Terminal Island (1973)

Terminal Island

And now it’s time to discuss that lovely sub-genre of film known as the Women in Prison (WIP) movie. Like slashers, they follow a simple formula so rigidly that you could call it a template. If you select “Women in Prison” from the menu of the Plot-o-Matic 2000â„¢, it would spit out something like this:

[Insert Woman’s Name] is a naÔve young woman who is [framed/sold out for her sleazy boyfriend’s crimes] and sent to a corrupt prison in another country (possibly the Philippines, were most of these movies seemed to get made). The [male/female] warden is sexually exploiting the strangely attractive population of the prison for monetary gain and/or personal perversion. [Insert Woman’s Name] must [check one or more]:

  • Tangle with the leader of the prison gangs, a tough woman who is often a lesbian.

  • Be raped or somehow sexually exploited by the warden and/or leader of the prison gangs, both of whom become obsessed with her.

  • Befriend a veteran, world-weary inmate who will show her the ropes and teach her to defend herself.

  • Find many excuses to be naked, including at least one shower.

  • Endure sadistic torture, sometimes sexual in nature.

  • Eventually [Insert Woman’s Name] gets involved in an escape, which quickly turns into a bloodbath which destroys the entire corrupt prison staff, and perhaps the prison itself.

That’s a pretty standard WIP flick. There are a few variations here and there. These depend on budget, setting, and just how willing the actresses are to be naked for extended periods of time (and what they will allow while they are naked), and finally, what cut of the movie you’re watching. Depending on your local laws, a lot of these movies have been cut to pieces or banned outright.

Obviously, these flicks are aimed at men (more specifically, they’re aimed at guys). But as Ken pointed out in his Commando Girls review, it’s amazing how often exploitation movies fail to provide the very simple elements that their audiences want. Give them some naked females, a shower scene, a few explosions, they’re happy. While WIP films often deliver these elements, they also pack in some startling sadism (Douglas mentioned this recently in a message thread). Probably the most famous WIP flick is Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. It features this kind of wholesome fare: “maggots are put in wounds, and death is caused by exploding diaphragms and super-speed dildos.” This according to The Psychotronic Video Guide. I have not actually seen Ilsa, but I’m willing to bet if I dig up a print here where I live, it will be heavily cut.

I admit, being a male, my judgement is often clouded by the sight of an attractive naked woman (though not often enough). So if I’m flipping through channels and I happen to see one, well, the temptation is to linger on that channel. I don’t however, get off on anyone’s pain and suffering. There are lots of filmmakers out there who know they can make a lot of money filming topless women and scenes of bondage. Still, it’s hard to imagine them thinking “Okay, we’ve got ’em turned on, now let’s throw in a bunch of severed limbs.”

Our subject for today, Terminal Island, is technically a WIP flick, although it doesn’t have a prison. Instead, inmates are simply dumped on the island and left to fend for themselves. (I wouldn’t go comparing this to Escape From New York, made 8 years later. If I were John Carpenter and somebody speculated this might have ‘inspired’ my movie, I’d sue the blood out of them.) It’s directed and co-written by Stephanie Rothman. Rothman’s other directorial credits include Group Marriage, The Student Nurses, and It’s a Bikini World. She also wrote the WIP flick Sweet Sugar. So while Terminal Island attempts some ‘social commentary’ to disguise its exploitation nature, you know exactly where it’s coming from.

We open with a shot of an average-looking woman on a monitor. A narrator-ish voiceover asks “What’s your opinion of Terminal Island?” (Uh, ask me that in twenty minutes.)

“It makes me feel safe,” says the woman. “We don’t have the death penalty to protect us anymore.”

Cut to a 1970ish-looking guy who sneers “It’s where we dump our garbage.” There’s another woman who screeches something incoherent about hanging people. The are nearly a dozen of these ‘man on the streets’ shots in which people mouth off about what scum criminals are and how they deserve everything they get (okay, we get it already). It concludes with another woman speculating “Maybe they can get together and make a better life for themselves. Or maybe it’ll work the other way.” Ho ho, irony alert!

Next shot, we see a man and a woman watching the commentary. They’re a news team putting together a piece on Terminal Island. Enter a balding guy, apparently their boss. He yells at some off camera guy named Craig to display “that feature we ran last fall, maybe we can steal something from it.”

