The plot follows a scientific expedition trapped on a remote island inhabited by atomically mutated giant crabs. It was distributed as the main feature on a programmed double-bill with Corman’s Not of This Earth.
A group of scientists land on a remote island in the Pacific to search for a previous expedition that disappeared and to continue research about the effects of radiation from the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests on the island’s plant and sea life. They learn to their horror that the earlier group of scientists have been eaten by mutated giant crabs that have gained intelligence by absorbing the minds of their victims.
Members of the current expedition are systematically attacked and killed by the crabs, which are invulnerable to most weaponry because of the mutation in their cell structure. Finally, they discover the crabs are the cause of the earthquakes and landslides that are destroying the island. As the remaining expedition members struggle to survive on the ever-shrinking island, they must also find a way to stop the crabs before they reproduce…
“Unlike practically everything else of its time and type, it makes a good-faith effort to be scary, and Corman demonstrates a great deal of imagination in finding shortcuts and work-arounds to make up for the money he didn’t have. It’s a pretty audacious move trying to make a film involving a disintegrating island on a $70,000 budget…” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
“There are a number of surprising, scary, and freaky moments. There are enticing underwater shots of fish and manta rays. There are numerous quotable lines, some purposely funny and others unconsciously so.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“Strictly in the shrimp league, yet by being shoddy and laughable Corman creates and entertaining framework with Charles Griffith’s script. A charming niaveté is at work as monsters gobble up characters (some scenes are gruesome)…” John Stanley, Creature Features
The movie shows its low budget, particularly in the crabs themselves, which are highly unconvincing. But it certainly moves at a cracking pace.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook
How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime by Roger Corman with Jim Jerome, Da Capo Press, New York, USA, 1998
The Films of Roger Corman by Alan Frank, Batsford , London, 1998
“The crab was built by a Hollywood special effects firm and looked quite realistic. It stretched about fifteen feet and was held together with wires. Ed Nelson, who went on to star in TV’s Peyton Place, made his acting debut inside the monster.” Roger Corman