Master of horror Peter Cushing heads the cast of this Spanish/American take on Verne's story as a wealthy ship owner, Kolderup, who sends his son Jeff (Ian Serra) on a doomed sea voyage. Accompanying Jeff is his foppish dance instructor, Thomas Artecet (David Hatton). Thomas tries to keep his student in step, but winds up waltzing the pair into a ton of desperate situations. The rest of the time he's trying to soothe the savages and savage beasts with fancy violin playing that might be worth a fiddle of gold in lieu of an Oscar.
Mystery on Monster Island is home to two of Star Wars' veteran actors. Cushing played Grand Moff Wilhuf Tarkin in the original Star Wars, and Terence Stamp played Chancellor Valorum in the recent Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. In "Mystery on Monster Island," Stamp weighs in as the villain, Taskinar, who is out to extract the riches hidden on the island no matter what the cost.
The effects of Mystery on Monster Island are definitely special and encompass a wide array of evil, bloodthirsty creatures. Ship-sinking sea monsters, giant footprint-leaving dinosaurs, bulletproof swamp monsters, and giant spit-blowing caterpillars all populate the isle and, given the overcrowding, they all have generally unfriendly dispositions. Godzilla movies wish they were this good. And effects aren't limited to just creepy crawly things. Terra firma isn't quite so on the island, due to cave-ins and exploding volcanoes. Given all the attractions of Monster Island -- exotic scenery, exotic monsters, exotic riches -- you ought to cruise on over to 100% Weird after Joe Bob's MonsterVision feature and give it a watch. After all, it gives an answer to the age-old question: Where would Robinson Crusoe go with Friday on a Saturday night?
Mystery of Monster Island (1981)
Last seen on July 2, 2000 at 2:45am, Rating: TV-14-V.