Arnold Week: Beretta’s Island (1993)

Franco Armando Beretta (Franco Columbu) is a retired Interpol officer who just so happens to train with Arnold Schwarzenegger, just like the real life Franco. The Sardinian Strongman had been in a few movies before — Stay HungryConan the BarbarianThe TerminatorBig Top Pee-Wee — but now he was producing, writing and even directing a series of movies that includes Desperate CrimesTaken AliveDoublecross On Costas’s Island and Ancient Warriors.

Franco takes his shirt off every time he gets the chance to and he lives in Sardinia, showing off the beach, the festivals, the folk music and so much more. What more could you ask from a former prizefighter turned Interpol agent and now a winemaker? How about a message movie? Franco starts the movie off with this quote: “Sardinia is my homeland. This beautiful island has always been a refuge for me; untouched by the destructive effects of greed and drugs. Several years ago I was disheartened to find that drugs had infiltrated my precious Island, bringing with them winds of evil that have poisoned even the children of the land. This film is dedicated to the fight against drugs, and to those who have worked to stop the plague of drugs in every country. These are the true heroes of our time and I salute each one of them with gratitude and respect.”

This is also a movie — again — with a three and a half minute long workout scene, as well as having Ken Kercheval, Jo Champa and Elizabeth Kaitan in the cast.

Seriously, this movie seems to be a home movie by Franco mixed in with scenes where he fights drug dealers, several of them needing to duck down when he throws punches because Franco was just 5’5″. That said, he was a ripped 185 pounds who could deadlift 750 pounds and I would never ever consider making fun of him. I’m in love with the films that he made and the career that he left behind.

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