"I’m not just wondering if there’s a point to the movie anymore. I’m wondering if there’s a point to ANYTHING."
  — Crow T. Robot

Horrors of Spider Island is the 11th episode of the tenth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the 196th episode overall. It premiered on July 25, 1999.

The Movie

Horrors of Spider Island


Gary, a nightclub manager, flies a group of women from New York City to dance in his club in Singapore. While flying over the Pacific Ocean, their plane catches fire, splits in half, and plummets into the ocean. No one in Gary's group is killed, but the crew all die. Days later, the group is suffering from dehydration on a life raft when they finally spot a small island and spend the night on the beach.

The next morning, they discover fresh water and decide to go exploring. They are quickly amazed and excited to find a cabin, but delight turns to horror when they open the door to discover a dead man hanging from a gigantic spider web. According to his journal, the man was a professor mining for Uranium, but he feared something terrible was about to happen to him. There's no indication how long the professor planned to be on the island, but the women estimate there is enough food to last them about a month.

That night, Gary proceeds alone out onto the island where he is bitten by a giant spider and turns into some type of spider-man beast. He flees into the woods, leaving the women to wonder what has happened to him. The next day, seemingly possessed by uncontrollable violent urges, Gary kills one of the girls. The remaining women, still unaware of what has happened to him, have no idea that he is the one who has done this.

A month passes, and the women are running low on food when they spot a ship on the horizon. They are unable to signal it before it leaves, but two men arrive in a rowboat with supplies for the professor. They soon find the women, who tell them the professor is dead. As they all wait for the ship to return, they celebrate their last night on the island with a wild party. One of the men sneaks off to rendezvous with a woman, but both end up being killed by Gary. Finally aware of Gary's fate, the remainder of the group hunts him down with torches until he flees into quicksand and dies.


  • Originally released in German as Ein Toter hing im Netz or A Corpse Hangs In the Web, which explains the horrible dubbing.
  • The first release in the US (1962) was titled It's Hot In Paradise and featured several scenes that were considered too racy for general circulation. It was subsequently re-cut and released as Horrors of Spider Island (1965)[1].
  • Barbara Valentin, the buxom blonde that Mike comments looks a bit like "Clint Howard", was a friend and long-time associate of Freddie Mercury.
  • Shortly after the film opens, Gary Webster (Alexander D'Arcy) pulls up in front of a building. The car he is driving is a 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible. The car he almost backs into as he parks is a 1957 Ford, which appears to be the same car shown in the film's opening shot driving down a palm-tree-lined street.
  • The film was refused a UK cinema certificate in 1960, as Horrors of Spider Island. It was eventually released on DVD, uncut, in 2010.
  • This German-language film was dubbed into English for North American release, and although Egyptian-born, European-raised star Alexander D'Arcy spoke fluent English, his lines were dubbed by an unknown American actor.

The Episode

Host Segments

Mike reads Crow's syndicated column

Prologue: Crow has a syndicated column in several major newspapers. Mike doesn't appreciate his keen observational powers. Tom is a big fan.

The Bots' obvious web

Segment 1: Pearl decides to move the castle in order to avoid the rising costs of a monkey license. Brain Guy protests, but Bobo is thrilled.

Segment 2: Mike clumsily stumbles into the Bots' obvious giant spider web.

Segment 3: Mike, his feet on the desk like Gary, auditions all in the castle, who (of course) buy into it immediately. Bobo tries soft shoe; Brain Guy dons a wig and imitates a steamy scene from Flashdance; Pearl tries a ballet and falls over. Mike's invitation to "give us a little leg" doesn't go as planned.

Segment 4: Crow wonders if the movie's portrayal of women after a plane crash is accurate. So Mike crashes the SOL to find out.

Brain Guy's flashdance

Segment 5: Mike's been turned into a Spider! Except... not really. Meanwhile, The Mads decide to move the castle yet again. Bobo makes a chance discovery in a truckstop men's room, and Pearl decides it's time for "the talk."

