Blu Review – Island of the Fishmen (Full Moon Features)

Killers from the deep guard the forbidden treasure on…

Director – Sergio Martino (Torso, Hands of Steel)
Starring – Barbara Bach (Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Legend of Sea Wolf), Claudio Cassinelli (The Scorpion with Two Tails, Slave of the Cannibal Gods), and Richard Johnson (Zombie, The Haunting)
Release Date – 1979
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 2.5/5

Most people remember a movie and can be quick to pick out little details from the most random scenes. Though, I have been known to do that with specific films, I often remember movies from a different perspective. I remember what I was doing or the environment from when I first watched a film. As a nostalgic person I like to reminisce about these memories. The reason I’m talking about this is because I remember a friend of mine buying a VHS lot from someone. I can’t remember the specifics on where he got it from but I remember the movies that he got and we watched, or at least attempted to, one weekend. He snagged Dawn of the Dead, Human Target, Die Hard, a Fu Man Chu flick, and Screamers.

Sadly, Screamers and the Fu Man Chu flick didn’t work. That movie stood out to me because the tagline didn’t match the synopsis on the back. Anyway, some time passed and I completely forgot about the film until Full Moon announced that it was getting a blu release under the title The Island of the Fishmen which is the film’s original title. The movie was also released under Something Waits in the Dark, however, Full Moon went with the more fitting original title. I reached out to my friends over at MVD, who was handling the physical release, and they were kind enough to send a copy my way.

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a prison lieutenant and a handful of prisoners who find themselves stranded and an unknown island when their prison freight sinks. The island is home to an eccentric man and a woman he longs to turn into his own. He has turned the local population of primitives into his workers and they are secretly using a professor, her father, to trick a race of underwater creatures to bring them their valuables in exchange for a drug. However, greed and lust gets the best of him and soon the lieutenant is forced to fight for his life as things come to a boil. **Spoiler alert**

I know, I know. My break down of the synopsis is a bit confusing but the film is fucking wild. I would be here all day picking it apart if I wanted to do it justice. I loved it, so don’t get me wrong, but the story is so fucking absurd and wild. You truly have to see this film to appreciate how ambitious the story truly is. I commend Full Moon for giving genre fans this underrated classic.

The acting in this one is a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the wide array of characters and how the cast portrayed them. What I enjoyed most about the film is that no one out stages the other. Everyone is on the same level and which makes the scenes even more entertaining.

The story for this one is not what you would consider a straight forward horror tale. We have elements of crime, sci-fi, drama, and a light dose of romance. It really works together giving the viewer something a little different. It doesn’t really live up to the tagline for the Screamers release but we’ve all seen films that had false marketing. With that aside, I really enjoyed the horror and adventure aspect of the film and how we have a nautical terror that wasn’t a shark.

Finally, the film has a lot of campy deaths that have bright red blood and minimal effects. The creatures were a lot of fun in a late night drive-in kind of way but don’t expect a blood bath. Overall, The Island of the Fishmen is a film I never hear genre fans talk about which is a damn shame. I had a lot of fun with it and I hope other do themselves a favor and snag a copy of this from Full Moon. It’s worth every penny.

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Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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