Monday, May 23, 2016

Island of the Living Dead

Hey there folks. So I am forcing a bad movie on you brought to us from our old exploitation/blockbuster knock off maestro Bruno Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead, Women's Prison Massacre, Rats: Night of Terror, Strike Commando, Double Target, Robowar, Cop Game, Zombi 3, Shocking Dark and Cruel Jaws). Yeah I know you recognize the name and the titles so that being saying, we have a fun filled adventure that basically spits in the face of Ridley Scott's Alien with a theme of treasure hunters and a desert island not previously mapped. This is Island of the Living Dead.

EXTRAS! Forward!!

Blowing off the dust from an old pseudonym Vincent Dawn to head back into the subgenre of zombies. As they were supposed to film in Argentina they found it too be too expensive, they decided to head to the Philippines to bring the evils.

Our opus opens with Conquistadors to toss natives infected in a dungeon while a voodoo ceremony raises them from the dead with so much fog from projectors and dry ice. Umm at least the costumes fit the extras?? 300 years later, our treasure hunters hit the high seas, our crew of the Dark Star (John Carpenter homage, perhaps?) are hit by a mysterious fog bank on a dark and stormy night only to wake the next morning to be in front of an island that is not on any map they can find. With the ship conveniently needing repairs, our crew go to shore for looting purposes.

Fred, did you notice a rotting smell?

The intrepid team consisting of Captain Kirk (Ronald Russo of Trhauma, Ladyhawke, Detective Malone, Caged Women and Intimate Crimes), Snoopy (Jim Gaines of Black Fire, War Without End, Zombi 4 and Faster) Fred (Alvin Anson of Terrorist Hunter, Rome & Juliet, Black Market Love, Baler, My Lai Four and Flames of Love), Victoria (Ydalia Suarez of In the Land of the Cannibals, La bambina dalle mani sporche, Island of the Living Dead and La grande Rabbia) and Sharon (Yvette Yzon of The Dark Side of a Woman, Secrets of Women, A Shudder on the Skin, The Jail: The Women's Hell, Island of the Living Dead, Zombies: The Beginning and My Lai Four) all heading for the mainland exploring split into three teams of two. Cover more ground and get your party killed off! Kirk observes some antiquated parchment to find this is the resting place of a Spanish Galleon filled gold. Fred and Sharon found a monk in robes who happened to be a zombie and Fred takes his head off with a boomstick. With greed and stupidity, the cast tries to make off the gold and blood thirsty hordes of zombies appear. Is the gold worth it? Will the crew make it out alive?

When he is not lifting scenes from previously existing films like Night of the Living Dead remake, Fulci's Zombi several times, his own flick Hell of the Living Dead and even Lenzi's Nightmare City , Mattei shoots the whole flick on HDCAM. The dubbing is so horrible making it hard to understand half of the male cast. Alas ladies that might actually watch this stink nugget, there is no real eye candy for ya. Mattei likes to cover the fellas in that regard. Soundtracks lifted are Coppola's Dracula and Friday the 13th and my favorite annoyance was some exterior shots from Mask of Zorro. The lawsuits avoided thanks to pseudonym. So yes if you enjoy over the top zombie stories, campy extras and a lack of direction, this is the flick for you.

Jeepers teen gang, I smell a mystery.