Savage Island is less of a movie and more a remix of two other women in prison films directed by Edoardo Mulargia, Hotel Paradise and Escape from Hell. The result is a near-incoherent mess of a film that has the same actors playing different roles and appearing and reappearing randomly through the redubbed story. It’s mind numbing to say the least.
The real draw, for American VHS and grindhouse audiences, is Linda Blair. To her credit, she didn’t want to deceive her fans with this movie, as she’s basically only in it for ten minutes. She told the Los Angeles Times that she had it stipulated in her contract that her name could not be above the movie title, nor in bigger print than anybody else’s.
That didn’t happen. She’s on the poster art in high heels, tearing her way out of the poster — and her clothes — clutching a machine gun.
The plot — such as it is — involves women prisoners jailed on a remote island (some would say a Savage Islane) being forced to mine emeralds when they’re not engaging in catfights and taking showers.
Meanwhile, Daly (Blair) tells their sordid tale when she’s not shooting Penn Jillette in the head or menacing the fat man (Leon Askin, General Burkhalter from Hogan’s Heroes) behind it all with her Uzi. These new sequences are directed by Ted Nicolaou (Bad Channels, TerrorVision).
You may think I’m talking down on this scuzzy, grubby, shoddy and scummy affair. Quite the contrary. I watched the whole thing, amazed at the audacity of producer Charles Band and shocked that anyone could release this as an actual film that played in theaters. So to be honest, I kind of loved it. That said, if anyone else was strutting around an LA office with an Uzi other than Linda Blair, the results may have been different.