Island of the Dead

ISLAND OF THE DEAD. 2000

Director: Tim Southam

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Malcolm McDowell graces yet another B horror film & turns in the same performance he always turns in, reliably adequate & not a lick more. He is a developer who has gotten some folks together on New York's Hart Island to sell them on the unlikely notion of a nice wholesome colony for homeless people being built there, though of course he's not one tenth the altruistic sort he pretends to be.

Hart Island really is a potter's field for indigent or nameless dead. It turns out to be haunted. But instead of being picked off by ghosts the cast gets picked off by, uhm, well, flies. And flies are perhaps the least scary monsters of all time. They're supposed to be intelligent supernatural flies, but big whoop. Whoever wrote the dumb script must've had a personal phobia without realizing fear of flies isn't quite up there on everyone's list of spooky things.

There are a few plot complications with a missing persons detective subplot & an innocent prisoner on gravedigging detail, attempting to justify the length of the film, all of which complications evade being interesting.

The acting is not laughable, & there's passable photography for the location shooting on the actual Hart Island. The minimal FX of people turning into meat for the flies are cheap to extreme. With improvements it might've made a so-so half hour episode for some tv show like Tales from the Crypt, but at feature length Island of the Dead is a snoozapalooza.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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