The Twilight People (1973)

Article 3615 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-23-2011
Posting Date: 7-8-2011
Directed by Eddie Romero
Featuring John Ashley, Pat Woodell, Jan Merlin
Country: Philippines / USA
What it is: Filipino horror

An adventurer is kidnapped and taken to an isolated island where a scientist is performing strange experiments… and he is the next subject.

The Philippines would actually be a decent place to shoot a version of “The Island of Dr. Moreau”, if you think about it. For that matter, it would also be a good place to shoot a remake of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. However, a movie that mixes the two ideas and is shot in the Philippines by the same people who gave us the “Blood Island” movies isn’t necessarily going to turn out to be a good movie (and it isn’t), but it’s a moderately entertaining one. My version of the movie clocks in at eighty minutes, and IMDB lists the time as 84 minutes, so I wonder if there’s a few minutes missing here. If so, it might be that some of my major problems with the movie may be in the missing footage. There’s never an adequate explanation of just what the scientist is doing altogether, though the fact that he’s having humans kidnapped rather than animals does indicate that it’s doing something of a reverse on the Moreau story (and that is clearly confirmed in the final moments); still, that doesn’t explain the disembodied brains. The final confrontation between the John Ashley and Jan Merlin characters is a huge question mark; is the answer in the missing four minutes? or, did they just forget to resolve the situation? or is there some psychological nuance that I’m missing? On a more basic level, the man/animals here are just not as scary as the ones in ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, and all the bloodshed in the world (and there’s plenty in this movie) can’t fix this problem. The scenes of the Bat Man flying around are actually a little better than I thought they would be, though. And if anyone can figure out just what type of animal that one woman is supposed to be (the one known as Angel with the halo), they’re welcome to explain it to me.

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