Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Kristina Copeland, Don S. Davis
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Prepare to experience a twisted thriller that's destined to become a new cult classic. Steven and Julia Harris' are visiting Julia's family on remote Savage Island. But their peaceful weekend getaway turns into a brutal ni... more »
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rhmoviemogal | Florida | 12/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here we go again! This time the rednecks are squatters who are living on someone's private island. They feel since they were there first they own the land. This part of the story really isn't important. One day the normal family runs over the redneck baby and all heck breaks loose. Sime real good tension and chills are abound, but this film clearly tries to be "The Hills Have Eyes" which it is clearly not. Still, it is better than Hills 2 (what couldn't be?) and is menacing, graphic, and well paced to keep the viewer interested. Its kinda like a hybrid of Hills with the new Chainsaw saga. Not nearly as good, but effective as a low budget shocker."
Film Pro | Los Angeles, CA | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Savage Island's raw savagery will scare the hell out of you! Trust me.
Also, the below review clearly comes from someone who lacks proper knowledge of film. The filmmakers chose the lighting and camerawork in order to reflect the dark, murky, and egdy mood of the film.
In fact, the film has won SEVERAL horror film festival awards."
Movieman | CA | 03/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
This film one a lot of awards at The New York Horror Festival including best actress Kristina Copeland. Don Davis from Stargate took home an award too. This was shot on a shoestring budget in British Columbia over 14 long days I know I was the B-Cameraman. Check it out."
Wow, you can make a decent film with a camcorder!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 07/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Remember John Boorman's 1972 film "Deliverance," based on the novel by celebrated southern author James Dickey? The picture starred Ronny Cox, Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, and Ned Beatty as four city dwellers who decide to go rafting on the Cahulawassee River before a dam turns it into a lake. The trip rapidly turns into a nightmare when backwood hicks launch a war of vengeance against the outsiders. The film serves primarily as a framework to examine the fragility of civilization, and how four men raised in the city respond when confronted by barbarism. It's a film whose violent themes contrast sharply with the beautiful imagery of the river and the Georgia backcountry. It's also the film in which actor Ned Beatty forever after became associated with the term "Sooey." I mention "Deliverance" because the low budget, shot on video production "Savage Island" borrows many of its most significant plot points from Boorman's masterpiece. This film also introduces us to city folk confronted with tough decisions when a tragedy unleashes violence in the shape of a backwoods clan. And like "Deliverance," civilization must battle barbarity for supremacy. This film, however, ends on a decidedly different note.
"Savage Island" introduces us to the Harris family, father Steven (Steven Man), mother Julia (Kristina Copeland), and their infant child. The three are heading out to an island somewhere in the Pacific Northwest to meet up with Julia's parents and brother. Keith Young (Don Davis), his wife Beth (Beverley Breuer), and their son Peter (Brendan Beiser) live on Savage Island, as its known, with the hope of building a ritzy resort to lure wealthy vacationers from the coast. Unfortunately, Keith runs into a few snags in his plans due to the presence of a family of "squatters." This is the Savage family, consisting of patriarch Eliah Savage (Winston Rekert), wife Mary (Lindsay Jameson), and their kids Joe (Gregg Scott), Lenny (Zoran Vukelic), Rebecca (Nahanni Arntzen), and Jimmy (Kyle Sawyer). That's a big family, isn't it? In fact, there are so many people mooning around on this island that it's difficult in the extreme to keep track of them all. Hopefully I got the genealogy correct. Anyway, Peter Young drives down to the dock to pick his sister's family up and take them back to the house. This guy is such a clown, however, that he accidentally hits little Jimmy Savage with the SUV when he takes his eyes off the road to hassle his sister. Ooops. Needless to say, Eliah and his clan aren't happy this incident occurred.
Shortly after the accident Eliah and his wife show up at Keith Young's house demanding that Julia and Steven hand over their infant child as a replacement for their loss--a straight out trade, in other words, that will stave off confrontation. Keith predictably refuses and orders the Savages off his property at the point of a gun. Big mistake. Peter disappears after mucking around in the forest, captured by a couple of the Savage kids, and a war of attrition soon erupts with horrific ferocity. The Young family suffers most of the casualties, and the Savages kidnap Julia and her child. This bloody turn of events leaves Steven as the sole survivor, meaning he must come up with a way to rescue his family and get off the island. He'll have to hurry, however, as Eliah plans on marrying off Julia to one of his sons. Ugliness follows as Steven locates the Savage cabin and takes his own brand of bloody revenge against the squatters. Will Steven rescue his beloved wife and child? Will the family escape from the island and return to the comforts of civilization? I leave it up to you to discover the answers behind these questions. I will say that before everything is said and done, a couple of twists unfold that fundamentally changes the direction of the narrative.
"Savage Island" is a decent picture. In fact, compared to most of the shot on video dross I've seen over the past couple of years, director Jeffrey Lando's film is the "Citizen Kane" of the camcorder school of filmmaking. He manages to tease out good to great performances from his cast, with notable mention going to the actress who played the nervous and later greatly terrified Julia. Too, he convinced a recognized actor, Don Davis, to star in his film. The atmosphere and locations also work to the film's advantage. Savage Island is a gloomy, heavily forested region that reeks of isolation. When it gets dark on this island at night, it gets DARK. Sort of makes you wonder why someone would plan to build a resort on such a brooding piece of real estate. The film works well overall in spite of a few flaws, such as the totally unbelievable conclusion, and is entertaining enough for a zero budget production. A bit of violence rears its head from time to time too, which always helps a film move along. "Savage Island" isn't a gorefest by any stretch of the imagination, but the fate of several characters is grim enough to give the film an even darker edge.
The disc contains a lot of extras. I've discovered that these miniscule budget filmmakers love to pile on the supplements when they finally get a chance at a DVD release, and "Savage Island" is no exception to that rule. Trailers for this movie, one for "Liar's Poker," and another for "Jack Frost" are here for your perusal. Also on the disc are three separate commentary tracks and interviews with the director and several cast members. There's even a look at the production facilities where the film received its finishing touches. I recommend "Savage Island" to those viewers close to losing patience with shot on video turkeys. It's not exactly a diamond in the rough, but it's close.