Oh, Dimension! They do good stuff!
No news is good news, especially with this story.

The younger man, who is wearing a blue sweat top and has that distinctly ’70s shoulder-length hair, says “It’s too soon to run again. Viewer’s gonna remember.” Bald Guy says “Come on, those dummies can’t remember what they saw five minutes ago.” This might be biting media satire, or it might be the Exploitation Filmmakers’ Credoâ„¢.

Craig must have the piece right on hand, as they immediately start to watch it. Narration begins to play over an aerial shot of an island. “Three years ago the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional.” While this is going on, Newswoman does her nails, and Young Newsguy smokes a pipe, giving us some characterization via props, since we won’t be spending much time with these three.

The narration goes on to explain that 18 months later “the people of the state of California voted two to one in favor of the San Bruno Initiative. Opponents said it’s worse than the death penalty while advocates maintained it was the cheapest way to support criminals sentenced to life imprisonment.” Uh, there’s a big difference between the death sentence and life imprisonment. I think I know what they’re trying to get at here, but they should be clearer about it.

“Forty miles off our coast lies the final solution…” says the Narration darkly. Get it? As in Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’? See, this isn’t an exploitation flick, but *SERIOUS SOCIAL COMMENTARY*. You at the back, stop snickering.

“…the San Bruno maximum security detention centre, better known as Terminal Island.” We learn that all the ‘inmates’ (onmates?) have been convicted of 1st degree murder, and that the delivery of supplies and new prisoners is TI’s only interaction with the outside world. “There are no walls here, no guards, no rules, but escape is impossible.” The island is surrounded by “electronically controlled mines” and the only entry corridor is patrolled by some stock footage (of a navy picket ship).

All right, here’s what the movie is asking us to believe. The death penalty has been declared unconstitutional. It’s not said if this was a decision of the Supreme Court of California (where Terminal Island is located, and not the Philippines) or the Supreme Court of the US. I’m not up on American law, but wouldn’t a decision by the US Supreme Court effectively abolish the death penalty in America? Oh well, it doesn’t strictly matter in this case. I’m also not trying to argue whether there should be a death penalty or not. I’m simply trying to establish that in the setting of this movie, the climate is such that the number one American legal body has examined the death penalty and determined that the government does not have the right to execute criminals, no matter what they’ve done. In their opinion, it is contrary to the rights and freedoms granted to American citizens.

So they’re trying to tell us that executing criminals is unconstitutional. However, dropping them on an isolated island populated by killers where there is no supervision, no guarantee of adequate shelter or food, no parole hearings, no visitors, and no opportunity to contact legal counsel is just fine? How did this get by the Supreme Court? You can bet if I was a criminal facing exile on TI, I’d fight it up to the Supreme Court, and I don’t see any reason why the “San Bruno Initiative” would be upheld. The Escape From New York set-up, which featured a more fascist, authoritarian government, is much more believable (but again, Mr. Carpenter, bears nary a resemblance to this movie).

Our news team discusses profiling some of the prisoners on TI. They begin to look at a series of mugshots. The interesting thing about these mugshots (there looks to be about a dozen of them) is that there’s a ruler on the wall to indicate prisoner height in the background, and it’s the same wall for every prisoner. Apparently all these people where taken to the same precinct after arrest. Imagine the odds. Oh, and in case you haven’t guessed, these are mugshots of people we’ll be getting to know real soon.

Here are the edited highlights:

First up is Bobby Farr, and upon seeing his face, Young Newsguy says “Oh, what a punk.” It’s unfortunate he says that because they look a lot alike–they have the same hair and could pass for brothers. Anyway, Bobby killed his partner after a $2 million robbery. “Bobby didn’t want to share,” Newswoman says.

Exploitation flicks are fascinating because they’re often filled with stars or not-quite stars sailing into their career low point, and sometimes their career finale. Linda ‘Exorcist‘ Blair, for example, spent a lot of time in the WIP big house. I say this because we are shown a mugshot of the lovely Lee Philips, a blonde woman who was apparently allowed to freshen up her make-up for her mugshot. Lee Philips is played by Marta Kristen. Yes, little Judy Robinson on the old TV show Lost in Space. (As a side note, she also had a cameo appearance in the recent remake–A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

We learn Lee threatened to blow up “a branch a week” unless a bank chain pulled all their money out of South America. Any particular reason? No? Just thought I’d ask. Apparently Lee did blow up a bank in San Francisco “…and a bank teller, and a bank guard…” continues Newswoman. Newsguy says “Hey, it was an accident. She only wanted to destroy property.”

