Isle of the Damned (1980)

Isle of the Damned (2008)

isleThis is pure silliness.  Isle of the Damned is a brilliant send-up of the Italian cannibal movie genre that populated the 70’s and early 80’s.  It focuses on adventurer Jack Steele searching for the legendary treasure of Marco Polo on the Cannibal Island.  Everything is done up in a faux-70’s feel, much like the Beastie Boys video of Sabotage.  All the characters wear wigs and mustaches and all the voices are dubbed over….very badly.   The effects are cheap and the lush location of the Cannibal Island is obviously the woods behind somebody’s house.  All that adds to the charm and hte film makes no bones about how cheap it is.

There are some decent gore effects, despite the budget. There are of course multiple castrations that don’t flinch from the camera. There are some eviscerations and sodomy galore; no taboo is off limits in Isle of the Damned. Interspersed with the action is stock footage of nature shows to make it look like there are actual wildlife around. The main bad guy, gives various monologues about the law of the jungle and how it’s a “strongest survive” type thing, to justify his actions.

It’s way too silly, cartoony, and over the top to be scary, so don’t come into this thinking it’s a true entry in the cannibal genre. This is pure parody. If you have seen Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox, you’ll get the joke(s) in the movie. When I first watched it, me and my girlfriend were living in two different states at the time, and I called her up to tell her about it. I told her about the fake voices and how the white man talks with a deep black man’s voice and described what happens…and she thought I was just making stuff up. It wasn’t until we watched it together that she finally believed that yes, this all actually happens.


The best part of this movie (other than the big black man with the afro who is shooting cannibals with a tiger striped musket loaded via ramrod…and the yawning snake) is the commentary track done by Lamborne Stout aka Clarence the Insultor and his cousin. I’m not sure if the cousin is using his real voice or some kind of voice distorter to achieve the bass in his voice, but every time he talks it makes me crack up. Clarence tells the audience he doesn’t remember doing the voice for the film and so all of this is new to him. The spend the majority of the commentary talking about how shitty the movie is and how fake it looks when they are not cussing at each other and talking about “some fat bitch” that Clarence “fucked” the night before. When the cannibals first show up the cousins flip out thinking that they are cave men and wanting to know “where da hell da caveeemeennnn come frommmm?” At around the 45:00 minute mark, a scene happens that is too much for them to take so they basically say “hell naw” and leave. I am a big fan of inappropriate commentary tracks, and this is one of the best ever.

Clarence “Is that gay, to stick a stick up a dudes ass, or is it murder? I think it’s like a torture thing…”

Cousin: “Hey, when you was in jail did anybody ever torture you by sticking dey dick in yo’ assssss?”

If you have watched Umberto Lenzi and Ruggero Deodato crap, watch this. It’s the Young Frankenstein of cannibal flicks. Watch it drunk with some friends, and lemme know what you think in the comments section.

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4 Comments

  1. I’m not a fan of the cannibal subgenre but I wish someone would make a fake lost Italian zombie movie or giallo!

    • Me too! I remember an old Eli Roth interview circa 2003 where he said he’d like to make a movie that was like a lost Fulci film.

      Maybe one day he’ll finally do that….though I’d say Hostel II felt like a lost giallo.

  2. Sounds perfect for cheese night!

    • LOL you have no idea.

      “You see Billy…when a man has sex with another man….the one on the receiving end is a homosexual. And that’s not natural.”


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