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Screamers (1981) – Episode 180 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“They’re men turned inside out! And worse… they’re still alive!” Wow! Yeah, that might be worse. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they unsuccessfully search for the men turned inside out, living or dead, in Sergio Martini’s Screamers(1981).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 180 – Screamers (1981)

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After their prison ship sinks in the Caribbean, a group of prisoners and a doctor wash ashore on a seemingly deserted island. They soon discover a strange couple, who invite them to stay at their house. While the prisoners try to plan an escape, the doctor does some investigating, and soon finds out just what the pair are really doing, and why the prisoners keep disappearing mysteriously.


Screamers (aka The Island of the Fishmen, aka L’isola degli uomini pesce, aka Something Waits in the Dark) is Bill’s pick and he is surprised by how much he likes it. He describes it as a Jules Verne/Edgar Rice Burroughs, old-fashioned adventure with some wildly inappropriate gore tacked onto the beginning. Chad’s also a sucker for adventure-type stories and likens Screamers to Doc Savage with monsters or maybe Dr. Moreau meets the Creature. Either way, he calls it a fun watch. Screamers had Crystal at “fog machines,” but she is also impressed with the sets. Like Bill, she likes it a lot more than she thought she would. Jeff favors the original, Italian version but loves the effects in the footage shot for the U.S. release. And the Fishmen are way cool, so say they all.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Crystal, will be Warlock (1989) with Julian Sands, Lori Singer, and Richard E. Grant.  And Julian Sands is almost on par with a good fog machine. You won’t want to miss that one!

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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 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.