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Island of the Living Dead - Intervision Picture Corp - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Severed Cinema review of Island of the Living Dead on DVD from Intervision Picture Corp http://severed-cinema.com/images/dvd_review.jpg


BUY ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD

AKA: L'isola dei mori viventi, Island of the Dead 2006, Island of the Dead, L'ile des Morts Vivants

Directed by: Bruno Mattei
Written by: Antonio Tentori, Bruno Mattei, Giovanni Paolucci
Produced by: Giovanni Paulucci
Cinematography by: Luigi Ciccarese
Editing by: Danielle Campelli
Special Effects by: Cecille Baun, Ramon Baun, Roberto Celsi, Jun Carlos, Gianni spifferi, and many more.
Music by: Danielle Campelli, Bruno Mattei
Cast: Yvette Yzon, Alvin Anson, Geatano Russo, Jim Gaines, Ydalia Suarez, Gary King Roberts, Curtis Carter, Miguel Franco, Lilia Cuntapay.
Year: 2006
Color: Color
Language: English
Country: Italy
Runtime: 1hr 37mins

Distribution: Intervision Picture Corp
 

Good old Bruno. The late Italian director was true to the genre which made him a few coins up ‘til the very end of his life. Against all of the odds, as the Italian Film Machine rusted and fell to pieces, Bruno pumped out low budget movie after movie on the cheap. From 2002 to 2007, he slopped out at least two per year -- all trashy and technically dreadful. All great fun! Bruno's films were almost always bloody good fun!

His greatest beasts emerged between 1980 and 1985. Perhaps some may find it acceptable to slag off Bruno Mattei like a fashion statement. For instance, Zombie Creeping Flesh is known by many as the worst zombie film ever! Guess what? I've watched that one more than Dawn of the Dead! Romero is good, but Bruno entertains! It's so absurd, just like The Other Side of Hell and Rats: Nights of Terror. Grade Z guts. Compare his stuff to a majority of modern walking corpse movies in the underground and you'll realise what I mean. Gory potboilers which were kept (un) alive by a man who never pretended to be anyone but a guy making money by lobbing blood around.

So after diddling about again in the cannibal and WIP circles, just before he died, Bruno made two final throwbacks to the Italian ugly as buggery neck chewing flicks which near enough every horror fan of a certain age grew up on. Island of the Living Dead is one of those films.

In a flashback we witness a lot of natives performing voodoo rituals all seen by a priest and Conquistadors with guns. The dead sit up in sacks like a Fisher-price version of Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters, to be mown down by the soldiers. Natives chant and wave chickens around and about, more dead rise, more soldiers who act like they're in a Monty Python or Horrible Histories sketch, shoot them. Naturally it doesn't end well for the priest and the Conquistadors as the zombies kind of sway to an unheard undead beat. Then totally randomly, frigging vampires or something drop by! What???!!!

Off we go to present times and a team of treasure seekers sail the ocean and totally bundle a great find of gold coins. Hammy comedy results as the coins fall into the water. “Bye bye, treasure.” Afterwards, as one guy is more interested in the foam in his beer bottle rising, the cast moan and lament. The dubbing work makes them all either sound hostile or doped up, there's no in-between, aside from the Captain, Kirk (I know....) whom is a wild hybrid of British and Australian (I think...) Suddenly, as night falls, they have an obvious indoors studio sea accident as waves bash around.

“U wanna fuck up de udda engine to?” They are screwed. Daylight shows they are heading on the currents towards a mysterious island which isn't on any maps. One bloke has mayonnaise, I mean seagull droppings plop on his face. Oh, the comedy is timeless! Huh. Ydalia Suarez (In the Land of the Cannibals) chews the scenery waving a gun around and playing angry, as Victoria, who is one moment hard as nails, then suddenly timid, then hard!

