15 user 37 critic

Terminal Island (1973)

It's every man and woman for himself on an island where convicted murderers are dumped, rather than kept in prison.


Stephanie Rothman


James Barnett (as Jim Barnett), Charles S. Swartz | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Marshall ... A.J. Thomas
Phyllis Davis ... Joy Lang
Ena Hartman Ena Hartman ... Carmen Simms
Marta Kristen ... Lee Phillips
Barbara Leigh ... Bunny Campbell
Randy Boone ... Easy
Sean Kenney ... Bobby
Tom Selleck ... Dr. Norman Milford
Roger E. Mosley ... Monk
Geoffrey Deuel ... Chino
Ford Clay Ford Clay ... Cornell
Jo Morrow ... Newswoman
Clyde Ventura Clyde Ventura ... Dylan
Frank Christi Frank Christi ... Roy Teale
James Whitworth ... Vander


In the wake of a Supreme Court decision to outlaw the death penalty, California passes an initiative that designates San Bruno island as a dumping spot for first-degree murder convicts, free to do what they like except leave. The main camp of convicts is controlled by the tyrannical Bobby, who rules with an iron hand, and the women are used as sex slaves. A.J. and a group of more free-minded murderers have escaped and gone into hiding. When A.J. and his men liberate the women from Bobby's custody, tensions mount to an all-out confrontation for control of the island. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where we dump our human garbage. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film takes place in an alternate future. See more »


A corpse lying drowned in water has a perfectly dry head and beard when it is pulled out. See more »


Featured in The Best of Sex and Violence (1982) See more »


It's Too Damn Bad
Written by Jerry Styner (uncredited)
Sung by Jeff Thomas
See more »

User Reviews

Better than I expected for a 1970's action film
15 January 2017 | by Ed-ShullivanSee all my reviews

Okay so this film is not Lord of the Flies caliber and it will never be included in the Criterion Collection, but I will give credit to female director Stephanie Rothman for her fortitude for completing this action/drama/thriller that includes a few female characters that are not total bimbos. Director Rothman does follow the action themed "good guys versus bad guys" and yes the women in this film are exploited both physically and mentally but the difference is sometimes in Ms. Rothman's film the girls get the better of the hardened criminal men and I did find myself rooting for the women.

The film starts off rather slow as we are introduced to a broadcast news crew who want to do a news story on this new law discipline that sends like-minded convicted murderers on to an island to fend for themselves, and to fend off one another mainly to survive. Thus the film title Terminal Island would indicate that as a convicted criminal murderer your days are numbered once you land on Terminal Island.

Yes it has that typical '70's era dull cinematography feel, a pretty redundant music score but it also has one known star for the time in Don Marshall (known for TV's Land of the Giants) as well as some up and comer TV actors such as Phyllis Davis, Roger E. Mosley, and the well known now geriatric actor Tom Selleck, who back in 1973 was a TV commercial male model hunk looking for his first big break. No doubt, Terminal Island gave Tom Selleck the break that he needed to become a bona fide television star in first Magnum P.I. for 8 seasons along side Roger E Mosley who played TC. More recently Tom Selleck has been starring in the highly rated prime time TV police series Blue Bloods for the past 7 seasons. So Terminal Island was recognized by the astute TV producers that there is some good talent coming out of Terminal Island that was well worth pursuing.

I liked Terminal Island because it deliberately stayed clear of overdoing any sex and gore and tried to execute a film with a pretty good plot that was both creative and not easy to execute on a small budget for a B movie at best. So yes, it is worth watching and I will say that I did enjoy it. Maybe you will too?

I give it a 7 out of 10 rating

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Release Date:

22 June 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terminal Island See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dimension Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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