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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


This is the unreleased version from Retromedia.

This is a classic that has never received the attention it rightly deserves. A small plane carrying the pilot, an actress and her assistant is forced to land on a small island after some engine trouble and an impending storm. They discover that the island is inhabited by a lone scientist who is conducting some unexplained experiments on the island.

They also discover that very small flesh eating creatures inhabit the waters surrounding the island. Soon a beatnik named Omar joins them, and then the terror really begins. Martin Kosleck is Prof. Peter Bartell, a former Nazi scientist who has created the little monsters and will do anything to further the experiments. Byron Sanders is the pilot, Grant Murdoch, Rita Morley is Laura Winters, the alcoholic actress, lovely Barbara Wilkins is Jan Letterman, the assistant and Ray Tudor is Omar, the beatnik who dies a horrible death at the hands of Bartell.

The film was shot over a troubled three year period from 1960-63 and was partly financed from money won on a rigged game show and was produced by Arnold Drake who was a comic book legend. The photography is excellent for a low budget production, and the Nazi flashbacks are quite memorable as well.

It's a classic film no matter how you look at it, and this version has all of the censored gore scenes in it, but the beginning is slightly different. I think they had to shoot extra scenes to make the film longer after all the gore was cut out on it's first release and on TV, but I could be wrong. Anyway the scene missing in the beginning are just a bit of bickering between Sanders and Wilkins.

This unreleased DVD also contains original storyboards, 35mm trailer, commentary with Arnold Drake, Tom Weaver and Fred Olen Ray as well as an interview with Liane Curtis, daughter of Jack Curtis, the director of this horror classic. Finally it also contains the original color sequences!

It's sad this was unreleased, but another company claimed rights to the film and Retromedia had to stop the release. If you can find this version of the film, the Uncut 1964 theatrical version, then by all means see it. One of my favorite films of all time.

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