“In that case she deserves a reprieve.” I think the woman is being sarcastic here, but it’s hard to be positive. In fact, this opening really isn’t so bad by normal Jabootu standards, and there is room for some social satire, but it has to be pursued with a little more dedication than we see here.

“She’s a very bright chick,” says newsman. “She almost got her Ph.D.” Oh yeah. So I guess if Timothy McVeigh produces a Doctorate thesis, all is forgiven, huh?

Oh yes, let’s not forget that this is a co-ed prison, so to speak. This will be useful for exploitation purposes, and is one more reason why the set-up is impossible to swallow. Later information we get establishes that there were at least 70 prisoners on TI, but that just three of them were women. Considering what goes on in a normal maximum security prison, it’s not hard to figure out that TI would be absolute Hell on Earth, particularly for a woman. But apparently it’s all constitutional, unlike the death penalty.

We also see AJ Connors, who killed a cop. “What’s so special about that?” comments Bald Guy. (It’s hard to tell here, but it appears they are actually looking at a picture of another character, Cornell.) “Oh, Bunny Campbell, did in her mommy and daddy with an ice pick. Her we can use.” Bunny is a doe-like creature that no doubt Joe Esterhas is a big fan of.

More prisoners are named–“Julian Mother Dylan” is a “doper, biker, killer, rapist.” Then there’s Joy Lang, who poisoned her husband. “How about something for the bored housewife?” asks Newswoman. “Doctor Norman Milford–the mercy killer.”

Exploitation flicks are also fascinating because they’ve often got that one actor/actress who would one day beat the odds and become famous. In fact, “Doctor Norman Milford” is the one reason anyone has ever heard of this movie, because he’s played by a very young Tom Selleck(!). After Selleck hit it big with the TV show Magnum PI nearly ten years later, TI was re-released to exploit his name. That’s pretty common in the movie biz–probably the most recent example is the unearthing of everything Leonardo DiCaprio has ever done in order to cash in on his Titanic success. DiCaprio is fortunate in that he doesn’t seem to have this class of turkey in his portfolio (Ahem, Critters 3?).

Nice outfit. Say, this wouldn't be made in the 70s, would it?
Tom Selleck probably wishes he had a criminal record rather than Terminal Island on his list of film credits.

Another thing about this scene–the numbers on the mugshots are surprisingly small. Milford’s number for example is 32665. I would have thought that there would be more criminals in a California, but oh well.

They end this scene by looking at footage of a recent sentencee. This is Carmen Simms, a thin, big-haired black woman. Her crime is never specified, but we can only assume that it too is 1st degree murder of somebody or other. The footage shows her being led down some courthouse steps while camera men and reporters buzz around her. Carmen is wearing an awful yellow jumpsuit. She knocks away one camera, although none too convincingly. Meanwhile, camera men yell “Over here!” They’re trying to get her to look at the cameras, but they sound more like receivers who are open for a pass.

“Over this we’ll tell them how Carmen Simms’ final appeal has been denied and she’ll be transferred to Terminal Island immediately,” says Bald Guy. “We’ll says how Terminal Island was headline news 9 months ago when the first inmates went there, today it’s forgotten. But Carmen Simms forces us to remember, soon it will be forgotten again, etc. etc. I think we’ll get a nice little piece out of this.” Ah, the cynical media, huh? I must give them credit, this is pretty good expository dialogue, because it isn’t delivered so obviously. The movie will never again be so good.

Okay, now the movie plummets precipitously into Jabootu territory. A bad country/western song starts up and the opening credits roll. Like the title song from The Last Dinosaur, this one is hilarious. If Ken ever strikes it rich doing this site, I propose we release all these songs on an album called “Jabootu Sings the Non-Hits!” This one is called “It’s Too Damn Bad” and it’s performed by that master lyricist Jeff Thomas. Here’s a sample:

“All too soon she was all alone
much too young
she was on her own
all by herself
she had to make her way”

[So, uh, what you’re saying is, she was alone. Right?]

“Well she started out right
but before too long
wrong was right and right was wrong
and good was bad
she had the devil to pay.”

