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Island, The (1980) [VHS]

4.0 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, David Warner, Angela Punch McGregor, Frank Middlemass, Don Henderson (II)
  • Directors: Michael Ritchie
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Rated:
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: March 1, 1992
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300182363
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,118 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Peter Benchley followed his massively successful novel Jaws with another commercial success--but of an infinitely sillier nature. And the movie, directed by Michael Ritchie, isn't much better. Michael Caine stars as a New York reporter who is following a hot lead about the Bermuda Triangle--and gets his story, if he can only live long enough to report it. Because, in fact, there's nothing supernatural going on--just the descendants of 18th- and 19th-century pirates living on an uncharted island. And, naturally, they're able to wreak havoc with modern sailors because they have the element of surprise on their side--not to mention the willingness to perform unspeakable acts of violence. This is less Hollywood product than byproduct. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 2, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Now, here's a film that should definitely be available on DVD by now. By the time I got around to watching this, I had completely forgotten what it was even supposed to be about - but I put away any misgiving once I saw that it starred Michael Caine and was based on Peter Benchley's post-Jaws novel of the same name. Admittedly, the movie is a little out there and has a couple of weaknesses in the plot, but the whole thing is realistic enough to be plausible and features some pretty shocking violence for a 1980 non-horror movie - the opening scene is a particularly effective attention-getter.

Michael Caine plays Blair Maynard, a New York journalist determined to get to the bottom of a rather shocking number of boats lost near the Bahamas in the last three years. As fate would have it, his son Justin (Jeffrey Frank) turns up in his office unexpectedly (the ex-wife having forgotten to even let Maynard know he was coming), so the two of them jet off to Florida for the weekend. In case you have any doubts as to the age of this movie, just watch a gun shop sell Blair a handgun for his twelve-year-old son upon their arrival. Anyway, the two take a most memorable air jaunt to a remote island, head out to do some fishing, and discover that being a Good Samaritan is rather highly overrated. Before you can say Yar, matie! the two of them find themselves captives of a rag-tag bunch of filthy pirates - actually, they prefer to be called buccaneers. Their archaic culture, which is a really weird mix of religion, ritual, and savagery, has survived for three hundred years out there in the middle of the Caribbean, hidden from the eyes of modern man (except for those they kill, of course).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Investigative reporter Blair Maynard is looking into the disappearance of recreational water craft and their passengers over a three year period in the Caribbean. Unfortunately for Maynard and his son, his journey will unlock the chilling 300 year old secret of "The Island" and its inhabitants. What is the Island? What terror awaits Maynard and his son on the Island? Can anyone escape the Island?

In 1980 long before cable and satellite television would come to Windsor, we had decoder boxes hooked up to our televisions so we could receive the signal from ON-TV via WXON out of Detroit. Believe it or not, ON-TV was also the first network to broadcast the uncut version of the original "Dawn of the Dead" Thanks to ON-TV in 1980 I was able to see " The Island" starring Michael Caine and I've waited a long time to see this film again.

Thanks to Universal Studios a legitimate DVD is finally available for fans via their MOD program. The disc is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media, so it's not the factory pressed DVD with the protective coating were used to buying. I'm not a big fan of the MOD disc program but this is the only way to get "The Island" on DVD until a proper release from Universal Studios takes place.

Some fans will be upset that the disc is bare bones. There isn't a fancy menu at the beginning of the movie or choice of sound options. I put the movie in my player and walked away for a couple minutes and when I came back the movie was already playing. Sadly, there aren't any commentaries or bonus features for fans of the movie either.

Fans will be excited when they see the video transfer that Universal Studios has given us for this MOD release. The 2.
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Format: DVD
Think of The Hills have eyes or Wrong Turn but in the high seas. Yes very violent, very disturbing and absurd that such 18th century pirates are still around roaming these vast oceans? The coelecanth an 8 foot long fish believed to have been extinct for 30 million years was found on the coast of South Africa in 1938 and a school of it were found in the Indian Ocean 10 or so years ago. So the plot is plausible and unique and one of its kind intelligently conceived by Peter Benchley of Jaws fame. Not to mention the Caribbean is rich in colonial history in addition to the enigma of the Bermuda Triangle phenomena. Michael Caine and son are caught in a web of conflicts and delusion in this motley crue of ravaging despicable pirates or buccaneers in its English historical context. The browning machine gun scene with Michael Caine belongs to cinematic history's most powerful and violent shootout. David Werner one of Britain's great imports to Hollywood delivers a mind boggling performance as the villainous leader of this rat pack caught in time.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Wow...Peter Benchley's original novel, "The Island" is almost unfilmable as written, but Benchley made a go of it and tried anyway. Kind of a maritime thriller author of the 1970s and 1980s, this was written after the glow of "Jaws" faded off.

Yes, it's about modern-day pirates living on an uncharted island, making a living attacking and sinking passing boats. What gets missed in the spectacle is the subplot of a father's love for his estranged son, which by itself makes "The Island" worth watching.

The movie has plot holes wide enough to sail the USCGC "Dauntless" through them. Yes, this was the latter part of the last century, but hundreds of modern-day pirates supporting themselves by attacking and sinking yachts AND escaping notice for 300 years? Simple nonsense, as in all film, but it doesn't quite get over the suspension of disbelief hurdle.

It's unbelievably violent, and goes over the top (especially the rape of Michael Caine - yes you read that right.) That said, Director Michael Ritchie, while not in danger of receiving any academy awards, built up enough tension for the most satisfying climax of the decade when Michael Caine finally emerges victorious over the bad guys.

As Michael Caine himself has said, he saw the final film product, and it was terrible. However, he saw the house that it bought, and it is terrific! I wish I could say it was campy, in a "so bad it's good" kind of way, but it's just depressing.

OK, there is one very compelling reason to purchase: Ennio Morricone's score. It has the 1980s "slasher" motif for danger sequences, but it has an uplifting maritime symphonic theme for seagoing parts of the film. (We'll ignore that this happy music is juxtaposed with throat slashing violence). It is a surprisingly listenable score, given the crappy film.

But unless you like film scores, you should probably avoid.
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