Savage Island (2004) Poster

(2004)

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"A definite kill-calls for a beer."
Backlash00727 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
~Spoiler~

I just finished Savage Island and I'm stunned by all of the positive reviews here. I read about this flick in Fangoria and had been wanting to see it for a while. Maybe that's why, when I finally found a copy, it failed to live up to any expectations that I may have had. It's quintessentially a bad retread of ground already covered brilliantly in Deliverance and The Hills Have Eyes. Here's the familiar plot: A family cross paths with some backwoods hillbilly "savages" and are forced to become savages themselves. It's one groan after another as our "hero" does something completely dumbfounding time and time again. There's one scene in particular involving a cell phone that takes place much later than the first hillbilly attack. So they had a working cell phone the whole time their family was in danger, and nobody thought to call the police?? There are other annoying plot elements (and characters), but I'll leave them for the viewer to discover. Finally, the whole shot on digital thing really bugs me unless it's doctored somehow to look more like film (Starship Troopers 2 is a fine example of this). I just hate the way it looks. I know it's the cheap way to go, but look at all those great 80's films made with a shoestring budget. On a positive note, the actors were better than what we're all used to in these projects. Much better for the most part. The ending of the movie will either have you laughing hysterically or throwing objects at your television.
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7/10
Good up to the end
edblask043 June 2004
Very good except for the ending which was a huge disappointment.

The script was very good as was the acting. The visuals were often very grainy but this in a way added to the film as the snowy features were in good places that helped create a mood towards the film. This affect was ruined by the extremely unbelievable ending.

I was going to give this film an 8 out of ten but the ending knocked it down a point to 7 because it seemed to depart radically from the first 75 minutes of the movie and seemed quite forced at the end to make the film makers look clever.

This movie though was much better than films with quite a lot larger budgets and seemed to be filmed like a home movie with some extra equipment. Not much in the way of special effects as these go but for suspense it was very good.
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Not too shabby...until the ending.
Katatonia21 April 2004
I thought Savage Island was pretty good for a shot on digital video feature. The acting and direction were all surprisingly professional and believable. I absolutely hated the ending to the film though, it was so far out there that it was truly laughable. That definitely knocked off a couple of points in my rating, leaving a sour taste long after the credits rolled. But, I still enjoyed it mostly up until that point.

If you like demented backwoods films like Deliverance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn, etc... then you'll probably enjoy this film. It's far from being a classic, but it's worth a rental for those interested.
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4/10
Stupid Screenplay, Amateurish Cinematography, Good Acting
claudio_carvalho23 December 2007
Julia (Kristina Copeland) travels with her husband Steven Harris (Steven Man) and their baby son Alex to spend a couple of days with her family in Savage Island, an island of their own. The couple expects to resolve their issues along the weekend in the remote island. While waiting for the boat, Julia and Steven meet two weird men in the harbor, and when her brother Peter (Brendan Beiser) arrives, he explains that a family of hillbilly squatters is living in the island. The reckless Peter smoke pot while driving the truck in the night and turns the headlight off to show off; however, he accidentally runs over the young son of the Savage's family, but in the dark he believes he has hit an animal. Later, the Savage family claims Alex as a compensation for their lost son. The Young family does not accept the trade, and they initiate a deadly war between families.

"Savage Island" is a very low-budget movie, with a stupid screenplay, amateurish cinematography but surprisingly good acting. The flawed story is totally absurd, and there are many unbelievable situations. For example, how could two men leave two women with the baby alone in the road during the night with the menace of the deranged family? The logical procedure would be going immediately to the continent and bringing police force to rescue Peter. Then the Young family vanishes; Julia and Steven leave their car in the continent and their house and friends, and nobody chases them? Peter calls his sister Julia of Alex when he arrives with the boat in the beginning. There are so many flaws in this flick that I could spend many lines writing about this subject. I believe this film was filmed with a home video camera so awful the images are. The good cast deserved a better material to work. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "Ilha de Sangue" ("Island of Blood")
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8/10
Great Example of Good Low-Budget Film-making
brennan791 February 2005
I finally got around to seeing this after hearing great things about it. It actually exceeded my expectations. Considering the budget involved this was a surprisingly competent and well-made film. The lack of finances actually helped this film in several ways, especially given the plot. Just like The Blair Witch Project, this film was all the better for being shot on video instead of film. Another bonus: Whereas most low-budget horror films (even the best of the best) suffer from mediocre-to-unintentionally hysterical acting, this film actually had a talented cast (save one or two characters), particularly the two leads. The only thing missing from the film was an original storyline. It borrows heavily from better-known films like "Deliverance" and "Wrong Turn" but if you're like me, films of this nature never cease to be terrifying. Plus, the director keeps things interesting throughout. I'd be very interested to see what the director would do with a bigger budget and I have a feeling it will only be a matter of time before we find out...
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8/10
A Grotesque, Gory and Brutal film spoiled by an atrocious ending.
anthonysamuel4 October 2004
This is a good film for 99% of the duration. I feel that the ending has occluded this film from higher acclaim.

It is shot in a rather naive fashion. This is clearly done to create a more chilling feel to the film - a feeling of isolation becomes apparent very soon on due to this filming technique.

The gruesome characters are very well acted and presented especially the 'nutcase' called Joe. However, the wholesome (normal) characters are a little too pathetic for my liking - granted, they are supposed to come across as pathetic but this is done a little OTT.

