Film #10: ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD
Island of the Living Dead
0 out of 5 stars
Known as “The Italian Ed Wood” for his rampant use of stock footage, Bruno Mattei (HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD aka NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES, RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR, ZOMBIE 3) directs this COMPLETELY derivative zombie flick. I mean, this pile of shit begins to rip other films off from its very first frame (Fulci’s ZOMBI). It then proceeds to clip off one scene after another from almost every film in the zombie film oeuvre. There’s the “They’re coming to get you, Barbara” scene from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, the “Every dead body that is killed, gets up and kills. They become one of them!” scene from DAWN OF THE DEAD, the “Hey, I found a sacred book in a cave with some weird writing on it” scene from ZOMBIE 4: AFTER DEATH, the “girl sees a priest and approaches him from behind, calling his name… only to find out when he turns around, he’s a zombie” scene from Mattei’s own HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD… There’s even the iconic “eye splinter” scene from Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBI. Shit, they fuckin’ steal the idea of a cask of wine called Amontillado from Edgar Allan Poe! It almost becomes a game of “spot the stolen idea and identify the source material.” Shot for pennies on HD video in the Philippines, Mattei manages to make even a zombie apocalypse seem trite and boring. The acting in this crapfest is abysmal… I mean, and this is just one example, these amateurs actually take a step forward to deliver their lines and then step back to their original position. Oh, and what lines… “I know you’re the best carpenter I know of!” and Girl: “Tal sacrificed himself for us, we have to go back!” Guy: “No, Tal sacrificed himself for us, we have to run away!” This kind of shit goes on and on and on… And that’s not even mentioning how the characters themselves are so completely unlikeable that you start WANTING them to die a horrible death (especially the loud-mouthed broad who’s CONSTANTLY saying, “Motherfucker!”) all the way to the films completely predictable conclusion. And the zombies… these are literally just some Filipinos who were found somewhere near the set one day, had white contact lenses put in, some putty and fake blood tossed on their faces, and told to lumber around looking scary. It really is ludicrous. There are a few fun gore scenes, but they’re wrapped in such inept bullshit that it’s impossible to take the whole thing seriously. Chock full of internal logic contradictions (well, duh!) and riddled with both bad writing and ridiculously bad direction, ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD is recommended for cinematic masochists and zombie film completists ONLY.