The Island of the Fishmen (1979)


The Island of the Fishmen Storyline

After their prison ship sinks in the Caribbean, a group of prisoners and a doctor wash ashore on a seemingly deserted island. They soon discover a strange couple, who invite them to stay at their house. While the prisoners try to plan an escape, the doctor does some investigating, and soon finds out just what the pair are really doing, and why the prisoners keep disappearing mysteriously.—Jean-Marc Rocher

The Island of the Fishmen Photos

The Island of the Fishmen Torrents Download

720pbluray823.43 MBmagnet:?xt=urn:btih:85BD8500554E34392C122174040939E29CC6B076
1080pbluray1.49 GBmagnet:?xt=urn:btih:D752490A89FBDD5310476052AEFFAC74572CE9FC

The Island of the Fishmen Subtitles Download

The Island of the Fishmen Movie Reviews

… I Kind of Liked The SCREAMERS Version Better …

I finally got a chance to settle in and compare the two versions of this film currently going around — First, the good old scummy, sleazy Embassy VHS print called SCREAMERS, and then a new fully restored Italian DVD by everyone’s new favorite media company, No Shame of Italy.

The American adverts about “men turned inside out” is as everyone says, totally misleading, and indicative of a Roger Cormanized take on what otherwise would be a superior fantasy-adventure thriller for grown ups. The complete Italian version is a somewhat sprawling, well designed and deliberately paced take on “Island of Dr. Moreau”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a sumptuous, handsome Euro Horror outing with a brain, good plotting, character development, location shooting, period costuming and sets, etc.

But I must admit that the 14 year old knucklehead weed puffer still lurking somewhere inside of me got a bigger kick out of the more lurid, sleazy and unkempt Roger Corman version, which has some nice over the top gore, a flashy but preposterous opening segment, and then the bulk of Martino’s original film, albeit somewhat abridged to make room for Roger’s idea of entertainment. The pacing was somewhat quicker, the shock sequences closer together, and you see just as much of Ms. Bach’s fantastic form as you do in the extended Italian version.

I still don’t have much of an idea about what the specific story concerns though: there are a number of plot twists and incidental characters that were somewhat hard to keep track of. A local voodoo subplot didn’t help much, and it’s funny how everything culminates in just another fistfight between the noble castaway prisoner and the mad scientist … Perhaps a few more viewings are in order. I will say this: Fans of the movie should avail themselves of one of these PAL imports and take a look at what is actually a movie rather than just another murky old home video — the widescreen shot compositions once again reveal that Martino had an eye for filling his screen with interesting stuff. Nobody gets their heads ripped off like in the SCREAMERS print, but it’s still interesting stuff, and once again proof that while his standards may have been pretty much confined to the area around the gutter, Roger Corman new good trashy fun when he had it made for him, and side by side these are actually better movies than they had to be.


A fantastic mess

Guillermo del Toro often refers to Lucio Fulci as a director who “gets high on his own supply.” Me? I’d love to know whatever Sergio Martino started mainlining around 1979.

Starting with 1971’s The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, Martino cut a bloody path through the giallo genre, aided and abetted by the ultra adorable Edwige Fenech and the glaring eyes of Ivan Rassimov, amongst others. Just the titles of them make me excited: All the Colors of the Dark, Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, Torso (also known as The Bodies Bear Traces of Carnal Violence), The Suspicious Death of a Minor…these are the movies that I adore.

Sergio then started jumping genres, making movies for whatever trend was hot. Sex comedies? Try Sex with a Smile with Fenech, Barbara Bouchet and Marty Feldman. Cannibal films? Sergio made The Mountain of the Cannibal God. Nature on the loose, kinda like Jaws? Here’s The Great Alligator. Post-apocalyptic film? 2019: After the Fall of New York does that.

But then, Sergio starts getting nuttier. His movies start to combine genres into things you had no idea you wanted to see. Comedy movies with tons of cameos from soccer players like L’allenatore Nel Pallone. Hands of Steel, which combines The Terminator, The Road Warrior and arm wrestling ala Over the Top into a truly baffling cocktail. Then there’s American Tiger, a movie where a gymnast battles the forces of televangelist/warthog Donald Pleasance when he’s not pulling a rickshaw or having sex in the shower with his jeans still on.

Whatever supply Sergio started getting high on around 1978 or so, I want some of it. And I want it now. Because he takes that same lunatic zeal into this movie, which combines movies about amphibians, Atlantis and cannibals into one confusing yet arresting mess. How did you do it, Sergio?

Originally released as Isle of the Fishmen in his native Italy, this movie was acquired in the U.S. by New World Pictures. Miller Drake was hired to create a new opening for the film, which features Cameron Mitchell and Mel Ferrer looking for Atlantean treasure on an island before getting messily killed by fishmen. Retitled Something Waits in the Dark, the movie didn’t do well.

Then, Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Sorceress) recut and reedited the movie as Screamers, including a new scene where a man is turned inside out. Nearly half an hour of the Italian version of the film was chopped out to make room for the American footage in both movies.

Let’s get into it: In the year 1891, Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli, Zeus from Hercules, Murder Rock) survives two shipwrecks in a row to wash up on an uncharted island in he Caribbean. Soon, we meet the fishmen who start killing off anyone who comes near them, like the convicts Claude survived with. They run into the jungle, only to meet our villain, Edmond Rackham (Richard Johnson, Dr. Menard from Zombi).

Rackham also has Professor Ernest Marvin (Joseph Cotten!) and his daughter Amanda (Barbara Bach, future wife of Ringo Starr) captive, using the Professor’s scientific abilities to create more amphibious monsters that he can control. Turns out he’s told the Professor that these transformed humans can help save the world by creating people who can live off the ocean’s resources. Sure. Whatever.

The truth? They’ve found Atlantis and these creatures are being used to steal the treasures of that sunken continent. Also: Rackham has another army, all voodoo warriors and a priestess named Shakira who keeps reading from her prophecy of the island’s destruction.

Of course all hell is about to break loose. How couldn’t it? There are so many ingredients in this stew, it just had to boil over at some point.

This movie is completely ridiculous, which is shorthand for me saying that I loved it. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I came to this wanting to see underwater creatures kill people and I got that, plus voodoo, Atlantis and Barbara Back. Thanks Sergio!

Sergio Martino would come back to this story sixteen years later, making a sequel called The Fishmen and Their Queen. You better believe I’m tracking that down.

I have a soft spot for the fishmen

Colourful if nonsensical tale set upon an uncharted island where Richard Johnson turns in a decent performance as a mad baddie searching for the lost gold of Atlantis and Barbara Bach doesn’t do very much at all. The whole thing looks like much of it was made up as they went along with little bits of excitement every now and again to keep it going. There are some decent bits, I particularly like the home made diving bell contraption that lowers them down to peek at Atlantis and I have a soft spot for the fishmen themselves. Clearly copied from the ‘Creature From The Black Lagoon’, they are nevertheless pretty distinctive with their big fish eyes and facial colouring and especially effective when seen six or so at a time.