In case you haven’t seen my review of the OVA, yeah, i found out after writing the review that the OVA was just an edited down version of the movie, also called The Island Of Giant Insects, so in retrospect it’s no wonder that was such a choppy mess, one that was made just for marketing purposes, and now is a completely pointless product.
For sake of completition, i feel compelled to witness myself – in full this time – the horrors in The Island Of Giant Insects.
Just in case, here’s a quick rundown of the story. Again.
Some high school students are taking a vacation when their airplane crashes, and they find themselves in a deserted island in the middle of nowhere, with houses abandoned, no human in sights, and plenty of insects grown to gigantic size. The students have to survive, but thankfully one is an expert entomologist with survival skills…
I wanna clarify that the OVA is an edited version of the film… because they just took a 22 minute chunk of uninterrupted footage, but they didn’t even bother to completely edit out the two dudes that sacrificed themselves to save the idol character from giant butterflies, so at the start of the OVA you see this two stiffs partially obscured by the bottom of the frame, but then again even with the “extra” contest, it’s not like somebody even acknowledges it, not even the idol sheds a single tear.
In the eternal words of the philosopher Carl Brutananadilewski:
“It don’t matter… none of dis matters”.
Of course, it’s bound to be better by virtue of being less butchered, but even so, many of the problems noted in the review of the OVA are still here, as you’d guess they would be, with things so poorly explained you have to trust that these characters know each other from before, because the most context you get is seeing them together in the airport scene at the beginning (riddled by awkward pauses, to boot), at the very best, and not even all characters are there, i think.
And i would like to clarify that the movie has actually one character, Mutsumi, “the bug lady expert”, the rest of the cast is made up of a cavalcade of anime clichès, ranging from stock archetype to detestable stock archetype, the idol, the bully, the evil bitch (so much there’s point in learning their name, there’s nothing there) etc, pretty much all stupid, and – evidentely – in the same class. It’s hard to enjoy the plans and solutions Mutsumi comes up by using her brain, as she’s apparently the only one equipped with it, and she is constantly derided by this flock of dumb bastards.
Admittely, you kinda expect this manner of characterization for this type of survival island horror shlock, like you do in old slasher movies or b-movies, but even by those standard this mean bastards are so incredibly dumb that it goes against their own interest, like when they lock out Mutsumi to be killed by giant insects, why? Why kill off the only one of the group who has demonstrated time and time again knows how to deal with these giant monster bugs? She has even the resolve to take difficult decisions in a snap, she isn’t just exposition and bug facts.
But then again, everyone – screenwriter included – is prone to just pull stuff out of their arse (not literally), like they randomly say that rescue team is gonna come in three days.. it doesn’t work that way (they have absolutely no logical reason to assume so, btw), and they find evidence that they’re on archipelago, so yeah, it runs on this dumb logic, like the characters itself, for example Aki, the dude with the locks, who at one point finds something in a lab room, he screams, and later he just says he got scared of something strange he found…without ever saying what the hell he saw/found.
I’m surprised they cut the bathing scene in the OVA, because shlock like this sells itself on fanservice more than anything else, as you would expect, and yes, Crunchyroll has the uncensored version of the movie as well, so you can enjoy some anime cleavage, not pretty well drawn, to be frank, with a flimsy excuse for it. Don’t expect any “action”, though, as they censor the crotch region anyway with a black beam of light and intercourse is implied because it eats at the budget.
Still more sexy of the nudity shown on the insects’ victims, but don’t expect much regarding gore or blood, there isn’t much, and i’d argue that even this is token, i feel it’s kinda tame for most horror fans, and it’s absurd that they had to censor a decapitation (and a decapited corpse) in the same manner as the nudity. What’s the fuckin point?
This is not to say it has some graphic scenes, with people stabbed and drained to death by the giant butterflies’ proboscides, the wasp’s larvae eating people alive, etc. But this brings me back to the point i made in the review of the OVA: it doesn’t really know what to do with itself, so we end up with a horror b-movie about giant insects almost devoid of story, where you barely get any satisfaction in seeing the annoying or detestable pieces of shit die horribly, be it because the ones you really wanna see croak don’t, you aren’t given any investment to care about those who do, and it’s censored at random.
Because that is all there is to them, just the cliches, and none of it is played for laughs, there’s no campy or tongue-in-cheek atmosphere to the stupid plot or the characters, no trace of self-awareness, no underlying satire, the tone is dead serious, which makes the absurd hallway scene with Mutsumi a purely accidental attempt at a joke, with her strolling through an impossibly long hall for almost 2 minutes, some random rock music that starts playing. I feel it was supposed to be a “badass gearing up/walking into danger sequence”, but it’s so slow paced and badly directed it feels like a joke, but it’s not, it just a pathetic way to pad up the runtime by 2 minutes. Maybe.
Animation isn’t of movie quality, the overall level of production is of a fairly mediocre TV anime series, it doesn’t feel they had a decent budget, as it often cuts corners and skimps on details (background are passable, but characters lose most facial features even when not that far way into the frame), and – as i said before – the giant bugs are in CG, not the worst i’ve seen, but they just stand out too much in the composition, they do. Shame, because it’s the only thing this film handles competently and with accuracy, they did their research on the insects, gotta admit.
The kicker is that there’s not even a proper conclusion to the story, with the surviving characters headed for the other (and final, they say) safe zone on the island, credits roll, and with 38 seconds left, we’re introduced to another group of survivors, or something. I highly doubt they will get around to do another “movie” in order to complete the story, and to be totally blunt, i hope they never do, this just doesn’t deserve it, at all.
Even if it did happen, it would probably be another three episodes of a crappy tv series stitched together into a movie (one that doesn’t even clock at 80 minutes), and they would probably even forgot to remover the dissolve to black at end of a scene meant to be an episode’s climax. Again.
Absolute rubbish, even bad movies aficionados will be disappointed by a “film” that seems made to be “so bad it’s good”, but it’s just a boring, direction-less mesh of genre elements with no actual intent or interest in any of them, even the basics that attract genre buffs – like sex and violence – aren’t enjoyable, because this adaptation never commits enough to anything, just ticks off marks in a very serious, drab tone, with no irony or humour behind it, which doesn’t even works as unintentional comedy of sorts.
Poor, sad, boring, crappy thing, one to avoid, a waste of time on all fronts.
I’m gonna just gonna go watch Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, and i suggest doing so instead of watching this (so glad i’m done with it, hopefully forever).