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Island of Terror
Directed by Terence Fisher
Produced by Tom Blakely
Written by Edward Mann
Al Ramsen
Starring Edward Judd
Peter Cushing
Carole Gray
Eddie Byrne
Music by Malcolm Lockyer
Editing by Thelma Connell
Distributed by Planet Film Distributors
Universal Studios (US)
Release date(s) 1966
Running time 89 min.
Country UK
Language English

Island of Terror (1966) is a British horror film released by Planet Film Productions. The film was released in the US by Universal Studios on a double bill with The Projected Man (1967). The idea for the film came when Richard Gordon read the screenplay The Night the Silicates Came from Gerry Fernback. He partnered with Tom Blakey of Planet Films to produce this movie.[1] It was shot in rural England using naturalistic colors. This film is one of the last significant examples of a common 1950s plot style in which a horrific threat introduced by a scientist is resolved by others using "responsible" scientific measures.[2]



On the remote Petrie's Island, farmer Ian Bellows goes missing and his wife contacts the local constabulary. Constable John Harris goes looking for him and finds him dead in a cave without a single bone in his body. Horrified, Harris swiftly fetches the town physician Dr. Reginald Landers, but Dr. Landers is unable to determine what happened to the dead man's skeleton. Landers journeys to the mainland to seek the help of a noted pathologist, Dr. Brian Stanley in London.

Like Landers, Stanley is unable to even hypothesize what could have happened to Ian Bellows, so both men seek out Dr. David West, an expert on bones and bone diseases. Although Stanley and Landers interrupt West's dinner date with the wealthy jetsetter Toni Merrill, West is intrigued by the problem and so agrees to accompany the two doctors back to Petrie's Island to examine the corpse. In order for them to reach the island that much faster, Toni offers the use of her father's private helicopter in exchange for the three men allowing her to come along on the adventure.

Stanley, Toni, West and Landers at the castle.

Once back at Petrie's Island, Toni's father's helicopter is forced to return to the mainland so he can use it, leaving the foursome effectively stranded on Petrie until the helicopter can return. West and Stanley learn that a group of oncology researchers led by Dr. Lawrence Phillips, seeking a cure for cancer, have a secluded castle laboratory on the island. Paying a visit to Phillips' lab however reveals that he and his colleagues are just as dead (and boneless) as Ian Bellows. Reasoning that whatever it is must have begun in that lab, West, Stanley and Landers gather up Phillips' notes and take them to study them. From them they learn than in his quest to cure cancer, Phillips may have accidentally created a new lifeform from the silicon atom.

Thinking the doctors are at the castle, Constable Harris bikes up there looking for them to tell them about the discovery of a dead, boneless horse, only to wander into the laboratory's "test animals" room and be attacked and killed by an offscreen tentacled creature, the result of Dr. Phillips' experiments. The creatures are eventually dubbed "silicates" by West and Stanley, and kill their victims by injecting a bone-dissolving enzyme into their bodies. The silicates are also incredibly difficult to kill, as Landers learns when he tries and fails to kill one at the castle with an axe when they first encounter them.

After learning all they can from the late Dr. Phillips' notes, West and Stanley recruit the islanders, led by "boss" Roger Campbell and store owner Peter Argyle (who seems to serve as Campbell's second-in-command in an unofficial capacity), to attack the silicates with anything they've got: bullets, petrol bombs, and dynamite all fail to even harm the silicates. But when one is found dead, apparently having ingested a rare isotope called Strontium-90 from Phillips' lab, West and Stanley realize they must find more of the isotope at the castle and figure out how to contaminate the remaining silicates with it before it's too late.



Actor/Actress Role
Edward Judd Dr. David West
Peter Cushing Dr. Brian Stanley
Carole Gray Toni Merrill
Eddie Byrne Dr. Reginald Landers
Sam Kydd Constable John Harris
Niall MacGinnis Roger Campbell
James Caffrey Peter Argyle
Liam Gaffney Ian Bellows
Roger Heathcote Dunley
Keith Bell Halsey
Shay Gorman Morton
Peter Forbes-Robertson Dr. Lawrence Phillips

See also


  1. ^ Weaver, Tom (1999). Return of the B science fiction and horror heroes: the mutant melding of two volumes of classic interviews. McFarland. p. 187. ISBN 0786407557.  
  2. ^ Tudor, Andrew (1989). Monsters and mad scientists: a cultural history of the horror movie. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 53. ISBN 063116992X.  

External links


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