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Pinata: Survival Island
Pinata Survival Island
Actors: Nicholas Brendon, Eugene Byrd, Tressa DiFiglia, Daphne Duplaix, Aeryk Egan
Director: Scott Hillenbrand
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 25min

Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 06/21/2005 Run time: 90 minutes Rating: R
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Nicholas Brendon, Eugene Byrd, Tressa DiFiglia, Daphne Duplaix, Aeryk Egan
Director: Scott Hillenbrand
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/04/2003
Original Release Date: 06/14/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 06/14/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 25min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 5
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Don B. (filmfan) from ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Reviewed on 1/23/2013...
For a "B" movie made on a low budget, it really not all that bad. I enjoyed it and have watched it more than once.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tamara B. (ladycat713) from BELMONT, MS
Reviewed on 10/7/2009...
The cgi was terrible in this movie . That fact was exacerbated by the fact that it attacks in the daytime .

The only thing I can say that works in this movies favor is the lack of nudity that is usually prevalant in movies of this type.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kenny H. (tneagle)
Reviewed on 4/10/2008...
Morph-art packaging is the best thing about this movie
The Morph-art (3-d like) DVD cover packaging was the coolest thing about this movie. After that, it was down hill. The movie was about an evil pinata that after being cracked starting killing college co-eds on an island game adventure. How scary is a pinata? The cgi special effects made it look less scary. It would have been much scarier if they had a real person chasing them around on the island or at least in a monkey suit. DVD cover art is cool; the movie isn't.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Pinatas Can Be Dangerous to Your Health
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 09/10/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"With a cumbersome title created in order to lure in the reality show crowd, a movie called "Pinata: Survival Island" made me more than a little leery. I never watch those types of shows on television, and I have less reason to watch any movie that duplicates such silly antics. I decided to throw all caution to the wind and watch the film, and I found myself pleasantly surprised with the results. "Pinata" is definitely no Oscar contender, with its healthy dose of cheesy CGI special effects and occasionally corny dialogue, but an interested horror fan will find plenty to like with this movie. We learn at the beginning of the movie that a little village located at some point in the distant past suffered through a season of terrible evil. A serious drought caused a marked decline in the food supply, resulting in malnutrition and several deaths. Following this unfortunate incident, a weird sickness claimed more lives. The people became desperate to solve their problems, so they turned to the local pottery artisan for help. In league with the village priest, this artisan began constructing a huge, wicked looking clay piñata. The plan involved using this creation to house the evil spirits sweeping through the village. Unfortunately for the village, it took a long time to build the piñata, and many people died before the artisan finally emerged from his little shack with the clay container. The priest and the artisan placed a fresh heart and some magic stones (I know; I groaned at the idea of "magic" stones, too) into the piñata, and then the village held a ceremony where the priest placed the sins of the people into the clay demon. The people set the piñata adrift in the "magic" river where lightening promptly struck the object, thus sealing the evil into the icon for an indeterminate amount of time. If you think this opening sequence reeks of cheese, you are right. It's groan worthy in the extreme, but it does set up the background for the massacre that's soon to follow.Flash forward to Cinco de Mayo, 2001. A gang of twelve college kids heads to an island owned by their university in order to take part in one of those obnoxious fraternity/sorority activities we all hate. The idea is simple: a boy and girl are handcuffed together and must roam around the island collecting underwear. The pair with the most pairs of underpants wins a large sum of money for charity. A few piñatas placed strategically around the island contain little surprises for our hard drinking group of bubbleheads. Two of the kids, Kyle and Tina, are not happy about pairing up because they just broke up immediately before arriving on the island, but they are willing to go along with game for the sake of a good time. There is also a guy and girl who act as judges in the contest, so we now have a high possibility of a double digit body count when the sauce starts to fly, and believe me, the sauce flows darn