Poetry. Sheer poetry. I got goosebumps. Anybody want to ask me my opinion of Terminal Island now?

While the song is playing, we see a speedboat delivering Carmen to TI. There are three guards on the boat. For some reason, one is out of uniform, wearing a green jacket instead of a tan one. One guard is sitting right next to Carmen on the back of the boat, carrying an M-16. This guard is sitting at the edge of the boat too. He could easily fall off. Carmen appears to be just standing there (though in a moment we’ll see that her left hand is handcuffed to the boat). If she didn’t want to go quietly, she could easily send this guard swimming, and perhaps get his gun to boot. Nice security, boys.

The boat stops just off the beach. Guard uncuffs her and begins giving her a spiel about how she’s exiled there for the “rest of her natural life.” Whoa. I don’t know the laws of California, but “natural life” does not necessarily mean your entire life. In one state I looked up, it was only 25 years! I thought they were going to leave her here to rot forever.

Carmen stands there and takes all this as if merely curious. While this is going on, the soundtrack switches to one of four or five of the movie’s awful pieces of background music. This is the tender/sad one, and may just be an instrumental part of “It’s Too Damn Bad.” Get used to that “Dooo dooo do do do do dooo dooo.” You will hear it a lot.

“Pursuant to Title 41, section 7 of the California penal code, you are hereby declared legally dead. Sign here.”

“I never heard of a corpse signing its name,” replies Carmen. Thanks for holding our hands and pointing that out to us, Carmen. And now we know it’s also not unconstitutional to declare a perfectly healthy person legally dead, but killing them for a crime is.

“Doesn’t matter,” says the guard. “Here’s your copy.” She takes the paper and crumples it up. She flings it overboard, then gasps. A body is lying face down in the water, right next to the boat. How did they not notice it earlier? Oh well. So much for Carmen as the hardened criminal. This is the first of several hints that Carmen really wasn’t expecting Terminal Island to not be a lot of fun. Well, duh!

We next see Carmen wandering along the beach. She studies a body in the surf, while the song kicks back in. A wave moves the body slightly, but the ‘corpse’ helps out by moving its arm.

“All the terrible things
of a terrible life
all the dope and the booze and a razor sharp knife
came together on a terrible night of crime
Well some people knew who should share the blame
and the judge knew too but it’s all the same
cause he said
[Music halts] ‘Forever and forever, is a long, long time.'”

Carmen stops on the beach to make camp. Up on the hill, someone is watching, and dramatic music plays. People in this movie like to watch other people below them by standing out in the open on higher ground, but for some reason are never noticed.

A violin version of the “Dooo dooo” music plays while Carmen tries to light a fire. She has been given a backpack with some canned goods, matches, and a hatchet. Yes, a hatchet. Hey, why not give the inmates grenades, too?

A distinctive blue haze that accompanies bad day for night shooting hangs in the air. Suddenly, Carmen spots Milford watching her, just a few feet away.

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...
It's night! No, really!

Carmen raises the hatchet and says “Stay there or I’ll kill you!” Milford sits down at her camp anyway and says “Go ahead. You’d be doing me a favor.” He opens a small tin with powder that he says is “wild mamosa. You wanna snort?” Ah, another dignified early role for Tom Selleck. Between this and being one of Mae West’s studs in Myra Breckenridge, poor Tommy must have wondered if he’d ever get any work he wouldn’t be ashamed to tell his friends about.

“I don’t wanna get stoned,” says Carmen. “You will,” says Milford. They exchange names. “I used to doctor,” he says. “Got anything that hurts?” This is actually one of the few lines Selleck delivers that is cringe-worthy. I don’t think he’d make many people’s list of the top ten best actors of all time, but we know from his other roles that he is capable of delivering an entertaining performance. From this we can deduce that here he was trying just hard enough to get his paycheque, nothing more.

Carmen wants to know where the other inmates are, because she hasn’t seen them yet. “They’ve seen you,” replies Milford ominously. He explains that they’re just over the bluff. There are about 40 people on the island, but there were 70 when he came originally.

“How many women?” asks Carmen. “Not enough,” is the dark reply. She asks about the bodies in the water, and how they got there. Milford is silent. “Were they killed?” she demands. Uh, well, yeah. I think it’s safe to say they were killed. Milford snaps “I don’t know,” which doesn’t say much for his credentials as a doctor, or his common sense.

