Isle of the Damned (2008)

isleofthedamnedI spent the this past weekend at the Dark Carnival Film Festival and probably watched a good 12 hours of movies (shorts and features). Mostly amateur and indie horror films, there was a good variety of stuff in this year’s lineup. This film was the last to show, at 12:45am, on the major night of the festival (and probably the best feature, next to Shellter). Despite being ready to sleep half way through (at no fault of the film), I enjoyed this title throughout (I bought the DVD).
The film purports to be a lost film of a non-existent, Italian filmmaker from the 1970s named Antonello Giallo. All the actors are given similar Italian aliases in the title credits. The film is also clearly shot in English, with a purposely out-of-sync English dub-track.
It is a playful, parody-pastiche of Italian genre films of likes of Ruggero Deodato, Anthony Margherti, Umberto Lenzi, etc. – Cannibal Holocaust being the most obvious example.
The main character (a Franco Nero clone?), a white man in lopsided wig, sunglasses, and leather jacket has the husky voice of a blacksploitation character. This combined with the fact that the movie takes place in a jungle forest is pretty hilarious, even without the sound.

There are lots of crude jokes and amateurish mugging for the camera, but all-in-all it is a fun, smart piece of low-budget filmmaking that puts any mention of straight-remaking/stealing from these types of films to shame.
While you don’t have to be die-hard exploitation film fiend to like this, it helps to have a sick sense of humour, if you’re not in on the cinematic joke.

I look forward to seeing what this troupe is up to next……


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