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Island of Fire (1990)
"Huo shao dao" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  1990 (Taiwan)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 2,319 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 11 critic

A cop goes undercover to infiltrate a deadly prison where a team of mercernaries is being assembled.


(as Lawrence Full)


(as Lee Fu) , , 1 more credit »
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Credited cast:
Lung / Steve Tong
Lau / Boss Lee
Fatty Liu Hsi Chia / John Liu
Wei Wang / Andy Lau
Kui / Lucas
Chun Hsiung Ko ...
Prison Chief / Prison Superintendent (as Chun-Hsiung Ko)
Chung-Hua Tou ...
Chiu / Charlie
Barry Wong ...
Inspector Wong
Chuan-Chen Yeh ...
Jack Kao ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wang An
Chung-Kuei Chang
Kuo-Chu Chang ...
Miao-sheng / Seng
Rachel Chang ...
Woman in the rain (as Chang Shui-chu)
Shui-chu Chang


Someone in a prison run by a corrupt warden fakes the deaths of convicts to later use them as expendable assassins. A police officer is sent into the prison to gather evidence of the corruption. Written by Hans Wadsten <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When you're looking for the living dead you start your search in hell!


Action | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

1990 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Jackie Chan Is the Prisoner  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in Taiwan and Philippines in 42 days from 5 April until 17 May 1989. See more »

Crazy Credits

An outtake reel in shown during the end credits. See more »


References Bad Boys (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Island on Fire: The Taiwan version.

Island on Fire (1990) was released in three different version, the Hong Kong theatrical run, the badly dubbed nonsensical U.S. version and the original two hour plus Taiwan cut. The best one out of the three is the Taiwanese print. This film was a "charity" film that was made to help the director who was in some real "financial" trouble with some shady characters.

The director's best friend "Jimmy" Wang Yu called up some actors who "owed" him some favors. The top flight actors did the work for little or no pay. They were making a movie that was going to make some money, not a classic or anything like that. Just a quick film that'll make some fast bucks. Let's take a look at the different prints shall we?

1.) The Hong Kong cut is a fast paced action film. Only the bare bones are left. Little plot is left in the way of seeing some of the actors on the screen. The story is simple, someone is hiring dead criminals to whack important people. Tony Leung Ka Fai get's involved when his fiancée's father get's whacked by the "dead" assassin. After snooping around he finds out that they're coming from a Taiwanese prison. So, old Tony gets himself arrested and his buddy pulls a few strings to get him inside the "big house".

2.) The United States print re-dubs a lot of the scenes making many of them nonsensical. The dialog is drastically changed and some scenes are just re-dubbed (i.e. Jackie Chan is thrown in prison for accidentally killing Andy Lau's brother).

Whilst in prison Andy Lau tries to have some of his inside men try and kill Jackie. Wang Yu doesn't want the prisoners killing each other or stupid things like that. He wants it civil inside. So to placate Lau's men he slices his arm and squeezes out some blood whilst telling them, "Let Lau know that I have bled for his brother, there will be no violence in my prison." Well, to that effect any way.

In the U.S. version he just cuts his arm to show the two how "crazy" he can get. "You wanna see crazy! I'll show you crazy!!" he tells the two as he cut's his arm?! Doesn't make any sense. It goes on like this for ninety minutes! The DVD is horrible, not only is it badly dubbed but the "commentary" is worthless. Hell I know more about the movie than the guy they put on it.

3.) The Taiwanese cut is over two hours long and it fleshes out the characters. Unlike the Hong Kong version, the film is fully subtitled in English (the subs disappear during the last eight minuted in the Hong Kong print). What I like about the Taiwan version is that the true motives of the characters are revealed. The movie makes a lot more sense and you call feel for them. It's also not as jumpy and confusing.

The rest of the movie is real interesting. You'll be in for a surprise by the wild ending and the shocking conclusion!

Highly recommended!

Taiwan print: A+

H.K. print: B

U.S. print: F-

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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