Zombie Island Massacre is a 1984 horror film directed by John N. Carter (Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater). It was written by William Stoddard & Logan O’Neill. The score was done by the legendary Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th franchise, House franchise, Swamp Thing, The Children, The Hills have Eyes Part II, & Wishmaster). It was produced by Michael Malagiero (Mother’s Day Massacre, Two Special Brothers, & My Brother) for Troma Entertainment.
A group of Americans which includes Sandy (played by: Rita Jenrette from End of the Line, The Malibu Bikini Shop, & Fantasy Island) & Joe (played by: Ian McMillan), on what they assumed would be a relaxing plus a fun-filled vacation in the Caribbean soon find themselves trapped in the island wilderness after their tour bus breaks down. Alone & stranded, the group begin to fall prey to an unknown voodoo mask wearing assailant who bumps them off in various nasty ways which ranges from decapitation, evisceration, & impalement. As the surviving members of the group frantically search for help, they begin to suspect that not all of them might be who they claim they are & that one of them might be a cold-blooded killer that’s been taking them out one by one. Who will survive this massacre????
Zombie Island Massacre is probably one of the most misleading titles of all time when it comes to cinema. There’s no zombies in this Troma film, it does have some voodoo rituals at the beginning but it’s definitely not enough to justify this title, it should have been called Island Massacre. This rarely seen 80’s slasher is actually better than expected. The score from composer Harry Manfredini sounds exactly like a Friday the 13th sequel which adds to the atmosphere here. It has some great nudity with some beautiful eye candy & it has a few solid kills with some good special fx. I really enjoyed the look of the killer in Zombie Island Massacre, it was different from all the other ones made during the same time for the sub-genre. The acting is nothing special in this plus most of the cast never did anything else after this & the production value is very budget but I thought it was pretty fun for the most part. Once you knew it was a slasher & not a zombie, it became more entertaining & you knew what you were going to get from this independent feature. It won’t make your top lists or anything but it’s worth adding to your collection, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Vinegar Syndrome! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a newly scanned & restored in 2K from it’s original 35mm camera negative. I owned the original Troma Entertainment DVD release & this new blu ray disc blows it away. It’s a major improvement over all the home video releases & it’s the best it’s ever going to look. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is very solid. All the dialogue is clean, the suspense is elevated, & the music sounds great here. That’s the true highlight when it comes to the technical aspects. It has English SDH subtitles. “Sizzle Reel” is almost 14 minutes, it features various clips & footage from the film with the Harry Manfredini score. It has two “TV Spots” for the movie. It has a “Trailer” for Zombie Island Massacre. It also has reversible artwork & a DVD copy of the release. There’s an exclusive slipcover version available at the Vinegar Syndrome website. I love when Vinegar Syndrome restores & releases older stuff from the Troma back catalog. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!