Stinger: Stock footage of a plane crash makes the girls scream.

MST3K cast





  • The host segment with Mike caught in a giant spider web occurs before the movie scene that inspired it.

Obscure References

  • "Stop doing your Sharon Stone impression."

In an infamous shot from the movie Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone's character uncrosses and recrosses her legs in front of a group of police interrogating her, revealing that she is not wearing underpants.

  • "He's supported by a generous donation from the Onan Foundation and the Chubb Group."

Two actual organizations, but here it's more of a play on the words "onanism" (masturbation) and "chubby" (a slang term for an erection).

  • "I give Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a B-plus."

Scalia (1936-2016) was a notoriously conservative jurist. Mike pronounces his last name "SKAL-ya", while it is more commonly pronounced "skal-EE-ya".

  • "Ah, Temple Foster, where they worship Australian beer."

Foster's is a brand of beer from Australia.

  • "Finally, I can read Savage Love!"

Savage Love is a sex/romance advice column widely syndicated in "alternative" weekly newspapers. It is written by Dan Savage.

  • "That's my Hai Karate!"

Hai Karate was a men's aftershave that became popular in the 1970s.

  • "I've gotta go back and get Camryn Manheim - this may take a while."

Actress Camryn Manheim is best known for playing Ellenor Frutt on the TV series The Practice. The joke is that that Manheim is overweight.

  • "I see a tall Spaniard in a white suit with a midget!"

A reference to the TV show Fantasy Island, which featured the white-suited Mr. Roarke (played by Ricardo Montalbán) and his diminutive sidekick Tattoo (played by Herve Villechaize).

  • "And Hedonism II is born!"

Hedonism II is a nudist resort in Jamaica.

  • "Let's go visit Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins!"

A reference to the stars of the 1980 movie The Blue Lagoon, in which a very young couple is stranded on an island.

  • "Excuse me, Charo?"

Charo is a Spanish-American comedian, who derives much of her act from her very thick (and sometimes incomprehensible) Spanish accent.

  • "We've got spirit... yes we do... we've got spirit... how 'bout you?" "MRxL."

A callback to the opening host segment of The Giant Spider Invasion.

  • "I've got feet like Billy Pilgrim."

Billy Pilgrim is the protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Pilgrim's feet were discolored (described as blue and ivory) due to his mistreatment as a POW in World War II.

  • "The bad news is they were picked up by Captain Ron!"

Captain Ron was a 1992 comedy movie starring Kurt Russell as an unkempt boat captain of questionable ability.

  • "Damn Californian, it never helps anyone!"

The SS Californian was a British steamship that was nearby the HMS Titanic when it sank, but did nothing to help.

  • "Poor fool thinks they're manatees."

One theory holds that the legends of mermaids were started by sailors who glimpsed manatees. To a person who is very lonely (from having been out to sea for months or even years), the silhouettes of the rotund marine mammals when seen through the distortion of ocean waves could appear to possibly be human-sized creatures with long flowing hair and fish tails.

  • "Tuns out they were on Catalina."

Santa Catalina Island is just off the coast of southern California, about 20 miles from Los Angeles. It was once the site of a notorious caper.

  • "The Dixie Chicks go big game hunting!"

The Dixie Chicks are a country music trio that were at their peak of popularity when this episode originally aired. Their popularity would decrease significantly after they made some controversial remarks about President George W. Bush. They later shortened their name to "The Chicks".

  • "She's from Minnesota." "Their governor's a huge bald Nazi."

At the time of this show's original airing, former professional wrestler and actor Jesse Ventura was the Governor of Minnesota. He is a large man with a shaved head and right-wing political leanings.

  • "So, Minnesota. That must be passive-aggressive."

Mike was referring to the fact that some consider "Minnesota nice" as a form of passive-aggressiveness because it can be a forced politeness.

