Saturday 30 March 2013

DVD review: Isle of the Damned (Video 2008)

Private investigator Jack Steele is hired by a mysterious treasure hunter to help find the lost treasure of Marco Polo. Along for the trip is Jack's adopted son, Billy. Their search brings them to an island off the coast of Argentina... and into the clutches of a primitive cannibal tribe, the Yamma Yamma. Alexis Kinkaid, a mysterious recluse who has made his home on the island amongst the cannibals, may hold the key to unlocking the island's secret... if they don't end up in the belly of a savage first!  Isle of the Damned is written by Mark Leake and directed by Mark Colegrove. The acting is hilariously bad but it is intentionally bad and very fun. The hilarious dubbing is also intentional and is just fantastically funny. The actors/actresses sport wigs and almost all of the male characters have very fake moustaches. The camerawork and editing is pretty good, the filmmakers have made an effort to make it look like a old movie from the 1970s with grains and scratches. It´s very low budget and it shows. A lot of the flaws are clearly intentional and part in the filmmakers effort to make the flick look like a old style italian cannibal exploitation flick. The soundtrack is very retro, think early italian 1980s...  Isle of the Damned is very gory, some of the stuff looks just decent while some of the make up fx looks really good and I´m sure gorehounds will appreciate this flick. There´s a lot of graphic violence on screen, cannibalism, ripping out and eating a fetus and much more. That said, this is not for the squemish. Plenty of sleaze and old style exploitation in this. There´s some female topless nudity in this, there are several brief sexscenes and then there is a gang rape of one of the male characters but don´t worry it isn´t explicit by any shape or form.
Isle of the Damned is also known as Bind Them and Kill Them!, Cannibal Island Holocaust and Island of the Damned. To be honest it´s pretty hard to know if these alternative titles are correct or part of the myth created around Isle of the Damned as part of it´s marketing.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Dire Wit Films.
Rating: 6 out of 7. I enjoyed it! Very entertaining and very very silly! I can imagine quite a few, including the politically correct and squemish, not liking it but give it a chance you might like it. It´s both a homage and a spoof of the italian cannibal movies of the 1970s -80s and is succesful in that but to the viewer to fully appreciate this flick it´s more or less necessary for him or her to be a fan of the old italian genre movies.


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