What if 7 classic sitcom castaways left in limbo on a deserted island were never rescued by a TV movie over a decade later? What would have happened to the simple farm girl from Kansas and ... See full summary »
When a decaying Russian satellite crashes on the island, the Professor uses a key component for a barometer. With that device, he learns that a massive wave is going to swamp the island. In desperation, the castaways lash their huts together into one structure in order to have any chance to ride the disaster out. The wave strikes the island and the hut is swept out to sea. Once there, Gilligan accidents starts a fire trying to cook a meal and nearly burns the floating hut down. Occupied with stopping the fire, the gang fails to notice that the smoke caught the attention of a naval helicopter who summoned a ship to rescue the castaways. In triumph, they return to Hawaii, only to learn that things have changed over the years and they will have trouble fitting in. To further complicate matters, two Russian spies are after that the key component that Gilligan now wears as necklace. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
By the late '70s, I'd spent many an afternoon watching Gilligan's Island in syndication after school. Each episode was the TV equivalent of a Hostess Twinkie - light, fluffy, undeniably artificial, sweet and sappy enough to make you sick. But come the next day, you wanted another one anyway. Rescue from Gilligan's Island looks like nothing so much as an extended episode from the original series. Depending on how much you liked or hated the series, that can be good or bad. All the old staples were back, from the fast-motion slapstick to the groaners masquerading as punchlines. As soon as I saw the network promo where the Skipper said, "After 15 years, we're finally rescued," I was looking forward to watching this on TV. I missed the original lagoon set, though. The new lagoon looked a lot smaller and darker, not at all inviting. Perhaps the worst part of the movie was seeing everyone back in "civilization" after years of seeing them only on the "island." The message of the movie is true: there's no place like home, which in this case was the island.
Most of the cast was back, looking none the worse for wear. Alan Hale, Jr. could have stepped fresh from the series, as could Dawn Wells, Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer. Russell Johnson looked his age, and Bob Denver added the most years. Judith Baldwin was nowhere near as alluring as Tina Louise. Choosing between Mary Ann and this Ginger would be no contest. At least her leaden delivery and wooden expressions made me appreciate how underrated Tina really was.
The DVD transfer is easily the worst I've ever seen. Where did they get the source material, off a videocassette recorded from a local broadcast? There were numerous flaws in the tape, including a fuzzy, washed out picture, bad dropouts, tracking problems and many jumpy edits where a second or two seemed to be missing. In fact, roughly three minutes of running time are missing here, clocking in at only 92 minutes. Lots of hiss on the audio track. Even the printing on the DVD was bad. It was ragged and looked like somebody used an old inkjet printer to sloppily print the label. The company involved in the DVD mastering got prominent on-screen credit. If it were me, I wouldn't brag about it. I'd call it amateurish, but I've seen amateur-produced DVDs that were much better. But what can you expect for a $5 DVD? At least secondhand copies can be had for less.
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