The Island (1980)


Viewing Date: 1/24/2013

Starring: Michael Caine, David Warner

Plot: Based on a novel by Peter Benchley (Jaws), the movie follows Blair Maynard (Michael Caine), a magazine journalist who travels with his son to an area of the Caribbean to investigate the mysterious disappearances of sailboats, yachts and other ships.  What he finds is a colony of pirates that have been living on a small island for 300 years.  The pirates capture the journalist and his son and due to bizarre traditions, they need to brainwash the son to become their future leader, which they do successfully in two days.  Maynard is spared from death because the pirates think he has noble blood and held captive so he can mate with the only female in the band of pirates (?).


  • Someone says “Pirates” or any synonym for pirates (buccaneers, etc)
  • Flaming headwear
  • Someone says “Outrageous”
  • Someone says “Two Barb”
  • Nonsensical moments (advanced rule because there are a lot of them)
  • Music that is not appropriate for what is happening


“I got a job for you…”

(after the airplane pilot puts a hat on the 12 year old boy) “Tower gotta believe we got two pilots- it’s the law.  I tried to put it on the pig once.  The bitch bit me!”

“It’s like Lex Luthor’s place.  You know- the brainy guy who is always out to get Superman.”

“He die.  She whore.  Who pay to thrust with her?”

“You no talk.  You thrust.”

“Molasses!  You son of a bitch Manuel!!!”

“You be the trickster my son.”

Viewer Quotes:

“Thank you for larding me.”

“They all talk like cavemen.”

“Pumpin’…  And Blowin’!” (reference to ‘The Pirate Movie’ another bad movie Thursday gem)

“Do you think these people were coked out of their minds filming this movie?”

What We Learned:

  • The Caribbean is the asshole of the Western World.
  • Planes explode if they don’t use their landing gear.
  • Pirates don’t spend much time at sea.
  • If you kill a pirate, his widow is a whore if she kills her husband’s murderer.  If she doesn’t, he must thrust with her.
  • Lard is sexy and great lube.
  • You can be brainwashed in 2 days if matchsticks and water are involved.
  • A handful of old-timey pirates can easily overtake a fully manned Coast Guard vessel.
  • Giant stinging jelly fish guard pirate islands.
  • No eat, no thrust.

Final Take:

This was a bizarre movie and apparently it was an enormous box office failure when it came out and ruined several careers- so bonus points awarded for that.  The best part of this movie is virtually nothing that occurs is plausible or makes any sense whatsoever.  Boats (and people) are vanishing at a rate of once every three days and the Coast Guard / local governments / any one else is concerned enough to do a more thorough investigation?  No one has ever witnessed the pirates and been able to evade them or survive in the 300 years they’ve been doing this?  These few points are just the tip of the iceberg.  How the characters interact with each other, the brainwashing and every other aspect of this movie are ridiculous and not believable.  Had the pirates actually been zombies or ghosts that would have helped to suspend the disbelief, but this movie takes the premise completely seriously.  But again, that’s what makes this movie fun, so overall, this was an entertaining film.

2 Responses to “The Island (1980)”

  1. 1 Scamilton
    January 29, 2013 at 5:32 am

    I have to say this movie was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Great write up! I always wondered what modern day pirates would be like.

  2. 2 bmtadam
    January 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    That’s a good plot synopsis. Reading it should help you make sense of the plot and its glaring holes.

    I think the movie as a whole took itself too seriously. Taken as a ridiculous pirate romp, with less serious acting and more slapstick, this would probably be up there with most of Mel Brooks’ stuff. As it stands now, unless you’re watching it with your friends Jack and Daniels, you’re probably not going to get much out of it.

    I agree that zombies or ghosts would have really lit this rocket. Still pretty enjoyable, even so, probably just because of the final climax. That alone makes this movie worth watching. It was everything I wanted Wicker Man to do.

    As for the rules, pirates or a synonym are said in almost every scene. That was huge. The flaming headwear only happens a couple of times, so maybe make that one worth more than just one. The outrageous quote happens a few times, and Two Barb gets said a number of times towards the end. The nonsensical moments thing is really just taking a drink any time someone questions why a character does something in the movie, or why the movie was made a certain way. It’s subjective but it happens all the time if you really try to think things through.

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January 2013


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