Island of the Dead (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I can't say that this is the worst film I've ever seen in my life, because that encompasses a lot of years, a lot of bad movies, and the complex problem of defining the criteria.

But it could be the worst in certain categories:

1. Least action. Do you know how horror movies always have a set-up phase? First they show happy, normal families and their dogs. Then there are slightly strange things which everyone ignores. Then there is havoc. Then resolution. This movie has 52 minutes of the set-up and slightly-strange phase. 52 minutes when nothing happens, although there are some "mysterious" moments with "spooky" music.

2. Darkest. There were a couple of scenes where I couldn't make out anything except Malcolm McDowell's white hair.

3. Most mundane threat. The protagonists are attacked by swarms of flies. Not giant flies. Not bees or mosquitoes. Not flies carrying a deadly plague. Just garden flies, and plenty of them.

The premise was actually pretty creepy. We follow the POV of a lady cop who has been demoted to unimportant missing persons cases, and we wonder why she got this duty. In following a lead, she spends a day on an uninhabited island off the coast of New York City, where the government has been burying the anonymous dead for more than a century, and still is. The labor on the island is provided by prisoners.   


As so often happens in these things, there is a billionaire real estate developer, ala Donald Trump, who wants to develop the island for casinos and high-rises, and doesn't care about any silly old anonymous dead bodies which he might desecrate.

So there she is, our detective, on an island which is nothing but a large graveyard, looking for a missing person amidst the graves, surrounded by dangerous unchained prisoners, desecrated graves, a corrupt developer, and swarms of flies which number in the zillions. 

Well, as you might already have guessed, they have to spend the night on the island, predicated on some lame pretext or another, and it's real  .... um .... dark, and I couldn't see anything, and I pretty much stopped paying attention. Sorry.

DVD info from Amazon.

no widescreen version, no features

Believe me, it may not sound that bad, but it sounds a lot better than it actually was. Although I don't remember what really happened, I know nothing much happened at all, and I suppose then they got out some fly swatters and a can of Raid, and her heroine caught the morning ferry in time to do a power brunch at the Algonquin and pick up some half-price cancellation tickets for a matinee of The Vagina Monologues.

Very poor effort. The actors gave it their best shot, but the film is lacking in energy, is not scary, and is just too damned dark. 

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 2.2, low enough to enter the all-time Bottom 100
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an F with good actors.

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