Wednesday, October 03, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 3 - Movie

An island of fishermen, scientists, and alcoholics is menaced by killer crabs. Many of these are big, but really normal sized crabs, but one of them is about the size of a bus, and comes equipped with an impenetrable shell.

Island Claws (1980) is something of a leftover from the 70s range of environmental horror movies such as Squirm (1976), Food of the Gods (1976) Frogs (1972), Empire of the Ants (1977), Day of the Animals (1977) and Prophecy (1979). If you've seen any of those films you know exactly what you can expect from this one. There's a lot of talking about things that don't further the story, local color which has the same impact, drinking, walking around, and scientists working on experiments to increase the size of crabs (for food reasons) although there's nothing to link this work with the crabs attacking people, nor the existence of a giant crab. There's also a leak at a nearby nuclear reactor, which again is not made to be a direct cause on the behavior, nor size of the crabs, so it's all a bit confused. In spite of this, the path of destruction left in the wake of the giant crab is impressively done and adds some real suspense and awe. The giant crab itself, a practical effect, is actually pretty impressive, though maybe not enough to recommend this film.

As a bit of trivia the screenplay was co-written by Ricou Browning who played the gillman during all of the underwater scenes in Creature from the Black Lagoon.