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Zombie Island Massacre (1984) - Blu-ray Review

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Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

When the “zombies” start slipping vines over the heads of the island visitors and choking them to death, I’d say the vacation on this tropical island is over.  Mexico would have been so much nicer indeed!  

"Zombie Island Massacre’s only real thrill, since there are no zombies on this island,  is the soundtrack from Harry Manfredini"


Zombie Island Massacre, directed by John N. Carter and starring Rita Jenrette, certainly isn’t a forgotten masterpiece from 1984, but it is an interesting addition to the slasher canon as some dumb (and sex-crazed) Americans fall victim to a voodoo ritual on a Caribbean island as “the dead” return to chase them away.  Or is it something far more common than the unearthed dead?

After fleeing from the ceremony in terror and trudging back to the bus, the tourists’ night of terror is only just beginning.  With a broken down bus, they are forced to walk toward what they think is safety, but the group is being hunted down one by one.  Aware that they are being picked off one by one, safety in this horror flick is more of a state of mind.  {googleads}

Even when they reach the white house on the hill, there is no safe place for them.  While free of dead bodies, this house and its owner offers little sanctuary from whatever it is out in the darkness that wants them dead.  The gun found in the backyard, loaded with merely two bullets, is not going to protect them from whatever it is that lops off heads.  But, hell, they don’t even know the type of trouble they are in.

The kills - ranging from a gnarly beheading to lame booby trap injuries as bamboo shoots spear those dumb enough to fall in  - might be outnumbered by the amount of times you see Jenrette’s boobs, but the practical effects from Dennis Eger (Dark Shadows, Diabolique) work in spite of the darkness that has descended across the jungle.  We see a man beaten in the back of the head while he makes sweet love and the rest are gun wounds.Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

Produced by Troma Entertainment and full of some really horrendous acting, Zombie Island Massacre’s only real thrill, since there are no zombies on this island,  is the soundtrack from Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th) and the twist that occurs to alleviate the boring middle as ankles are twisted and voodoo warriors unmasked to expose the drug money at the heart of Zombie Island.

Zombie Island Massacre is now available on blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

2/5 stars

Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- February 25, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

John N. Carter’s Zombie Island Massacre, the production of which is still somewhat shrouded in mystery, was produced at the height of the 80s slasher craze and features all of the genre hallmarks including gruesome death, gratuitous nudity, and an entirely original looking ‘killer guise,’ along with a score by genre favorite Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th). Previously viewable only in dark and drab video sourced editions which mask its impressive special effects and surprisingly colorful cinematography by Robert Baldwin (The Exterminator), Vinegar Syndrome brings this horror film to Blu-ray, newly restored from its 35mm original negative.

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm camera negative, Zombie Island Massacre looks pretty damn good considering that the last time I watched this movie, I gave up thanks to the blurry images and the bleeding black levels.  Now, we have a clean print where the edges present a sharp-looking picture where red colors are vibrant and black levels hold their shapes, making the night look deep and expansive.  Gore is detailed and, while Joe’s head might look pretty cheap, the nastiness to some of the attacks are replicated with satisfying results.  Presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Zombie Island Massacre isn’t going to look any better than it does now.

Audio:

A crisp DTS-HD mono track provides the thrills and spills in this non-zombie horror flick.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Buyers get a slipcover, a sizzle reel, a theatrical trailer, and TV Spots for supplemental items.

  • Sizzle Reel
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

2.5/5 stars

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Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: John N. Carter
Writer:
Logan O'Neill; William Stoddard
Cast:
David Broadnax, Rita Jenrette, Tom Cantrell
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
HAVE A FUN-FILLED VACATION! Toe-Tapping Machete Head Dances! Glamourous Zombie-Style Cosmetic Surgery! Fabulous Air-Conditioned Tiger Pits!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I think I can safely promise you a tour you'll never forget"
Distributor:
Troma
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 1984
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 25, 2020
Synopsis: 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.

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Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

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