24 October 2014

Terror is a Man (1959)
89 min.
Directed by Gerardo de Leon.
With Francis Lederer, Greta Thyssen, Richard Derr, Oscar Keesee, Lilia Duran, Peyton Keesee, Flory Carlos.
No doubt about it. This Filipino-lensed horror flick is most certainly a rip on Universal's classic Island of Lost Souls (1932), not to mention H.G. Wells' original novel.

But who cares? It's surprisingly well done.

Fitzgerald (Derr) is a sailor who finds himself marooned on an uncharted island deep off the coast of South America.

The island is virtually uninhabited, save for a reclusive scientist named Dr. Girard (Lederer), his wife Frances (Thyssen), and a few tribal folks.

Thankfully, Fitzgerald is taken in by Girard, who claims he's conducting a strange experiment on a local wild panther. Seems the mad doctor is transforming the big cat into a human (Carlos).

And the gruesome results ain't pretty!

Produced by Eddie Romero (who gave us the series of Blood Island horrors in the 1960s), Terror is a Man is a minor effort that hides its low budget roots well, and in the process serves up some decent performances.

Thyssen is fetching as Girard's tormented wife, and Derr is sympathetic as the castaway caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Not to be outdone, Lederer is a hoot as the crazy egghead out to make a name for himself.

Doesn't have enough action in its first half, but still has some good sequences overall, including a weird scene where Girard operates on his man-beast.

Also known as Blood Creature.

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