“Everyone on this island’s a killer,” says Milford. “Except me. I’m innocent.” Carmen replies cynically “Yeah…” the day for night shooting suddenly gets noticeably brighter as they cut to a new shot of Carmen “…aren’t we all.” I hope this didn’t occur in real time, or it would be like what happens to your eyes when someone suddenly flips on the lights in a darkened room.

Cut to the next day. Carmen wakes up, apparently having spent night on the beach. Her clothes and hair look unruffled. Considering the inmates’ less than honorable intentions towards her, it’s unbelievable that they haven’t attacked her already.

Next we see the camp, which consists of crude huts. Dramatic “da da dum dum da dum dum” music begins to play. Carmen looks down to see several men milling about, so she wanders right in. That’s very strange, considering she raised an axe the minute she saw Milford.

We cut inside one of the huts to meet Bobby and his right hand man Monk. Magnum PI fans will instantly recognize that Monk is played by Roger Mosley, who played TC on the show! Hey, maybe we’ll bump into Rick and Higgins for a regular pre-Magnum reunion (Hmmm…and Bunny killed somebody with an ‘Icepick.’ Coincidence?). I’ll bet, though, that when Selleck and Mosley met each other on the set of Magnum for the first time, they swore a blood oath never to reveal what had happened here.

“New bitch ought to be here any minute, huh, Bobby?” says Monk. Oh TC, how could you? Bobby punches him in the shoulder. “Yeah,” he concurs. Obviously, Bobby’s oratory skills have made him a natural leader for this band of scum.

Carmen has walked into the middle of the camp, and by this time has plenty of people staring at her. Bobby and Monk appear outside, and so do the other three women. They are all dressed in short-short cutoffs, and two have shirts tied to reveal midriffs. It looks like the supply boat regularly delivers beauty products, as their hair and skin is flawless.

“Break her in,” says Bobby. Monk strides up to her.

“Hi Brother,” she extends a hand. “I’m Carmen.” Monk isn’t having any of that though. He tosses her backpack away, leering “Yeah, you look like you could take three or four right off.” He grabs her, and she shoves his hand away.

There are a few scenes of violence towards women in this movie that would be repulsive, if the staging were not so horribly inept. Bad wrestling matches are more convincing. This is one such scene. Monk slaps Carmen, kicks her, and hauls her up. She could do some serious damage to him if she wanted to–his eyes are well within reach–but she resorts to ineffective slaps. She’s a hardened child of the penal system, all right.

Seeing that she can’t fight Monk, she begins calling for help. Which, of course, she doesn’t get. Well, what did she expect? I don’t mean to imply that she has it coming or anything. Still, in all seriousness, if I were a woman going into this situation, I’d find a way to get killed or escape long before they delivered me to this island. This isn’t a commune. This is an unsupervised prison.

Monk concludes the beating by stepping on her head, and hopping over her. “Welcome to Terminal Island, baby,” he sneers. He then leaves her lying there, sobbing. No rape occurs, and fortunately no rape is ever shown in this movie, which ’70s exploitation flicks certainly weren’t above showing.

“Nobody’s done any work here today,” observes Bobby as Monk rejoins him. “Yeah, but they ain’t had no ass all week,” says Monk. Oh TC, how could you? “They’ll get it when I say they’ve earned it,” snaps Bobby. “Now put ’em to work right now!”

It’s now clear that, yes, Bobby is Number One on this island. What he says, goes. He apparently commands such respect and fear amongst 40 killers that they will obey his order not to attack the women until he says so. They will farm and build things while he sits in his hut, contemplating.

Whhhhyyyyyyy? Physically, Bobby is tiny next to Monk and a lot of the other inmates, many of whom are clearly violent psychopaths. What reason do they have to listen to him? Even if he does have a good mind for planning (although we will see evidence against this theory), any violent lunatic could easily march into his tent and use him as a tent peg. It’s never believable for a moment that Bobby could keep control over these guys. He does so mainly with Monk’s help, but Monk has no readily apparent reason to listen to him either. It makes him a very lame villain.

That night, we see the interior of the women’s hut. Carmen is lying in one corner. The three other women enter. Bunny hauls her off some blankets. Apparently, this is Bunny’s corner, so we play a brief game of “That’s My Spot” a popular pastime in prison movies. “I don’t like these accommodations anyway,” says Carmen, and marches out. She is immediately thrown back in by two inmates.