quick in this movie. I really have no idea why the Mexican Independence Day serves as a major plot point of the film, but I guess it doesn't really matter. Any holiday of even trivial importance would serve as long as it supplies victims for the evil spirits in the piñata.Within twenty or so minutes, one of the girls discovers a huge clay piñata floating in the water. Thinking this object must be one of the prizes the judges told everyone about, this girl and her guy partner break the thing open with a rock. The nightmare begins, as the piñata morphs into a killer entity with an otherworldly rage. The kids drop at regular intervals in scenes that are surprisingly ultra gory. The demon (there's no better term for what this creature is) beats in heads with sticks and shovels, tears people apart with its hands, and generally makes a complete nuisance of itself. At some point, the thing becomes airborne and swoops around the island, roaring and thrashing its way through the rapidly dwindling collegians. Banding together to fight this enemy seems to do no good, as the creature picks off stragglers with ease. The predictable conclusion sees the survivors going on the offensive against the demon. At the very least, I thought the filmmakers would attempt to set up a sequel, but is doesn't look like this will happen-unless video rentals take in a good sum, of course.The DVD contains several extras: cast bios, three trailers, and an interesting documentary about making the creature. Apparently, the filmmakers shot the whole movie using a guy in a rubber suit as the demon, but backed out of that idea when someone said it wasn't scary enough. The result involved inserting CGI effects in every scene in which the conventional special effect appeared. Personally, I thought the original idea wasn't all that bad, but what do I know about marketing a picture. These days, every film takes the easy way out and uses CGI, but in this case it just doesn't work as well here. Overall, "Pinata: Survival Island" isn't a bad movie, but it isn't great either. Jaime Pressly does what she can with her part, which isn't much. At least she has more to do than the rest of the cast, who disappear in particularly nasty ways quickly. Give this movie a shot if you like horror films, especially movies with a significant dose of cheese slathered on top."
If you like classy tense horror films... keep looking!
Kevin Lane | Mississauga, Ontario Canada | 03/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Pinata (slapped with cheeseball title Survivial Island for video/dvd) isn't a good movie. It isn't scary and it isn't anything new. It is however, a lot of fun.Broken down (and there's not a lot of plot details to brake down) a bunch of fraternity kids go to an island for an underwear scavenger hint and release a demon pinata which then proceeds to hunt them down. Sound stupid? It is.So what's good here... well, quite a bit actually. There's a fairly solid cast. Nicholas Brendon (of Buffy fame) and Jaime Pressly make for likeable leads. Brendon in perticular has a charismatic and totally likeable presence. The direction is solid and there's some good scares and a few gruesome deaths for the gore fans.The creature itself was originally shot with a little person in a suit which surprisingly, worked pretty well. The practical fx work are a good deal better then a lot of the digital ones. Many of the CGI effects are fairly lame and totally obvious but then again, if you're looking for ILM fx, direct to video horror movies probably aren't your films of choice. The creature's okay but would have worked better with more practical work and less hammy CGI.There's some more utterly goofy moments in the film such as when a dead deer is found on the island... not sure if there are deer on tropical islands. I think not. Also, one of the characters describes when she first saw the creature in a ridiculous way. I challenge you not to smirk at the stupidity of her description.Once again, not high class art here but if you're looking to have some goofy fun in the spirit of Killer Clowns from Outer Space... Pinata (here comes the lame play on words)is worth a crack."
Beyond bad
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 01/22/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"You've got to feel sorry for Nicholas Brendon. A cast member of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since the show's debut, the poor guy gets casted in crud like this after the end of the series. Brendon, along with the smoking hot Jamie Pressly and a few other unlucky college kids, partake on some fun on a tropical island. The fun ends however, when a demon infested killer pinata comes to life and kills them off one by one. Yes, you read that last sentence right, a killer pinata. The CGI effects of the monster are beyond fake, and the CGI animated explosions that occur are deliriously bad. The acting is almost non-existant, along with the story, and the blood and gore is ridiculously lame looking. Everything about this movie is just plain awful, and fans of Buffy will feel for poor old Nick Brendon. Avoid at all costs."