Featured The Classic Era

Maneater of Hydra (1967) – Episode 2 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Promise me, my baby. . . Take me with you, sweetheart! Take my blood! Oh, my blood!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we get lost in the wondrously bad, yet somehow memorably disturbing, Maneater of Hydra, aka Island of the Doomed, aka La Isla de la Muerte, aka Bloodsuckers. Come along on the island tour (don’t forget your baggage and lab equipment) with Joseph as our guide, while he explains his love for this eclectic film and the impact it had on him as a horror fan. Trust us; it explains a lot. Follow our journey as Joseph, much to our surprise, manages to register the rest of the Classic Era Grue-Crew as card-carrying members of the Maneater of Hydra fan club.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 2 — Maneater of Hydra (1967)

Maneater of Hydra is a foreign film “probably” written and directed by Mel Welles, who adds another killer plant film to his credits. You may remember him as Gravis Mushnick in Roger Corman’s The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) or maybe from his appearances in Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (1955), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), Chopping Mall (1986) or even the Spectreman TV series (1971). He is joined by the immediately recognizable Cameron Mitchell, whose over 200 credits include The High Chaparral (1967-1971), Blood and Black Lace (1964) and The Toolbox Murders (1978). Mitchell plays Baron von Weser who has genetically engineered some uniquely flavored vegetables.

Part of the films quirky appeal is the dubbing as the actors recited the lines in English through syllabic memorization and are then dubbed. The intent is for the audio to more closely match the actors lip movements, but in the case of Maneater of Hydra, the result is as we already said, … quirky. Anne Meara provides the uncredited, hilarious dubbing of Myrtle, the tour’s unofficial photographer. We all went slack-jawed at the vampire tree’s sexually implicit, or rather explicit, killing organ. The final scene will haunt your nightmares for years, just ask Joseph.

Listen and learn which one of us says:

  • “It must be well-dressed plant food.”
  • “This is gold, people. This is gold.”
  • “That was a knife? I thought it looked like a sharpened nail clipper.”
  • “How did they get this past the censors?”
  • “It’s literally a hairy tube engorged with blood.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), King Kong (1933), and The Tingler (1959).

Please let us know what you think and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.


Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.