2.9/10
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30 user 22 critic

Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

R | | Horror | November 1984 (USA)
Americans on vacation in the Caribbean take a tour of a nearby island at night and watch a local voodoo ritual. Soon after, they find themselves stranded on the island and under attack by unseen foes. One by one they meet violent ends.

Director:

John N. Carter

Writers:

David Broadnax (original story), Logan O'Neill (original story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Broadnax David Broadnax ... Paul
Rita Jenrette ... Sandy
Tom Cantrell Tom Cantrell ... Steve
Diane Clayre Holub Diane Clayre Holub ... Connie
George Peters George Peters ... Whitney
Ian McMillan Ian McMillan ... Joe (as Ian McMillian)
Dennis Stephenson Dennis Stephenson ... Tour Guide
Debbie Ewing Debbie Ewing ... Helen
Kristina Marie Wetzel ... Barbie (as Kristina Wetzel)
Harriet Rawlings Harriet Rawlings ... Ethel
Christopher Ferris Christopher Ferris ... Matt
Ralph Monaco Ralph Monaco ... Jerry
Deborah Jason Deborah Jason ... Donna
Tom Fitzsimmons ... Ed
Bruce Sterman Bruce Sterman ... Hogan
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Storyline

Americans on vacation in the Caribbean take a tour of a nearby island at night and watch a local voodoo ritual. Soon after, they find themselves stranded on the island and under attack by unseen foes. One by one they meet violent ends. Written by Allan Church <AllanHC96@AOL.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HAVE A FUN-FILLED VACATION! Toe-Tapping Machete Head Dances! Glamourous Zombie-Style Cosmetic Surgery! Fabulous Air-Conditioned Tiger Pits!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Troma

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Picnic See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Denise Texeira was featured on the original poster art but did not appear in the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1996 UK video version was cut by 3 secs by the BBFC to remove 2 blows to a man's head during a lovemaking scene. See more »


Soundtracks

Di Reggae Picnic
Lyrics by Harry Manfredini
Sung by NJRS
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Cloud's Silver – or Aluminum -- Linings
2 March 2011 | by ratebaitSee all my reviews

Let's talk about a few of the meritorious aspects of this film, the title of which already promises disappointment and disaster. Its biggest draw was arguably the female lead, whose claim to fame was not being a "Playboy Playmate," but being part of a scandal that took the nation by storm – congressmen's wives are not the kind expected to misbehave. Those who recall this affair might get some degree of satisfaction with seeing what the hubbub was about, and Ms. Jenrette does a credible job with her acting, at times even being allowed to chew up the scenery. (How impressive that she also had a hand in a reggae song on the soundtrack; as another pointed out, the choice of reggae was refreshing.)

David Broadnax came up short in the screen charisma department, although his rugged, handsome good looks (reminded me of Fred Williamson) were welcome with the dashing role he played; at first I thought he might have carried the day from the zombie menace in the same vein as the famously African-American lead of Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. (Mr. Broadnax was reportedly not a healthy man, unfortunately having only fifteen years of life left from the time of this role.) That was before I got the notion that we were not going to be in for a swarm of zombies, as the title gave the impression, a fact that did not sit well with many of the reviewers here, horror fans with a one-track mind. (I was disappointed as well, but not to the point of giving up on the movie.)

Low-budget horror fans ought to be used to being taken in by misleading titles, a phenomenon not always the fault of dishonest filmmakers, but the distributors who are not above meddling with changes. Yet the title is not totally off-kilter; we are on an island, and the many killings that take place would be called a massacre. Regardless of the identity of the apparent "swamp thing" who went around committing the murders, it's not as though the film does not boast a zombie, That would be during the voodoo sequence, which succeeded in achieving a nice dosage of creeps; the mud-caked resurrected zombie was an interesting throwback to Val Lewton's I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE – not the kind of cinematic zombie that fans prefer to see in their brain-eaters.

I thought the pairing of two "hunks," the white and black heroes, was an innovative concept; often in movies, there is no confusion about who the real hero is. I also liked the suspense that was created up until around the point when the tour bus had been vandalized, and when the bus driver went out to make that abortive phone call for help; as he came upon a couple of disturbing developments, some genuine tension was created. We knew we would be in for it afterwards, in typical horror film fashion, with the absurd ways by which many of the victims were done in.

Some of the acting was -- as may be expected -- uneven, but the older villain by the film's conclusion got very high marks, as well as the female who turned out to be in cahoots with the skullduggery. When led at gunpoint by one of our heroes, the actress especially shined.

Many of the gripes that other reviewers have pointed out are justified; the film had potential, but turned out rather dull and senseless in many areas. The biggest letdown for me was the genre-switching plot twist at the finale, which made a mockery of the film's horror foundation, like something out of "Scooby Doo."

The missed opportunities are a pity. A group of tourists stranded {especially at night) in a foreign and threatening locale can be such a welcome premise, when done correctly. A horror film that got it right was 2007's ROGUE, where a tour boat breaks down in the Australian outback.

One of the disadvantages of forums where anyone is allowed to comment is that so many people can be so wrong. Let's try to keep in mind that Troma the production company is a far cry from Troma, the distributor. (In order to keep afloat, Troma concentrated its firepower during its later operational phase with the latter role.) Thus, the familiar product that Troma is known for, the grossly comical efforts such as THE TOXIC AVENGER, have nothing to do with independently produced films that have little call in the marketplace, and thereby are forced to slum their wares with a little outfit such as Troma. One reviewer, to give a glaring example, pointed to BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS and MOTHER'S DAY as two typical Troma films. Those films were made by creators having nothing to do with Troma, at a time before Troma even came into substantive being.


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