Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 12th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1973
Director: Stephanie Rothman
Writers: Stephanie Rothman, James Barnett, Charles S. Swartz
Cast: Don Marshall, Phyllis Davis, Ena Hartman, Marta Kristen, Barbara Leigh, Randy Boone, Sean Kenney, Tom Selleck, Roger E. Mosley
DVD released: September 14th, 2010
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $22.98
Synopsis: Murders are sent to a secluded island, after the supreme court outlaws the death penalty.
Terminal Island was co-written and directed by Stephanie Rothman (The Velvet Vampire, Group Marriage, The Working Girls). The cinematographer on Terminal Island was Daniel Lacambre (The Lady in Red, Humanoids From the Deep). The art director on Terminal Island was Jack Fisk, who’s other notable credits as a art director and production designer include Carrie, Days of Heaven, Phantom of the Paradise, The Thin Red Line, Mulholland Dr. and There Will Be Blood.
At the core of Terminal Island is story about two rival fractions who populate an island of murderers. The fraction that is in power continues the cycle of violence which lead them to them being put on the island as their means of maintaining power over the majority of prisoners on the island. The other fraction are a handful of prisoners who were outcast from the main group of prisoners after a power struggle. These ‘outcasts’ only resort to violence when there is no other way of resolving an issue.
Even though the premise leads one to believe that this film has something deep to say about violence and the death penalty. First and foremost, Terminal Island is a exploitation film. In between power struggles there is an ample amount of T & A on display. The cast for this film features a bevy of beauties who are never afraid to get down to their bare essentials. Two performances of note to look out for are Tom Selleck, who is cast in the role of a drug addict doctor and Roger E. Mosley, who is cast in the role of Monk a muscleman behind Bobby the man who rules the island. Seven years later they would work together on the T.V. series Magnum P.I.. There are many peaks and valleys along the way and If any area where this film is most lacking it is its pacing which tends to drag. Pacing aside the film does finish off strong with a very satisfying conclusion that does a superb job wrapping everything up.
Code Red presents Terminal Island in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is a clean looking presentation that boasts nicely saturated colors, healthy looking flesh tone and black levels looks strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Dialog is clear and everything sounds balanced.
Extras include a theatrical trailer for the film (2 minutes 37 seconds – 4:3 full frame), two on camera interviews with actors Sean Kenney (27 minutes 8 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and Don Marshall (24 minutes 16 seconds – 4:3 full frame), audio interview with actress Phyllis Davis (5 minutes 25 seconds) and an audio commentary with Sean Kenney, Don Marshall and moderators Scott Spiegel and Bill Olson. Both of the on camera interviews not only contain many great stories about working on Terminal Island. They both discuss various other films that these two actors have worked on. The audio interview with Phyllis Davis who discusses the cast and working with writer / director Stephanie Rothman. Even though Sean Kenney and Don Marshall often have to be prodded for information about the film. This is still a fun audio commentary that contains a few interesting stories. Also include with this release is a Code Red trailer reel under the banner ‘Code Dead Trailers’. The trailers are as follows Group Marriage, The Working Girls, Horror High, Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde, The Black Klansman, Stigma and Mean Johnny Barrows (there is also a trailer for Family Honor that plays at the beginning of the disc). Overall Terminal Island gets a solid DVD release from Code Red.