Island of the Fishmen title

AKA: Island of Mutations, Screamers, Something Waits in the Dark.

Tag line : Killers from the deep guard the forbidden treasures on . . . Island of Fishmen

Island of the FishmenHeavily borrowing from "Island of Dr Moreau", cult Italian director Sergio Martino's similarly themed fishy tale takes place on a remote island somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. Where a group of sailors from a crashed prison ship, lead by Lt Ross (played by Claudio Casselini, who's a regular in Martino's films), find themselves washed ashore.

As they wander off in search of food and shelter, they predictably start getting picked off by some unseen creatures, which aren't typical of the local wildlife. After wandering round some more, the remaining survivors are surprised to discover the island is inhabited by an English man named Edmund Rackham (Italian movie regular Richard Johnson).

Rackham initially offers them help and shelter, claiming that he and his colleague Professor Marvin (Joseph Cotton), are there to study the bizarre aquatic creatures who have been attacking them. But it actually turns out that the creatures are part of some genetic experiments the Professor has been conducting on the natives, as they need the Fishmen to recover a stash of lost treasure from the ocean floor.

But when a battle erupts as the Fishmen turn on Rackham and the Professor, Lt Ross finds he's in a race against time to try and get back off the island before he too ends up as fish-bait.

Also starring Barbara Bach (Mrs Ringo Starr herself, who was another regular in Martino's films), whilst this may not be an original film by any stretch of the imagination, being heavily derived from the aforementioned "Island of Dr Moreau" and mixing in elements of "The land that time forgot", with a bizarre subplot about the island being part of the lost city of Atlantis, if your like me and you're a big fan of these cheap and cheerful Italian knock offs you should thoroughly enjoy this.

Overall Marks 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The film was released in 1979, barely 2 years after MGM released the Michael York/But Lancaster film "Island if Dr Moreau"

  • Richard Johnson also played Dr Menard in "Zombie Flesh-Eaters".

  • The US release entitled "Screamers" had an additional intro scene tacked onto the start. This featured Mel Ferrer and Cameron Mitchell as a group of treasure hunters landing on the island and getting picked off by the Fishmen. This was specially filmed by the US distributors to kick the action off earlier in the film. In addition, with the exception of Richard Johnson and Barabra Bach's characters, most of the voices were re-dubbed using American actors to get rid of the European accents.

  • The US theatrical trailers showed a scene of a person being turned inside out. However, this was just a clever marketing ploy as the scene wasn't actually in the film. But when movie go-ers complained about being mislead, the distributors were then forced to splice the scene in for subsequent showings. However this scene did not appear in any of the US video releases.

  • The fishmen turned up in another feature film by Sergio Martino entitled "The Fishmen and their Queen" which came out in 1995. This was not actually a sequel, but rather a kids fantasy adventure largely derived from the 1984 film "Never Ending Story". It's only connection to "Island of the Fishmen" was that it borrowed footage from the film, along with "After the Fall of New York".

  • Italian movie regular Bobby Rhodes, from "Demons", "Last Hunter" and "Big Alligator River" had a small role as one of Rackham's servants.

  • The old UK video release of "Island of the Fishmen" was uncut in terms of gore, but had about 6mins removed from various scenes so the film would fit onto a 90min tape. Similarly, the US release entitled "Screamers" trimmed some scenes down to reduce the films running time.

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