  • "I'm worried that Eric Von Zipper's gonna show up"

Eric Von Zipper was a charcter portrayed as a stumbling, overconfident quasi-outlaw biker  in beach party films during the 1960s. 

  • "Minnesota, huh? Boy that Harold Stassen is a bright young face."

Harold Stassen was the 25th Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943.

Tom is referring to one of Woody Allen's less successful films.

  • "Soundtrack by Schroeder"

Schroeder is a Peanuts character famous for playing the piano.

  • Tom -"So, is he strong?" Crow - "Is he strong? LISTEN BUD, HE'S GOT RADIOACTIVE BLOOD! Is he strong? Just ticks me off..."

A reference to the theme song of the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon.

  • "Shrimp kabobs, shrimp gumbo, shrimp ice cream, shrimp skin coats, shrimp hubcaps, shrimp contact lenses, shrimp-based religion.."

A reference to a quote from the character Benjamin Buford ‘Bubba’ Blue from the movie Forrest Gump, in which he listed the many different types of shrimp dishes he enjoys.

  • "And this one's from France, and it's supposed to tickle us!"

A "French tickler" is a condom with additional protrusions on its surface.

Memorable Quotes

Mike: Too bad we can't grab this movie with a tissue and crumple it and flush it down the toilet.
Crow: It's a dames and broads audition.
[Temple Foster is listed in the credits.]
Servo: Ah, Temple Foster, where they worship Australian beer.
[At the auditions, Gladys points out a "NO SMOKING" sign to smoker Linda, who takes it down and sits on it.]
Servo: Lucky sign!
[Mr. Blackwood introduces Carolyn, a ballet dancer.]
Mr. Blackwood: This little one's from the National Ballet.
Georgia: Could you dance a little bit for us?
Carolyn: Glad to. Would you put this on for me?
[She hands Mr. Blackwood a record.]
Mr. Blackwood: Sure. Let's have a look.
Crow: But none of that modern stuff. Just shake your dinners.
[Linda begins stripping during the interview]
Linda: Shall I dance for you?
Crow: Yes! For God's sakes, yes!

[Scene showing the girls' plane and its fiery plummet towards earth.]
Mike: Oh, I think they'll pull out of it.
[A worried Mr. Blackwood on the phone.]
Mr. Blackwood: There's absolutely no reason yet to fear the worst. Until now, we only know that the plane caught fire and we've lost radio contact.
Mike: Well, there's absolutely NOTHING to be worried about!
[Gary looks around the island when the crew first lands on the shore.]
Crow [as Gary]: I see a tall Spaniard in a white suit with a midget!
[Babs and Nelly get into a fight, tumbling on the floor.]
Mike: Man, they're future governors of Minnesota!
[A drunken Bobby makes crude comments about the dancers.]
Joe: For you, the worst girl in the world is too good.
Servo [as Bobby]: But I like Tonya Harding!
. . .
[After Joe and Bobby fight, then laugh it off, Bobby stumbles out of the cabin for a date.]
Servo [as Bobby]: Boy! Defending my misogyny really takes commitment!
[Georgia catches Gary making out with one of the girls.]
Georgia: Gary!
Crow [as Georgia]: Your infidelity mildly irritates me!
Gary: This damned heat. I don't know what I'm doing anymore!
Servo [as Gary]: Sure I was unfaithful, but it was like 87 degrees!
Crow [as Gary]: It's pretty windy too! And high humidity!
[The moonlight casts the shadow of a palm tree against the side of the cabin.]
Mike: Look at that shadow - it's Sideshow Bob!
[Bobby wanders off into the jungle to the tune of Vince Guaraldi-esque piano music.]
Crow: Soundtrack by Schroeder.
[As Mike is talking at the end of the movie, the screen suddenly goes black, and the music cuts off abruptly.]
Mike: ...hey!
[The words "The End" abruptly appear.]
Servo: So, you wanna end your movie that way, huh? Ok, get bent! We're outta here!

Video Release