I wanted to like Island Escape, but as I found it a tad on the amateur side, I can’t give it a full recommendation. Writer / director Bruce Wemple is on the right track, but he’s still got a ways to go with his material to deliver the goods.
A commando unit of mercenaries goes to an island to rescue somebody, but a supernatural force traps them all.
The daughter of somebody important goes missing and radio silent on an island where the government seems to be aware that strange happenings are occurring, and a unit of mercenaries are gathered to go to the island and bring the young woman back – alive or dead. It’s clear right from the get-go that something terrible is happening on the island: Ghastly humanoid monsters are running amok, and there are very obvious indications that something either supernatural is present on the island, or some kind of experiment has gone really wrong there. The commandos themselves all seem to be at half-strength, despite their collective experience: One guy has amnesia and can’t remember anything before a few years ago, and some of the others on the team are sort of on the same wavelength, which should indicate that something is amiss with these guys. Have they been to this island before? Was their last mission related to the experiments, and are they experiments themselves? Once they get to the island, everything goes sideways, as we expect. Monstrous clones of each commando appear and pick the unit off one by one. The only thing that stops the monster versions is a shot right in the head, but the creatures keep coming, and the island seems to be closing in on itself. The whole place is like a mousetrap with strange, otherworldly sounds, and an overall oppressive atmosphere cloaked in a supernatural cloud. Helicopters can get in, but not out, just like the men. The filmy shroud covering the place has a small gap to escape, but it won’t be there for long, and so there’s a race to get the heck out of dodge, but by then there aren’t many guys left, and the mission has become so FUBAR that even if any of them get out, those who might manage to break free might not remember anything afterwards.
Island Escape is, unfortunately, one of those generic stuck-in-a-loop type of Twilight Zone movies, with some gore and macho-style action thrown in the mix, but the ingredients never quite mix properly. The casting is poor, with actors who are never comfortable enough to feel genuine in their roles, and the pacing is off with lots of talking and only sporadic spurts of action and horror. The fight scenes are sloppy and awkward, with the actors missing their marks, and in the first fight scene in a bar, the swings are way off and evident with bad choreography. Some of the gore and make-up effects are adequate, while some are shrouded in darkness, lost by poor lighting or too-coy editing. I wanted to like Island Escape, but as I found it a tad on the amateur side, I can’t give it a full recommendation. Writer / director Bruce Wemple is on the right track, but he’s still got a ways to go with his material to deliver the goods.
Epic Pictures has just released a Blu-ray release of Island Escape (it’s #47 in their line), and it comes fully stocked with special features.