Island of Blood (1982)


(director/writer: Bill Naud; cinematographer: Tom Spalding; editor: Hari Ryatt; music: Joel Goldsmith; cast: Marie-Alise Recasner (Donna), Rick Dean (Jim), Ron Gardner (Franklin Phlem, director), Bari Suber (Betty Jean ‘BJ’), Red McVay (Bert, Caretaker/Cook), Jeanine Marie (Lyn), Steven Tash (Phil), Gary Phillips (Taylor), Jim Piper (John), Terry Goodman (Steve Faith, producer); Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Bill Naud/Tom Spalding; Applause; 1982)

“Second-rate slasher whodunit.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Bill Naud (“Ricky 1″/”Wild in the Sky”/”Thunder in Dixie”) writes and directs this second-rate slasher whodunit modeled after Ten Little Indians, but in a cheesy punk rock style. The muddled plot has something to do with unscrupulous real estate agents buying land so they can gain control of an island. The plot is never clearly worked out, as only the gruesome murders are exploited for cheap entertainment value.

A group of young movie people gather on the secluded Creep Island to make an uplifting youth rock film in an abandoned school and plan to donate any profits to aid the island. While rehearsing, on a cassette player, a rock ‘n’ roll song, with the lyrics Burn me, Burn me, Burn me, face to face, is repeatedly played describing the novel ways a mystery killer is knocking off those on the movie set. The song, “Face to Face,” tells of a chainsaw, an axe, a machete, battery acid and a spear gun that are used. The cassette tape is left by the killer by the corpse’s side as his calling card and the word ‘burn’ is substituted with the means of death employed for each victim. One musician character (Steven Tash) is boiled to death in a swimming pool, another anonymous woman is shot with a rifle in the face to open the flick, another nail-gunned to death, a musician (Gary Phillips) gets a spear in the neck, and a trained dancer (Marie-Alise Recasner ) takes a fatal battery acid shower in the nude.

Other characters to keep tabs on in this messy movie within a movie are the following: the idiotic pretentious director Franklin Phlem (Ron Gardner); the untalented actress the director is boffing, BJ (Bari Suber), who just inherited a million bucks and is financially backing part of the movie; an angry, irritating, womanizing wannabe Brando-like actor (Ricky Dean), who succumbs to a chainsaw lopping off his arms and dick; and the producer (Terry Goodman) and the hateful cook/caretaker (Red McVay), who get blown up in a boat while going for help to the mainland.

The surprise snuff film ending is welcome. But this is a rotten film: the directing is uninspiring, the acting is amateurish, the dialogue pitiful and not one character is worth caring about.