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Island of the Dead (2000)

TV Movie  -   -  Horror | Thriller  -  14 November 2000 (USA)
2.7
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Ratings: 2.7/10 from 741 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 2 critic

Stranded on a deserted island, a group of people struggle to survive against a swarm of supernatural flies.

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Title: Island of the Dead (TV Movie 2000)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Melissa O'Keefe
...
Tony Matos
Kent McQuaid ...
James Neely
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Robbie J
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Rodger Mackloe
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Dwight Truman
Michel Perron ...
Captain Chanon
Daniel Pilon ...
Mayor
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Reporter
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Guard
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City Mortician
Philip Le Maistre ...
Squeegee Man
Andy Bradshaw ...
Inmate #1 (as Andrew Bradshaw)
Robert Daviau ...
Crewman #1
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Storyline

The people of New York have been burying their unknown dead on Hart Island since 1869. Now real estate tycoon Rupert King wants to build what he calls "Hope City", supposedly to help the poor and homeless of the city "get a leg up", on this same island, with no thought of the current million or so "residents". Accompanied by a New York cop looking for a missing girl's body and some reluctant employees of the Department of Corrections, King makes his way to the island for the ground-breaking ceremony. But when his personal assistant goes missing, and night falls on the island, dark secrets are revealed, not only about the island itself, but King's "noble" plans for it as well. And the island's residents, with their souls in the form of countless and lethal flies, have no intention of being ignored. Written by EllenRipley112

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never disturb the dead.

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

14 November 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Halottak szigete  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The full-frontal nude pin-up taped to the locker door is Tiffany Taylor's centerfold from the November 1998 issue of Playboy magazine. See more »

Goofs

Mealworms are not fly larvae - they're future beetles. See more »

Connections

References The Hathaways (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good beginning, but Southam loses his bearings halfway through
22 January 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Donald Trump-like developer Rupert King (Malcolm McDowell), missing persons detective Melissa O'Keefe (Talisa Soto), the New York City Mayor, and a number of inmates and an assortment of other characters converge as they are all headed towards Hart Island. Hart Island, just off of the Bronx in Long Island Sound, is home of the infamous "Potter's Field"--a massive graveyard of the poor and unknown. King has plans to turn the island into government assistance housing. When the graves are disturbed however, supernatural forces come into play to put an end to any tampering.

Island Of The Dead begins with a lot of promise. The initial voice-over by O'Keefe is interesting, as it explains that she was an abandoned infant and is now searching for a missing girl from a famous year-old case. The introduction of two prisoners, handcuffed to a "meat-locker" drawer in a morgue as they wait to go on burial duty at Hart Island is intriguing. And King is at least passable when we first meet him (McDowell vacillates between passable and good throughout the film).

Our trip over to Hart Island, following our cast of characters as they ride the ferry across Long Island Sound, is good, too, and Mos Def, whom we meet on the boat, is funny—deservedly, Mos Def has already been in a large number of films since Island Of The Dead. Even Hart Island is captivating at first. I'm not sure if it was actually filmed on Hart Island, which is still under the supervision of the New York State Department of Corrections and has very limited access, but whatever the location, it is beautifully stark--an appropriate setting for a horror film. With one exception, there is a lot of good cinematography throughout the early part of the film, including the landscape of (or standing for) Hart Island and especially shots of some marvelous dilapidated buildings, where some scenes are set and more should have been. The exception to good cinematography in the early part of the film is a digital video pan across some old buildings, shot from a vehicle or on a dolly, which becomes pixelated halfway through. Apparently, this was the only footage extant of this, and they really wanted to use it, because despite the flaw, it is inserted a couple times.

The story up to this point, although perhaps a bit slow and a bit odd at times, such as the dialogue scene between King and the Mayor where we cannot hear what they're saying but instead hear a rap song, is more than satisfactory. Most of the facts and history of Hart Island given in the script are actually true, even though some of it might seem implausible to someone unfamiliar with this New York City oddity (another film which is partially about Hart Island, and worth watching if the island intrigues you, is Don't Say A Word (2001)).

However, somewhere around the middle, unfortunately just about the time that the horror material really begins to kick in, writer/director Tim Southam loses his pacing. Not too long after that, he also loses the plot. Some of the horror material is okay--the effects are decent for a low-budget, direct-to-video release, but the pacing kills most of the tension that would have been available. Worse, once we become more familiar with the menace, the "rules of the game" get progressively more ambiguous. We don't know why the menace attacks the way it does or who it does, and late in the proceedings, a few characters take inexplicable actions. By the end, it seems like Southam is drawing thriller plot clichés out of a hat and rushing through them because he's about to run out of film. It's even more of a shame because the beginning was so promising.

My final verdict, while positive, is just slightly so--a 6 out of 10.


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