Geeeez... Ten years ago it would be my guilty pleasure now it required a quite a lot of twisted sense of humour to even finish it. The idea wasn't so bad (yeah, yeah I know that is the grandaddy of the whole subgenre) but the whole screenplay is just pointless, the acting is... ugh. Music is sometimes hillarious. It's fun for the z-class (b isn't enough) films amatours. (Un) fortunately I'm too old for that.
Encapsulates the best of schlock subprime B-cinema: if you can see through the T&A, it tackles the evils of culture more than a film intended for the mainstream. This gem plays like a feminist hybrid reading of Battle Royale & Con Air with a madcap ending, a young Tom Selleck and some nasty things to say about our justice and media systems. And T&A. That it has a female writer-director only adds to its idiosyncrasy.
You kind of go back and forth between "this is just z-grade fun" and "holy shit, there is some depth here" and ultimately the movie's heart seems to lie in the middle between the two. It's all the fun of your typical low-budget B-movie but there are interesting politics at work here and a strong feminist bend that mix things up, even when the story is mostly forgettable. A pity, since the concept is a good one.
Terminal Island does not present a brand new story or tell it any innovative way, but that doesn't stop it from being a pretty enjoyable piece of early 1970's exploitation. It is always great to see women behind the camera, and Stephanie Rothman does much more than an adequate job directing. Extra points for such a young Tom Selleck.
It's like Punishment Park meets Lord of The Flies (in this case the conch is the cooch) meets a daytime soap opera meets a B movie suspense film. The women are way too happy given their predicament, which is actually the most exploitative aspect - maybe that's the point. Overall the sleaze and the politics are kept to a minimum and the focus is more on the low budget 70's action elements.
Women can make fine exploitation pictures too as is evidenced in this '73 film from Stephanie Rothman. Fun B film that envisions an island of murderers fighting amongst themselves for survival and turning the women into their private whores (and predating Escape from New York by 8 years to boot). Film holds up pretty well and not just of interest for a pre-Magnum Tom Selleck.