Horrors of Spider Island aka It’s Hot in Paradise – West Germany, 1960

‘Blood-curdling! Hair-raising! Spine-chilling!’

Ein Toter hing im Netz (‘A Corpse Hung in the Web’) is a 1960 West German science fiction horror cheesecake feature film directed by Fritz Böttger and produced by Wolf C. Hartwig (The HeadDead Sexy, Bloody Moon).

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The film was dubbed and released in the United States by Pacemaker Pictures as an adults-only feature titled It’s Hot in Paradise (sometimes advertised as just Hot in Paradise) in March 1962.

It was later re-issued by Pacemaker in November 1965 in a 75 minute edited ‘horror’ version titled Horrors of Spider Island. It was also apparently released in the United States as The Spider’s Web and Girls of Spider Island

Pacemaker Pictures specialised in releasing European imported movies, bolstered by their lurid ad campaigns, such as The Slaughter of the Vampires, Terror Creatures from the Grave and Bloody Pit of Horror.

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Reviews:

“While watchable even in its shortest version, Horrors of Spider Island becomes a delirious experience with the added nude swimming footage. The atrocious dubbing contains some of the more quotable one-liners around, while D’Arcy’s weird but decidedly non-threatening monster makes up for the decided lack of actual arachnids on screen.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

‘Horrors of Spider Island is actually amusingly bad for a brief while, especially when Webster is holding auditions for the gals before they plunge into the Pacific in a cheaply-conceived plane crash that consists of stock footage and over-acted reaction shots from the cast. Even when they make it aboard the island, the film shows a little bit of promise’. Oh, the Horror!

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“The close-ups of his face are scary, but the editing is awful and the whole movie is confusing.” Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide

“…garter-belt fetishists are going to be in heaven nearly from start to finish. Of course, great lovers of crappy monster makeup are going to be in heaven, too, even though the were-spider doesn’t get as much screen-time as I would have liked. Indeed, with the were-spider and its little hand-puppet monkey-bug friends on the one hand, and all the lifted skirts and shimmying hips on the other, Horrors of Spider Island would have easily scored enough points to qualify it as a minor classic of trash.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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Horrors of Spider Island gets more wrong than right, which means it’s an average grindhouse flick. The biggest problem with this film is there’s not enough nudity for a decent exploitation movie and not enough horror for a good creature feature. So, it’s more sizzle than steak. But, I ask you: Isn’t that what the grindhouse was all about?” TheronNeel.com

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“The producers were clearly aiming for nothing more than unabashed unashamed exploitation. They did a great job! The spider makeup covers only the guy’s hands and face, but it looks both real and scary […] The spider resembles those of Cat-Women of the Moon or Missile to the Moon, but it’s smaller and has an evil face.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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‘It’s Hot in Paradise makes more sense as a title. The horror is just a distraction, this entire film is about getting trapped on a desert island with a bunch of young dancing girls like buxom Barbara Valentin to flesh out a wild orgy. In other words the entire point of the film is what was cut out of it for this version’. Apocalypse Later

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“It has buxom Teutonic babes in (slightly) skimpy swimwear lounging around being all sexy and occasionally getting into hair-pulling girl-fights, it has hunky men looking for love in all the wrong bikini bottoms, and it has a tropical setting full of azure lagoons and cozy beachside cabins. And for some inexplicable reason it also has horrible mutant killer spider-people-thingies who want to murder them all and eat their flesh!”  Million Monkey Theater

Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art! | Todos el Terror del Mundo

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Categories: 1960s, creature feature, German, jungle, monster movie, spider, worst films ever made

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