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Island of the Fishmen

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Director  Sergio Martino
Film series  Screamers Film Series
Language  Italian English
5/10 IMDb

Genre  Action, Horror
Music director  Luciano Michelini
Island of the Fishmen movie poster
Writer  Sergio Martino, Sergio Donati
Release date  18 January 1979 (1979-01-18) (Italy) 26 June 1981 (1981-06-26) (U.S.)
Cast  Barbara Bach (Amanda Marvin), Joseph Cotten (Prof. Ernest Marvin), Claudio Cassinelli (Lt. Claude de Ross), Richard Johnson (Edmond Rackham), Beryl Cunningham (Shakira), Mel Ferrer (Radcliffe (US version))
Similar movies  Revenge of the Creature, Octopus 2: River of Fear, Creature from the Haunted Sea, The Loch Ness Horror, The Secret of Kells, Finding Nemo
Tagline  Be Warned: You will actually see a man turned inside-out.

Island of the fishmen 1979 trailer aka screamers

Island of the Fishmen (L'isola degli uomini pesce) is a 1979 Italian adventure action horror film directed by Sergio Martino.


Island of the Fishmen movie scenes

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Island of the Fishmen movie scenes

It is the year 1891 and a military doctor, Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli) a survivor of not one, but two shipwrecks, washes ashore on a mysterious, uncharted Caribbean island along with a handful of convicts. When several of these convicts meet unfortunate ends at the hands of the titular fishmen, Claude and the other survivors flee into the jungle, only to encounter the sadistic Edmond Rackham (Richard Johnson) and his beautiful captive Amanda Marvin (Barbara Bach).

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Amanda's father, Professor Ernest Marvin (Joseph Cotten), a once-famed biologist, has discovered a way to transform humans into amphibious creatures and controls their every move. Rackham manipulates Marvin into performing the procedure upon both willing and unwilling participants by assuring him that his work is undertaken for purely scientific and humanitarian motives (Marvin hopes to reduce strain on the world food supply by creating a race of people who can live in the resource-untapped ocean). Having discovered the lost city of Atlantis beneath the waters surrounding the island however, Rackham is in actuality using the half-human monsters to plunder the lost city of its treasures.

Island of the Fishmen Amazoncom Island of the Fishmen Barbara Bach Claudio Cassinelli

Shakira (Beryl Cunningham), a voodoo priestess in the employ of Rackham foretells death and destruction descending upon the island.

Island of the Fishmen Poster for Island of Fishmen Lisola degli uomini pesce aka

The priestess' prophecy is fulfilled as the film ends with Claude and Amanda attempting an escape from a gun-wielding Rackham, a crazed Shakira, uncontrolled fishmen and the very volcano that doomed Atlantis which awakens and threatens to send what unsubmerged landmass remains to oblivion.


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  • Claudio Cassinelli as Lieutenant Claude de Ross
  • Barbara Bach as Amanda Marvin
  • Richard Johnson as Edmond Rackham
  • Joseph Cotten as Professor Ernest Marvin
  • Beryl Cunningham as Shakira
  • Franco Iavarone as José
  • Roberto Posse as Peter
  • Giuseppe Castellano as Skip
  • Franco Mazzieri as François
  • Alternate versions

    Island of the Fishmen The Island of the Fishmen 1979 Image Gallery Barbara Bach

    After being acquired by American distributors New World Pictures and United Pictures Organization, Miller Drake was hired to pen and helm a new opening for the film. This prologue featured Cameron Mitchell as a sea captain leading a gentleman (Mel Ferrer) who had squandered his family fortune in search of Atlantean treasure on the island.

    Island of the Fishmen ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN 79 Barbara BachJoseph Cottenposter

    This footage contained grisly special make-up effects of fishmen-inflicted wounds created by Chris Walas. Changes to the film itself included the addition of musical cues by Sandy Berman not present in the Italian cut, a new English dub track and a new title, Something Waits in the Dark.

    Island of the Fishmen InfiniTropolis Review Island of the Fishmen 1979

    After this 1980 release proved unsuccessful, Jim Wynorski spearheaded New World Pictures' re-release of the film. Wynorski retitled the film (again) and for this new version, entitled Screamers, a scene of a man being turned inside-out was filmed specifically for inclusion in a trailer designed to lure in audiences who failed to give Something Waits in the Dark much notice.

    Island of the Fishmen Island of the Fish Men 1979 movie review parlor of horror

    Upon its release in June 1981, Screamers performed well for its releasing company but when moviegoers complained that the gruesome "man turned inside-out" scene was not included in the actual release, prints were sent back to New World to have the demanded scene spliced in. This sequence has never been seen on home video as it was not part of the original negative.

    Island of the Fishmen The Island of the Fishmen Promo shoot Barbara Bach Creature

    Both Something Waits in the Dark and Screamers run approximately 85 minutes in length. Roughly half an hour of footage was excised from L'isola degli uomini pesce in order to make room for the above-mentioned stateside additions.


    In 1995 Sergio Martino returned to direct a made-for-Italian-TV sequel titled The Fishmen and Their Queen, aka Queen of the Fishmen.


    Island of the Fishmen Wikipedia
    Island of the Fishmen IMDb Island of the Fishmen