Bermuda Island (2023) Review
Bermuda Island starts off as though it’s going to be an action film, with FBI agents getting into a shootout as they arrest Diego (Noel Gugliemi. War of the Worlds: Annihilation, Savage Salvation) for arms dealing, money laundering, and assorted other naughty behaviour.
While all this is going on a group of passengers is waiting impatiently to board their flight, which is being held up due to the prediction of a massive storm that we keep hearing about on the news crossing its path. Eventually they all board, along with Diego and a contingent of FBI agents accompanying him back to Puerto Rico. Air Marshall Jonas (Tom Sizemore, Hustle Down, Megalodon Rising) is upset that he wasn’t informed of this.
Since the storm apparently isn’t a threat anymore, they take off only to run into turbulence approaching Puerto Rico even though the airport tells them there’s no trace of a storm on their radar. Diego uses this as cover to get out of his cuffs, grab a gun and start shooting, only to quickly eat a bullet himself, thus making most of Bermuda Island’s first twenty minutes pointless. Then the storm that shouldn’t exist causes the plane to crash into the ocean somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.
Why writer Robert Thompson (Frost, Crossbreed) thought this was a good way to start the film off is beyond me. The time devoted to Diego could have been used elsewhere or the script could have had the gunfight cause the plane to go down giving it some relevance to the story. Similarly, the buildup over the storm that never arrives only for a phantom one to show up feels clunky. It’s like the first act was grafted on from an entirely different script and there wasn’t time for proper rewrites to integrate it.
Eventually, the survivors wash up on the Bermuda Island in the title and, after a bit of wandering around and bickering, find out they’re not alone on the island. Not only is there a pack of flesh-eating humanoids, but there’s also Bruce (John Wells, One Must Fall, Werewolf Island) whose been stranded here and dodging the creatures for a long time. Long as in over one hundred years.
Unfortunately getting to that point takes a fair amount of patience. Apart from the plot holes, most of the Bermuda Island’s characters are extremely unlikable, if they have any personality at all. They include the constantly complaining Peggy (Sheri Davis, The Amityville Moon, Apex Preditors), Midnight (Greg Tally, Manos Returns, From Dusk till Bong), an effeminate Goth musician, power-tripping FBI Agent Sweden (Wesley Cannon, Death Count, Puppet Master: Axis Termination), and Carolyn (Sarah French, Bridge of the Doomed, Automation) who’s there to take her clothes off.
The attacks are bloody, with limbs ripped off, disembowelments and gut munching done with practical, if variable quality, effects. The greenish-brown creatures wear loin clothes and some have The Predator’s dreadlocks as well as claws and teeth. Best of all they’re not CGI either, they’re old-school men in monster suits. As an added bonus the first attack cuts down considerably on the number of annoying characters in the film.
If Bermuda Island had dispensed with the ultimately pointless Diego subplot and gotten to the creatures quicker it would have been a lot better off. The last half of the film is enjoyable B movie cheese. The characters eventually split into two hostile factions, giving it a lethal version of Survivor vibe as well. I’d say a Lord of the Flies vibe but the characters are a bit old for that, even if they do act like a bunch of school kids at times.
Despite its problems, Bermuda Island is worth a watch for those who enjoy their monster movies on the bloody side. And once it gets rolling it is a fun and bloody ride, it’s just a matter of waiting for the ride to start.
Gravitas Ventures will release Bermuda Island to VOD and Digital platforms on January 20th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information. If you want more films like Bermuda Island, FilmTagger can suggest a few titles.