Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is in the theaters, so of course, that means The Asylum has a cheap rip off on SyFy. That would be house director Mark Atkins’ Monster Island, which could easily be retitled Cheap Generic Kaiju Movie. And, as an added bonus, it features worse effects than the 1970s films it rips off.
Billy Ford (Adrian Bouchet, The Crypt, Knights of the Damned) is a billionaire who’s into undersea mining. Well, we’re told he’s a billionaire and the exteriors of his oceanfront mansion are stunning. The insides seem a bit unfurnished, and he seems to only have two employees, but that’s beside the point. When something happens to his undersea mining drone he and his two employees, Cherise (Donna Cormack Thomson) and Riley (Chris Fisher, Black Sails, 6 Headed Shark Attack)head out to investigate. Government agent Sarah Murray (Natalie Robbie) is waiting for them on the dock demanding answers. So, of course, she ends up coming along for the trip as well.
Almost as soon as they arrive they piss off a giant starfish that bleeds lava. Things only go downhill from there as the Navy, led by General Horne (Eric Roberts, Black Wake, Something). Of course, they’re useless. The only thing that can save humanity. They have to wake up the creature known as the Living Mountain. Because only a kaiju can kill a kaiju.
The fact the Roberts plays General Horne, not Admiral Horne says loads about the quality of Monster Island. But, by now, we should know better than to expect quality from The Asylum. The effects are awful, the script is half baked, and was probably written by somebody who was half baked as well. Then there’s the little detail that it was filmed in South Africa and used lots of local talent, resulting in ninety percent of New Zealand’s navy having thick Capetown accents. But what can you expect from a navy that’s run by a general?
But, for some reason, these films have developed a following. I understand the appeal of a genuine train wreck of a movie. A sincerely meant film that ends up sincerely awful can be fun for all the wrong reasons. But films like Monster Island are cynical efforts, made cheap and with no attempt at quality. I’d rather watch Godzilla vs The Smog Monster than this crap. The Asylum does come up with the very occasional film that’s watchable such as Triassic World or Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. This isn’t one of them. This is down there with Flight 666.
Monster Island aired on SyFy and is currently available on VOD and DVD.