Zombie Island Massacre - Zombie Island Massacre( Blu Ray & DVD) [Vinegar Syndrome - 2020]From the guys over at Vinegar Syndrome here is another shot of campy-to-puzzling 1980's horror genre-blending. So with Zombie Island Massacre, we get a bizarre mix ‘n’ match between slasher, creepy house horror, with fleeting touches of voodoo shenanigans, and one or two living dead references/mentions- though not enough to warrant the title. Certainly, if you enjoy similar release the label has put out I think you enjoy this new duel Blu Ray/ DVD release.
From 1984 Zombie Island Massacre was the one and the only film directed by John N Carter- the film was put out by Troma, though don’t let that put you off as the acting & production value is above normal Troma fare. It’s fair to say it’s not a great/ wholly coherent film- though there are elements that are enjoyable/ worthy here- so if you like 80’s horror campiness I think you’ll get a kicks here. We have some fairly impressive kills- taking in a great decapitation, a few bamboo shaftings, some strangulation/ throat slashing, and a few weirdly arranged killing aftermaths. And then we have the more quirky elements- like a killer dressed in blue & green leaf camouflage, a polite speaking voodoo priest, and a selection of clichéd-if-amusing characters.
The film finds a group of mainly middle-aged US tourists going to a small Caribbean at night time to witness a Voodoo ceremony- and as you expect thing goes awry. To start with the film comes off as a sleazed disaster movie - as we have the middle-age characters who feel very much of that genre, but added to this they are all at 'it' like teens- with lots of well proportioned female flesh appearing in the first twenty-minute or so. Then we move into Voodoo horror/ fleeting zombie stuff, before dropping into stalking ‘n’ slashing stuff, then darting into creepy house horror blending with rather confusion double-crossing criminality. Though-out the film there are more a few occasions when it scenes are cut too soon, and our rather bizarre killer (among a few other things) is never really explained. Also, there are a few pacing issues too- which at times make the whole thing sag a little…but if you go into expecting a passable slice of 80’s horror with touches of bizarre-ness & female flesh I think you’ll be more than satisfied with Zombie Island Massacre.
Moving onto the new duel Blu Ray/ DVD- and the new 2k scan really brightens up & gives definition to the film, which apparently in previously scans was very dark- so you can now clearly see all of the fairly impressive effect set-ups. There are no extra/ bonuses here aside from a cut together selection of scenes, and a trailer- which is a pity, but I guess VS can’t always manage to track down people involved with films of this age & camp pedigree.
So in finish- don’t be put off by the Troma tag connected to this film, or expect any Flesh-eating Zombie action- and I think you’ll have a good enough time with Zombie Island Massacre- if of course, you enjoy similar campy 80’s horror with nice touches of gore, female flesh, and what the heck moments….I wanted to give this a tow & a half mark, but as we only do whole points I’ve gone for a three instead.