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Monday, August 12, 2019

Monster Island (2019)




You know the Sharknado series was absurd, but a heck of a lot of fun. That sort of fooled me into checking out this Asylum production timed to take advantage of Godzilla coming out in the theaters. If you aren’t in the know Monster Island was one of the Kaiju flicks that tied into the Godzilla franchise, but is apparently generic enough for them to use without getting sued… I really should have known better.

The story, or what passes for it, has a rich guy who runs an underwater mining consortium. He is giving an interview to a generic cable network when he stops in on the crew running his remote drone subs. This is an inopportune time because they just lost one! Of course, the three have to head out to investigate and are joined by a lady government person for you know… reasons? They find a monster that looks like a starfish and it “wakes” up proceeding to do bad stuff. This leads to them getting yelled at by a navy general! Seriously guys a navy general… you aren’t even trying anymore. More stuff happens the starfish monster shoots out eggs that become pterodactyl looking critters. They wake up another monster and then more stuff happens. You know what I don’t care enough to continue.

This movie is terrible. Just to be clear I’m judging it by Asylum standards. There is zero story and the cast just move from one shitty CGI encounter to another. It was like someone cobbled together the worst scenes from every monster movie in history and loosely tied them together in this mess of a flick. The cast is generic with the only real recognizable face being Eric Roberts phoning it in as the navy general. Again, if you aren’t even going to do that level of fact checking when writing a script then you need to find another line of work. When I say that Roberts phones it in that is literally what he does. He is standing on a generic grey ship in an ill-fitting uniform for a few scenes yelling into a phone that clearly has no one on the other end. He has cashed a lot of paychecks for bad movies, but this is the first time I felt he should be embarrassed.

This is as good as the creatures get
The creatures are all CGI, as well as their attempts to pull off underwater scenes. The “sub” is Plan 9 level work with flimsy props and controls that are barely connected to anything. If you have no money, why try to shoot underwater scenes? I blame a script that looks like it was written in a couple of hours with little to no effort put into figuring if they could afford to shoot it. As I’ve already stated the creatures are all CGI and are incredibly generic looking. When reacting with each other the effects are okay but add the cast or environment in and it gets sloppy. Nothing matches and the scale keeps changing.

Some of these cheap flicks have a charm to them. Monster Island has nothing like that or honestly anything at all to offer the audience. I had trouble keeping awake thru this one but luckily, I had stocked up on the caffeinated beverages. Stay far away from this stinker.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer


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