Oh hell yeah, the Asylum strikes again! And this time, it’s all about Kaiju, helicopters, and Eric Roberts!
Listen, folks, if you don’t get automatically excited when you see the words “Kaiju,” “helicopters,” and “Eric Roberts” all in the same sentence, I don’t know what to tell. Obviously, you’re not the audience that this film was made for. This is a film for people who enjoy monster mayhem, things exploding, and helicopters. Seriously, it’s not an Asylum film without a helicopter.
Admittedly, Eric Roberts’s role is actually pretty small. He plays Admiral Butler and he’s got an entire fleet of warships at his disposal. You’d think that would be just what you would want when dealing with a bunch of recently awakened ancient monsters but it turns out that the Admiral is pretty stubborn. He’s better at shouting into telephones than understanding the logic behind Kaiju. And if you’re saying to yourself, “Would we really want Eric Roberts to be in charge of the U.S. Navy?,” you are again missing the point. Asylum films, like this one, create their own parallel universe. It’s a universe where monsters live, sea creatures can take down helicopters, and, of course, Eric Roberts is going to be in charge of a battleship.
The main character is Billy Ford (Adrian Bouchet, giving a cheerfully flamboyant performance), a billionaire who operates out of a beach house and whose underwater sea mining operation may be responsible for awakening the fearsome Tengu. (Tengu looks kind of like a giant starfish and has molten magma for blood.) Billy has two people working in the basement of his beach house. Cherise (Donna Cormack Thompson) has been working with him forever. Riley (Chris Fisher, giving a nicely neurotic performance) is such a recent hire that Billy still calls him “James.” When it becomes apparent that something has awakened at the bottom of the ocean, Billy, Cherise, and Riley head underwater to investigate.
Coming along with them is Sarah Murray (Natalie Robbie), who works for the government and who is an expert in geomythology. Geomythology is the study of alleged references to actual geological events in mythology. Geomythology is a real thing and, after having watched this movie, I kind of wish that I had at least minored in it. At one point, Sarah has to go to her former Geomythology professor (Margot Wood) for advice on how to stop Tengu from destroying the world and it turns out the professor lives in this huge cabin. There’s money to made in keeping track of the world’s Kaiju.
Anyway, needless to say, once Tengu is awakened, it’s pretty much determined to end the world. This movie, as you can probably guess from the title, pays homage to the Japanese monster movies of old. When flying, fire-breathing monsters start hatching from eggs and attacking the world, their battle shrieks will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen a movie featuring Godzilla, Mothra, or Rodan. When the film reaches the point of two giant monsters fighting each other while a bunch of human beings watch on, it’s impossible not to be reminded of Godzilla fighting King Kong. It’s all in good fun, a monster movie made by people who loves monster movies for people who love monster movies.
Monster Island is a film to watch and to enjoy for the mayhem and the destruction. Watch it to enjoy Eric Roberts bragging about the Navy’s new “sonar weapon.” Watch it for the scene where one person makes the mistake of taunting one of the monsters. (Piece of advice: Don’t ever yell “Come on!” at a create that can breathe fire.) Watch it for giant starfish rising out of the ocean and the crashing helicopters. Get a group of your friends together and enjoy the movie because the Asylum is back and so are the monsters and the helicopters!
Monster Island aired on the SyFy Network last night and it’ll probably air again. Keep an eye out!