand in for some of the fight scenes, but it looks like Barbara did most of her own stunts! These cave scenes were shot in the Bronson Caves in Griffith Park in Los Angeles! The Bronson Caves have been used in almost 150 movies dating all the way back to the 1930's that include many titles featured here like "The Monster And The Ape," "Man Beast," "The Cape Canaveral Monsters," "The Madmen of Mandoras," "Dimension 5," "The Cyclops" etc etc.

Just when you thought it was over, The Boss makes one last effort to even the odds in his favor, but fails miserably once again, gets tossed overboard, and meets the "Fish Man Labor Union" headfirst! Unfortunately for him, they still had quite a few unresolved issues!

Will Dr. Claude and Amanda make it to dry land, or will they be the last victims of those murdering creatures? Try Netflix if you want to find out!!

This splash page has absolutely nothing to do with this film at all, but it makes great wallpaper!

Ay Yi Yi!!! "L'Isola Degli Uomini Pesce" was also released under the title of "Screamers" which also makes no apparent sense at all!

I'll leave you with this cool production still of Barbara with a couple of the creatures! It would have been a lot more fun if she was smiling, but oh well! See you on Wednesday with more weirdness!!


zillagord said...

i love the blurb on the poster (almost too small to read) that says "Be Warned: You will actually see a man turned inside out". amazingly, this never happens. ah, exploitation!

this one takes a lot of tartar sauce to choke down, folks.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Yeah, you might need some wasabi too!!

Anonymous said...

Roger Corman took "Fishmen" and had a new opening sequence added, so that it could be advertised as SCREAMERS with that stupid poster and the tag line "You'll see a man turned inside out!" The LIAR! He was wrrronnnnnggg!

I saw this cinematic hot mess in the early '80s in a packed multiplex in San Jose with a no-longer-among-the-living pal of mine, and we laughed so hard we were coughing popcorn and shooting soda out our nostrils!

I think the experience ended up inspiring him to go to Hollyweird to become a makeup effects guy on several crappy b- (or z-) movies. I know it sure didn't inspire him to complete making a creature for a film of mine! "Here! I'm done with this! Going to LA! BUH-BYE!" Monster-makers! PFFFT! :|

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