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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Horrors of Spider Island" or "The Spider's Web" or "Body in the Web" or

"Girls of Spider Island" or "It's Hot in Paradise" or "A Corpse Hangs in the Web")

 

Directed by Fritz Böttger (as Jaime Nolan)
West Germany 1960

 

Produced in 1960 as BODY IN THE WEB, it became a notorious Adults Only feature throughout Europe (though banned in the UK). Three years later and sheared of its nudity, it was repackaged for American audiences as a brain- melting monster movie filled with stripper catfights, skimpy lingerie and radioactive arachnids. Alexander D’Arcy – whose Hollywood career ranged from Leo McCarey’s THE AWFUL TRUTH to Al Adamson’s BLOOD OF DRACULA’S CASTLE – and ‘The German Jayne Mansfield’ Barbara Valentin (BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ) star in “the ultimate exploitation movie” (- Psychotronic Review), produced by Wolf C. Hartwig of BLOODY MOON and SCHOOL GIRL REPORT infamy. Severin Films is proud to present both the complete uncensored version – scanned from the Düsseldorf dupe negative – as well as the alternate U.S. release – scanned from a pristine low con print – now together for the first time.

***

A team of chorus girls finds themselves caught in a deadly web when they are shipwrecked on a remote South Seas island. The lush, tropical isle seems an ideal place to await their rescue, but hidden in the jungle are giant poisonous spiders. A venomous bite transforms the girls' escort into a disfigured beast, half-man and half-insect. Consumed with lust and craving blood, the monster hunts down the defenseless girls and slaughters them one by one. The ensuing panic drives the dancers to squabble and fight amongst themselves until they realize that their only hope for survival is to work together in a final stand against the monster...

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 16th, 1960

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Review: Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Distribution Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:24:07.917        
Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,125,976,523 bytes

Feature: 25,668,286,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.50 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1862 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1862 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 2037 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2037 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Severin

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,125,976,523 bytes

Feature: 25,668,286,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.50 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Alternate US Release Version - IT'S HOT IN PARADISE (1:17:01)
The History of Spider Island - With Prof. Dr. Marcus Stiglegger (15:02)
Audio Interview with Actor Alexander D'Arcy by Horror Historian David Del Valle (2:36)
Alternate Clothed Scenes (8:06)
Trailer (1:48)


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 16th, 2020
Black Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 7

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Severin Blu-ray (June 2020): Severin have transferred Fritz Böttger's 1960 Horrors of Spider Island to Blu-ray. It is cited as being the "complete uncensored version scanned from the Düsseldorf dupe negative". The package includes the alternate U.S. release – It's Hot in Paradise - scanned from a 'pristine low con print'. The main feature starts with the caveat: "THE FOLLOWING PRESENTATION OF THE GERMAN CUT CONTAINS SCENES WHICH WERE NEVER DUBBED IN ENGLISH. IF YOU ARE LISTENING WITH THE ENGLISH TRACK DO NOT BE ALARMED WHEN THE DIALOGUE CHANGES TO GERMAN IN THESE INSTANCES. " It is in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio, on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The image quality has marks, speckles, glaring cue blips and flaws (see samples below). However, it is very watchable and the inconsistencies are never a deterrent, imo. In fact, they are part of the charm.  

NOTE: We have added 78 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Severin use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the, mostly, English language with some German. The option of full German is included. With a few warts it seems to replicate he film's audio effects - mostly augmented in a dramatic score by Karl Bette and Willy Mattes (She Walks by Night, Face of the Frog, The Head, The Kidnapping of Miss Nylon, Naked in the Night). Like the video it is imperfect bur serviceable for an enjoyable viewing. Severin offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Severin Blu-ray offers the aforementioned alternate US release It's Hot in Paradise - in 1080P with a reasonable bitrate (28 mbps.) It's a decent curiosity to include in the package. Also included as a supplement is the 1/4 hour The History of Spider Island with Prof. Dr. Marcus Stiglegger adding more flavor to the film's aura. He is certainly an expert in the darker side of Euro cinema. There is a brief audio Interview with actor Alexander D'Arcy conducted by David Del Valle and an 8-minute 'Alternate Clothed Scenes' sequences as well as a trailer. The package has revisable artwork (see bottom of review.)

While I am, generally, not a fan of the cheap 80's and 90's horror cinema - I just LOVE 60's stuff like this or Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory. Horrors of Spider Island has plenty of grassroots exploitation cinema sprinkled liberally within the sporadic horror elements. I enjoy it's sophomoric-side as well as how the performances take it seriously and are sometimes... marginal. There are instances of inventiveness in Georg Krause (Kubrick's Paths of Glory) cinematography.  It's not brilliant cinema by any standards but I love that there is a place for Horrors of Spider Island in the cinephile world. Kudos to the Severin for bringing this Blu-ray out. Fans who enjoy it will find it essential in their digital libraries. There isn't enough of this genre available. It's another nice package from them and we certainly endorse... to the right crowd.

Gary Tooze

 


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Examples of damage, cue blips etc.

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Distribution Severin - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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