One of Terence Fisher's lesser-known movies, Island of Terror (1966) was made for Planet Film Productions, a short-lived 1960s' rival to Hammer. Starring Peter Cushing and Edward Judd as scientists investigating a spate of grisly deaths on an isolated Irish island, the film owes more to Nigel Kneale's Quatermass serials and the BBC's Doctor Who than it does to the gothic flamboyance of Fisher's best horror films. A well-plotted and exciting movie, featuring some primitive but gruesome special effects and plenty of wry humour, it also has nice supporting roles for unappreciated British character actors like Niall MacGinnis and Sam Kydd.
This DVD edition of Island of Terror is a pleasant surprise in terms of extras, featuring a theatrical trailer and an in-depth booklet that discusses the making of the movie and the history of the company behind it. It also includes an interview with Christopher Lee (who isn't in the film, by the way), in which he is nominally supposed to be discussing the movies he made with Terence Fisher. Whilst not a total waste of time, the interview does make for a frustrating, slightly embarrassing experience, as Lee continually wanders from the subjects that film writer Marcus Hearn asks him about. For instance, when asked about the Hammer Dracula movies he made with Fisher, Lee dismisses them with a few words and then starts to talk about Jess Franco's atrocious, Spanish-made El Conde Dracula instead, a film he inexplicably prefers. Not for the first time, Lee inadvertently proves that many fans and film writers have a far better knowledge and appreciation of his best work than he does.