5.3/10
714
15 user 36 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.

Director:

Stephanie Rothman

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

f rated | island | convict | camp | prison | See All (96) »

Taglines:

Where we dump our human garbage. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La isla de los condenados See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dimension Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has the same premise as later films Escape from New York (1981), No Escape (1994) and Escape from L.A. (1996). See more »

Goofs

After a knife fight where a man is killed by a thrust to the chest, the corpse subsequently has no knife hole in his shirt. See more »

Connections

Featured in Famous T & A (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Welcome to Terminal Island, baby!
24 November 2015 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

The early 1970s B picture "Terminal Island" has an effective premise with which to work. In the "future", the Supreme Court has declared the death penalty unconstitutional. In its place, criminals are now dumped on an island 40 miles off the American coast. Here they're (mostly) left to fend for themselves. The latest arrival is a young woman, Carmen (Ena Hartman), who's just in time to witness an uprising. Some of the convicts are tired of the tyranny of their "leaders" Bobby (Sean Kenney, "The Corpse Grinders") and Monk (Roger E. Mosley, "The Mack"). So a small group splits off from the main group, and plots revolution.

Co-written by James Barnett, producer Charles S. Swartz, and director Stephanie Rothman ("The Velvet Vampire"), "Terminal Island" is pretty good for this kind of exploitation fare. It fulfils its requirements - violence, sex, nudity - adequately, and is simply beautifully shot (by Daniel Lacambre, "Humanoids from the Deep") on some pretty locations. While it naturally has its trashy moments, it never really wallows in unpleasantness, and it does have a sense of humour, to boot. (Watch how the horny character, Dylan (Clyde Ventura, "'Gator Bait") is dealt with.) The story is a little thin, but is also provocative on occasion. (Dr. Milford, played by a young Tom Selleck, was convicted of the mercy killing of a patient.)

The cast is full of then-stars, stars-to-be, and familiar character faces. Also appearing are Don Marshall ("The Thing with Two Heads"), Phyllis Davis ("Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"), Marta Kristen ('Lost in Space'), Barbara Leigh ("Junior Bonner"), Geoffrey Deuel ("Chisum"), James Whitworth (Papa Jupe in Wes Cravens' "The Hills Have Eyes"), Richard Stahl ("Nine to Five"), Sandy Ward ("Cujo"), and Albert Cole ("The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant"). The film gained newfound attention when Selleck and Mosley found later fame on 'Magnum P.I.'. Kenney and Mosley are particularly fun as the antagonists of the piece.

Full of solid squib action and some satisfying explosions, "Terminal Island" is worthy of discovery by devotees of the B pictures of decades past.

Seven out of 10.


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