The film starts slowly (and the naive camera work smacks of 'B' movie to start with) and very normally but you soon get a feel of the impending brutality that is about to occur. This is one of the most 'twisted' movies with respect to cold-hearted violence.

After the abrupt and unbelievably lazy ending I was left feeling disappointed. I would have given the film a 9 if the ending was in keeping with the rest of the film but as it is it gets only a 7 on the strength of the 'eeriness' and nail-biting scenes earlier on in the film.

Give it a watch and excuse the ending!
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Good & Enjoyable Movie
HorrorFanatic10124 October 2006
Well, I was hoping this would be a cheesy horror-flick, that I would end up laughing at. Well, I hold my hands up... I was wrong! Savage Island (AKA Deadman's Island, The UK DVD Title) turned out to be a really enjoyable & decent film.

The best thing was the tension. There's a scene where one man alone is fighting against the whole savage family. It's pretty intense! And the storyline is really good.

The acting was a mix. I thought both Lindsay Jameson & Winston Rekert were very good as the Savage family parents. Then again I thought Kristina Copeland & Steven Man were just an annoying and unlikely couple.

The other thing I have a problem with was the quality of the film. It was sometimes hazy & blurry, to the viewers annoyance. If they had done a little recasting and had shot with a better camera. This movie would have had a higher rating, And a bigger interest on its message board! To sum up, Savage Island was an enjoyable movie, with a good plot. I would recommend it.

7/10
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8/10
Good slasher. Would have given it a "9" had it been shot on film.
gitanopictures20 June 2003
What great locations. A visual challenge to all those who put their eye behind the lens.This little jewel is an amazing account of what you can shoot in just 16 days. Good going folks!. I can not wait to see what your next feature will be. I'll be with you all the way.
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1/10
Dust bin dwellers, bad DVD rentals number 1.
Captain_Couth22 September 2004
Savage Island (2003) is a lame movie. It's more like a home video shot with very minimal lighting and horrid acting. Not only that the storyline and script was wretched. I don't know why this movie was made. I have seen a lot of flicks in my time and the ones I really hate are movies that make me angry. This one made my blood boil. The situations were inane at best. If I made a movie like this it would have been a short. Really because those backwood "idjits" wouldn't have been in the picture.

Don't be fooled by the cover on the D.V.D. I am an avid watcher of bad cinema. But this movie is virtually unwatchable. I don't mind movies being shot on D.V. but if you're going to do that make the movie enjoyable, not some tired retread of superior horror films (sans Wrong Turn).

I have to not recommend this waste of disk. If you come across this one in the rental store pass on by.

Movies that make yours truly angry get an automatic 1.
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10/10
A Classic
userray23053 November 2004
Savage Island's raw savagery will scare the hell out of you! Trust me.

When the boy of the estranged Savage Family is run over by some city slicker tourists, Pa Savage wants revenge, and he'll stop at nothing until he gets it.

This is a real horror film with some truly wonderful horror moments.

Also, the negative review clearly comes from someone who lacks proper knowledge of film. The filmmakers chose the lighting and camera-work in order to reflect the dark, murky, and egdy mood of the story; in other words, to obtain a certain aesthetic.

In fact, the film has won SEVERAL horror film festival awards.
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3/10
Maybe a Little Too Low Budget
gavin69424 October 2012
Julia Young and Steven Harris are having marital troubles, but on a weekend trip to visit Julia's family on the remote Savage Island, marital problems quickly become the least of their worries.

I believe in low budget films. Heck, I believe in no budget films. But you have to have standards, and this film seems to ignore them. The acting is below average, but worst of all is this video. Bad enough that it appears to be a digital video recorder bought at Wal-Mart for $15, much of the film is grainy and looks like a 30-year old VHS tape. The only really good thing about the film is the score.

I suppose the plot is alright, and the effects are decent. Heck, even the editing is pretty darn good. But editing alone does not a good movie make.
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2/10
Bring out the baby.
nogodnomasters14 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Steve (Steven Man) and Julia Harris (Kristina Copeland) with their infant are visiting her parents. They own their own island and plan on making a marina, golf course, and renting out lots. But the can not get rid of the inbred hillbilly squatters. They are riding with Julia's brother Peter (Brendan Beiser ) when he hits a child squatter in the road. The hillbillies demand Julia's baby as compensation. Things quickly get out of hand.

The nighttime scenes were grainy. You typically don't see DVDs this bad unless it is a bad transfer or made to look bad. Once the action started, the anticipation was gone and the let down set in. Sadly cliche as it was filmed.

Guide: F-word. sex. No nudity.
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1/10
Horrible production quality
adeleysim21 January 2019
I couldn't get past the horrible production quality. People can film better things with consumer video cams.
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7/10
Surprisingly good
movieman_kev6 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Julia & Steven Harris visits Julia's parents on an island, but their untimely visit sparks intense violence after the youngest son of the Savage clan is struck and killed by Julia's brother while driving them back to the house. Now the grieving family of hillbillies want a baby to replace the one killed, namely Julia & Steven's one and will stop at nothing to get him.

This movie surprised my with how good the movie was. Despite some horribly grainy nighttime shots and an lazy abrupt bs ending, I enjoyed the movie. It was also surprisingly well-acted for a film of its ilk.

Where I saw it: Instant Netflix
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