Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pirates of Ghost Island

As I’ve said before, being a horror fan, you end up watching a lot of poorly made films. This isn’t too big a problem, since those of us who watch a lot of horror movies develop affection for flicks made on the cheap, and we tend to overlook certain limitations in production budget without being too judgmental. But then along comes a movie like Pirates of Ghost Island that stretch the limitations of what one can stand.

I don’t want anyone to think I watched a movie like this with an actual expectation that it would be good. I recently purchased a small bulk lot of horror DVDs, and this was the obviously worse of the bunch. I chose it out of the lot to watch last night because (a) it was short at 80 minutes, and (b) I figured I might as well get it out of the way sooner rather than later. Also, I said to myself the phrase that has wrapped me in a lot of grief in the past, “How bad could it possibly be?”

The answer is, worse than you could imagine. The script, acting and production values would shame even a company making pornos. The special effects would have been inadequate in 1931. The acting is so bad, if it were a school play, and one of the actors was your child, you’d throw bricks at them in anger.

The plot, so to speak, is as follows: in the late 17th century, pirates hid their treasure on an island in the Caribbean. The pirate captain was double-crossed by part of the crew, and they were attacked by a demon that lived on the island, which illuminated them with a blue light. That was the extent of the attack, but no actor looks good in blue lighting, so it was enough. The cast was also mightily consumed with the task of maintaining their ludicrous pirate accents (Argh! Me maties!), which they mostly failed at. Although this had no apparent effect, we jumped forward to…the present day.

Six dim-witted young bad actors wake up on the beach of the same island. How they got there is never explained, but one of them is either the reincarnation of the old pirate captain’s wife, her descendent, or actually her. At least, by using the same actress in two roles, they saved a couple of bucks. Other than the fact that half the group is male and the other female, they are indistinguishingly annoying. The only one that stands out is the guy who starts every sentence with “The fact is..” but soon they’re all doing it, so no matter.

They are then attacked by pirates, who are ghosts, which we know due to scenes of one of them walking in front of the camera every now and then and vanishing in a crude jump cut. It also seems that anyone who dies on the island stays there as a ghost, evidenced by a Japanese soldier who died there in World War Two (Fun fact 1: Japan never invaded the Caribbean in WWII. Fun fact 2: Japan is in the Pacific Ocean!). There is also a scene where a blonde in a bikini is attacked by some ferns, which she grabs and whips around herself. Despite the general lack of deadliness to ferns, this kills her. Oh, and one of the ancient pirates wears modern glasses throughout the movie.

Eventually the movie ends somehow, although my attention had wandered by that point.

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