Savage Island (1985)
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Critic Reviews for Savage Island
Audience Reviews for Savage Island
So low budget that you barely can see the picture. But the plot is decent enough to have deserved a bigger budget.
This is not the 1985 Savage Island as the above information might suggest--it has no connection to that film. This is a super-low-budget, redneck horror film. Funny at times, Savage Island is mostly just boring--it's only notable features are that it has the Colonel from Twin Peaks in it and that it features one the dumbest characters to ever blatantly disrespect a clan of crazed rednecks in the stupidest way possible. Otherwise, it is just plain old garbage.
Full disclosure: I only saw this movie because Twin Peaks' Don S. Davis appears in it. I'd never seen him in any role other than Major Briggs on that show and I was curious. Having now seen him in the two roles, I can say there wasn't much difference between the two. Don Davis isn't a bad actor, but if a comparison of his Major Briggs and his part in Savage Island as wealthy patriarch Keith Young is any indication, he's also one-dimensional. So much for Don S. Davis. Savage Island isn't a terribly original story. A wealthy family legally owns an island on which also dwells a clan of backwoods squatters. The wealthy family plans to turn the island into a high-end resort; the backwoods clan disputes the Youngs' ownership. The wise-ass stoner son,Peter Young, an instantly grating character, hits the youngest clan child one night and the clan wants a replacement child, Julia and Steven's infant, Alex. They first kidnap Peter and then Alex, much fighting and screaming ensues, the Young men botch a rescue attempt, and Julia winds up married off to one of the clan's sons. Some blood, a few stabbing with pointy sticks, etc. I won't give away the ending, which is pretty good, but it's wisely ambiguous. Whether it's a happy ending or not depends on your POV. The writing definitely falters here; characters repeatedly make unrealistically dumb choices to move the plot along. The cinematography itself is largely digital graininess; it works sometimes and is simply annoying at others. The whole flick was shot on a budget of nothing with loaned equipment and desktop editing, in consideration of which the crew did a remarkably good job given the constraints. Despite being formulaic and a bit off-kilter at times, Savage Island isn't bad. It's not memorable, mind you; you've seen all of this before. Still, it's pulled off well enough that one has to wonder what the director will do with a budget (he has made a few TV movies since; Savage Island was his first feature-length film). Savage Island is essentially Deliverance meets The Hills Have Eyes. If you liked the latter of the two, you'll probably find some enjoyable moments in this no-budget flick. You'll forget about it a week later, but they're not bad on screen. There's enough tension and enough violence here to keep genre fans happy for an hour and a half.
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