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A scientist kidnaps a man and transports him to an island, intent on turning him into a super-being. The man obviously doesn't like this idea, so he tries to escape with the help of the scientist's daughter and a band of half-human, half-animal creatures. Written by
Demian Katz <email@example.com>
Successful adventurer Matt Farrell (John Ashley) is kidnapped whilst on a dive by sadistic hunter Steinman (Jan Merlin), who takes him to a mysterious island dominated by the insane Dr. Gordon (Charles Macaulay). Gordon has been doing experiments on the native locals and cross-bred them with certain animals in an attempt to create a great army, and sees Farrell as a suitable addition to his grisly bunch. After escaping with Gordon's daughter Neva (Pat Woodell) and all the human-animal hybrids, Steinman pursues them in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
As far as re-makes/re-imaginings of the hugely influential Island of Lost Souls (1932) go, The Twilight People certainly isn't the worst. Choked with massive budget limitations that naturally leads to terrible acting and worse make-up, this Grindhouse effort certainly has it's charms. It is, of course, f*****g awful, but there is a bit of spirit amongst the cast, and plenty of laugh-at-the-s**t-make-up moments. The creatures, which include an Antelope Man, an Ape Man, a Wolf Woman, and most hilariously, a Bat Man, are so ridiculous looking that I could scarcely believe that the actors behind them managed to keep a straight face throughout the film. It does, however, have Pam Grier as the Panther Woman (made famous by Kathleen Burke from the 1932 original), and seeing her rip her way through a number of Gordon's henchman is certainly worth your time.
But the on-the-run second half of the film repeatedly stalls and ultimately bores, as the film seems to be wind down the proceedings in order to sustain an acceptable running time. It is also quite tame as far as low-budget monster movies go, but I have to admit that it added to it's almost innocent charm. The ending, which doesn't really wrap anything up, ends abruptly when I was expecting and almost hoping for five minutes more. To summarise then, certainly worth a watch if you like your movies trashy, cheap, and easy to watch, but a meandering and ridiculous film overall. Though I would recommend a watch simply for the Bat Man, paper wings and all.
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