Piņata: Survival Island (2002) from Brainscan

There's a lot to say about Piņata: Survival Island (2002), aka Demon Island. None of it is good.


None. See the main commentary for details.

Imagine, if you will or if you can, an episode of Survivor in which elements of Emerald Forest, Freddy vs Jason and the "shit" episode of South Park are blended not so smoothly. There you have it.

The plot? A 15th century Yucatan demon is trapped in the body of a piņata and set afloat, whence it lands on an island and remains undisturbed....until a group of 21st century frat boys and sorority babes lands on the island to conduct a scavenger hunt. They are hunting for two things: 1) panties, strewn about by a couple with lots of time to waste; 2) tequila, stored conveniently in...yep... piņatas.

One couple finds the evil piņata, gives it 40 whacks to get at the tequila and awakens the demon. He proceeds to kill in ways more laughable than gruesome (grabs one guy by his minerals and proceeds to pull out long, stringy things as the dude stands there and shrieks like a little girl. Can't imagine the pain or the torque you gotta exert to do this but I'm pretty sure the unfortunate soul would not be standing on either account).

The killing starts way too soon, for if there is one inviolate rule of slasher movies it's that people scared witless do not get nekkid. By the end of it all, only former Hefmat Daphne Duplaix has given up anything resembling goodies, when she and her partner get into a little hootie gropin' and kissin' that lasts maybe eight frames.

And you get to see Jaime Pressly's divine posterior covered by sweat pants, especially one scene where she runs from the Demon Piņata, which has suddenly grown a tail and sorta flies through the air in a sequence animated with a skill befitting the whole enterprise. Elsewhere, this same demon ran down a couple who were driving an ATV, which personal experience suggests can do 45 mph in a straight line. Must mean Jamie was doing 50 mph, at least. And THAT means female speed is directly related to the beauty of the behind. Not the size... because then JLo would have more Olympic medals than Mark Spitz... the beauty. Only possible conclusion.

So the early tribespeople are Emerald Forest, Survivor is obvious, the demon is sorta like Freddy or Jason or Chuckie or Bride of Chuckie. What about South Park? If'n I remember well, "shit" is said 132 times in the famous episode of that show. And in this movie it is said 133. A hundred of them by Jaime alone. Seriously. Every time she looks up and sees something that remotely earns her disapproval, she says...."shit." Old boyfriend? Shit. Seaweed? Shit. A corpse hanging with its bottom half missing? Shit. A comically animated demon, flying through the air? Yep, shit. A word for all occasions. Screenwriting at its frigging finest. And perfectly in keeping with Jaime's on-screen white-trash persona.

A lot to say about Piņata, indeed. If you like comically bad movies it is worth the price of admission. Mike and the Bots, may they rest in peace, would have loved this one.

The Critics Vote ...

  • It appears that Roger Ebert failed to review this film, probably because of some kind of clerical error.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even 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. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). 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. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is an E.

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