“What kind of bastards have you got here anyway?” demands Carmen. Joy, one of the women, answers with a piece of IMMORTAL DIALOGUE. “Why are we penned in here like pigs?” continues Carmen. Lee answers “Because we’re too valuable to run loose.” She further explains “We’re the property of every man on this island.” “You have to screw every man here?!” Carmen asks. “You will too,” replies Lee. Joy adds “You’re gonna lighten our workload, baby.”

Well, as you can see, you won’t find too many feminists who are fans of WIP flicks. Rape is used exploitatively. Even more perversely, the women who are victimized don’t really make a big deal out of it. It seems to be more inconvenient than anything. There’s a couple of psychology/sociology essays in here, but I don’t want to go on about it too much. Basically, these movies cater to the fantasies of their male audience, who might have fantasies about overpowering a woman but don’t actually want to really hurt them. That’s why the women don’t become hysterical over what in real life would be nightmarish treatment. Still, there’s some guilt in there, which will be cleansed by the eventual death of the rapists. Just like in slasher movies, the sexually active rarely make it to the closing credits.

Carmen asks who “runs the show?” Well, that should be obvious by now. She is told Bobby and Monk do. “Well, nobody’s gonna run me,” she declares. “I’m breaking out of here, I’m going after Monk.” If she knows who Monk is, why did she ask? She then tastefully says “I’m gonna wipe out that big [demeaning racial epithet] [demeaning sexual-orientation epithet]. I’m gonna smash his balls ’til they turn to jello.”

“Take that finger out of my face or I’ll break it off,” replies Lee, originally.

Carmen says “And for openers, things are gonna change around here.” She runs up and grabs Bunny by the hair. “One more squawk out of you, Miss Freak, and I’ll do to you what I did to my last cell-mate when she leaned on me. I killed her.” It’s strange that she says this, since Bunny hasn’t actually made a sound yet, and, in fact, doesn’t speak.

Carmen demonstrates how to win friends and influence people.

So Carm’s been in prison before, huh? Then why does she seem so surprised about all this? I don’t know what prison’s really like (and, oh boy, do I hope I never find out), but all the accounts I’ve read and all the news reports I’ve seen make it pretty clear that it really, really, sucks. And this is when there are guards present. Now try to form a society consisting of convicted killers who would normally be awaiting the gas chamber, and well…for cryin’ out loud, Carmen, add it up!

Next day, we see that the women have been put to work, plowing the fields. In fact, Carmen and Lee are pulling the plow, like oxen. Oooh, that’s sleazy, if nonsensical. Considering the plow doesn’t have a proper blade, while the inmates do possess shovels, it would probably make more sense just to dig.

“Driving” the plow is a large inmate who is identified late in the movie, but I prefer to refer to him as BPG (Big Psycho Guy). “Okay cows, you can rest,” he tells them. Tasteful, huh?

Lee and Carmen rest under a tree. Carm asks if anyone has ever stood up to them. Lee says they are either dead or gone, hiding out somewhere on the island. (Plot point!) Carm considers joining them, but Lee asks what makes her think they’re any better. Well, why did these guys stand up to Bobby and his gang? Despite the lack of any rational explanation, Bobby seems to have organized a successful village on the island. What he’s doing to the women is monstrous, but that seems to be his only crime other than to generally act like a movie villain. So if they didn’t object to the treatment of the women, what did they object to?

BPG is having a drink, and Joy walks up to him and says “I could use some of that too.” He spits in her face. I mean, he really spits in her face. I truly hope the actress who played Joy got some good money for this. And I hope they got it in one take. “This ain’t no coffee break,” he snarls.

Some guy name Chino, who doesn’t seem to be such a jerk, goes to give water to Joy. “Where are you going, Chino,” demands one of the inmates. BPG says “He’s talking to you.” Chino doesn’t like this, and pulls a knife. A ’70s funk beat starts up. “I’m going to cut your liver out man,” says Chino.

Now, admittedly my experience with knife-fighting is err…somewhat limited, but how much sense does it make to bend over like you’re going into a football huddle? That’s what Chino does. BPG, another inmate and Chino wave knives and axes at each other vaguely. Meanwhile, Joy does the helpless movie female thing, watching with a distressed look on her face. She has a hoe in her hands, but doesn’t think to brain one of Chino’s attackers.