Splitting into two groups, they explore their new temporary home. One group discovers an obligatory ancient cemetery, whilst the others chance upon ruined buildings with passages below. Then the first modern zombie appears watching them. It turns and growls at the camera. Fuck me! Fourth wall destruction!! Oliver Hardy, Will Smith, Deadpool, that dick at the end of the 2001 Maniacs remake, you all witness a zombie as sad as Abbot (Children of the Living Dead) Hayes and his camera grooming!!

Fat boy, Mark, pretends to be Johnny out of Night of the Living Dead, whilst Tao acts like a hard man. “Jesus! Is there something wrong with this lot?” sighed my Horror Soulmate as they bungled from one mess to another. There's martial arts against a zombie which amused us. “Hiyah!” and other vocal stereotypes.

Meanwhile, group two, led by the Captain, lay their hands on wicked old books in a crypt filled by skeletons and cobwebbed candles. Back on the boat, Max the lonely mechanic is attacked by a mob of rotters.  “What the fuck are you??!!” Just before everyone hears the boat explode, the Captain translates a book and pasty faced zombies stumble around. Regarding the boat, he says, “Who knows what really happened?” all over the top expressions. It's a bloody pantomime. “The zombies are behind you!” “Oh, no they're not... ouch, what's biting me?”

Fake night falls. Whilst seeking safety they run into the undead. These ones wave swords and machetes are like drunks on a street corner. Shooting them is futile. In a nice touch, one loses an arm and actually grows a new one. Another stubs a cig on the ground with its bare foot. Retreating, they hide in the ruined buildings. With names like Fred and fucking Snoopy, they will all die!!!

In flashbacks we see Spanish Galleons and the beginnings of the epidemic. It's similar to John Carpenter's The Fog. Then pop video zombies mug into the camera, ruining the sequence. Our heroic gang decides to split and have a rummage around the place. They are bombarded by cut price hallucinations, and other horrors. Chained up creatures, worms in cups, women in black, the standard horror stuff. Then they come across the huge treasure chest filled with gold and greed takes over from common sense. Then we get (almost) a Fulci/Bianchi eyeball tribute. Mass attack and action! “You rotten zombie shits! I'll see you all in hell!” screams a victim. Afterwards, they decide to build a raft to try and get away.

One by one, they do stupid things and die. For instance, one lets a zombie bite him whilst doing rather well shooting them -- he offers his arm to it!!! Another dances with a woman wearing black, knowing full well she isn't real. Then the vampires/demons/whatevers arrive just for the sake of it!! Oh my God, some of the 'monsters' have skeleton Halloween masks and gloves on!! It's like watching a Daft Punk video!!!

The fourth wall is broken three times in this film!! Rewinding to an earlier review I did, Mausoleum (review here), within it I make it apparent this is my personal taboo in a horror flick. We also have stock footage of sea battles at one point, and the aforementioned dubbing issues. The effects team fare little better. Loads of dark blood gore, a melting wax head in fire, half completed makeup, a rubber mask or two, skeleton gloves, and some very basic fire. The plot is akin to a nonsense crazy barrel scraper by Olaf Ittenbach (hey, he likes to break that fourth wall sometimes....) so, to be honest, I found this hard going towards the predictable ending.

Intervision have done a neat job with the releasing Island of the Living Dead on DVD. There's a lengthy interview with producer, Giovanni Paolucci and writer, Antonio Tentori. Apparently there would have been a third part to this madness (part two is Zombies: The Beginning) but Bruno passed away. Also, Bruno found discomfort filming any erotic scenes, he preferred horror and all out action. There's also a trailer and a sales promo.

That's about it, really. I can't recommend this film totally. It drags, the characters are ridiculous, and the zombies are... well... overacting idiots in some parts. How can you get an overacting zombie? When they crawl towards the camera or sway this way and that in a stupid manner. Would it work better after a drink? Maybe. There's a few good moments if you can get past all of the obstacles. Approach with caution...

 

 

 

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 DVD: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 16:9
 Region: NTSC R1
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 
- Blooper in the Jungle Featurette
 - Trailer
 

 

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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