But…we’ll have to wait before we see the first awkwardly executed fight. Monk and Bobby come over to break it up. Monk shouts and waves a big stick. “Monk’s right, we can’t have any violence around here,” says Bobby in a voice that sounds like Martin Short doing a more effeminate version of his Ed Grimly character. Now, next to the bulked up Monk and the tall BPG, Bobby looks so diminutive you wonder why Bobby hasn’t had his head cracked open and his brains spread on a Triscuit a long time ago.

BPG says “He was comin’ on to her and slowin’ up the works.” Bobby replies “Oh, you’re attracted to each other. How sweet. Go on Chino, do anything you want to her. We’ll all watch.” Well, Newsguy at the start of the movie was right. Bobby is a punk. He’d make a good weasely sidekick, but he just doesn’t cut it as a big heavy. Chino, in any case, stomps off, apparently disgusted. Bobby then orders the women to work on a storehouse next.

The next scene, we see them doing this–mixing mud bricks, and stacking stones. Lee notices Carmen’s hands and says “You’re in bad shape.” The hands can be seen and they look fine, not even dirty. In fact, despite working in the fields, and in the mud, the ladies all look great. Even their hair is perfect. Lee calls Doc Milford over.

“I’ll have to bandage them,” he says after a brief glance at Carmen’s hands. Carmen is bitter, though. “You could have warned me, man,” she snarls. “You could have told me what it was like and I wouldn’t have come here.” Actually, he did drop plenty of hints. And we never saw the conclusion of her conversation with him. Didn’t she ask?

“Out there alone, you’ll die. At least here you’ll live,” replies Milford. This from a person who said that killing him would be doing him a favor. Anyway, Monk spots the two and barks orders at her to get back to work. For some reason she seems to walk off.

It’s hard to be sure just how much time is passing. It might be just a few days or it might be weeks. It doesn’t really matter, just that the ‘storehouse’ construction is completed in a suspiciously short time. Yes, this storehouse is an important strand in the intricate, complex web that is this movie. I’m only writing this way because I’m bored.

Anyway, we get a scene in the women’s cabin, who knows when beyond that it’s night. We start with a slow pan of Lee’s legs. Considering what’s supposed to happen to these women next, this confirms that the movie was not intended as some great indictment of the judicial/penal system or the Patriarchy, but as a cheap sleaze-fest. As if there were any doubt.

Monk comes in and says “Don’t get cozy, everyone’s working the night shift” Spotting Carmen, who is hurriedly covering up, he comments “You don’t need a shirt for what you’re gonna do.” He’s carrying a clipboard. (Where did he get that from? Is there a Business Depot on this island?). He assigns them to about five men each.

“Don’t we ever get to sleep?” complains Carmen. Uh, Carm, you’re worried about missing sleep? Unsympathetic, Monk sneers “All you got to do is lie back and take it. Nobody said you got to stay awake.” Oh TC, how could you?

Carmen asks why Bunny wasn’t assigned anyone. Turns out she only goes to Bobby. On cue, we cut to Bobby’s tent, where he’s lying on a bed, apparently naked. The lights in his tent go out (an obvious breeze sound effect has been added). “Monk, get that thing on. Hurry up, I mean it!” he says. This is the first hint of something that will be confirmed later–Bobby is afraid of the dark. It’s never explained why. But hey, nothing like a fear of the dark to impress hardened killers, huh? I’ll bet they’d just be terrified of him if he wet the bed, too.

Monk sends Bunny in. Bunny walks to one corner of the room, back to Bobby. WIP viewers will recognize Bunny as the sacrificial lamb, a common character in these flicks. She’s the sweet and innocent harmless one that something horrible is going to happen to.

Bobby rattles off a string of commands. “Turn around. Bunny. How are you, Bunny, what’s new? Take off your shirt, Bunny.” Ah, what a great villain, eh? It’s a little like that classic moment in Star Wars when Darth Vader says, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Except, instead of the voice of James Earl Jones, imagine one of the Brady Bunch doing the voice. Yep, even the youngest one in curls will do. That’s how menacing Bobby sounds.

The movie confirms that Bobby is a Prime Jerkweed by having him forcing Bunny to have sex with him. “Of course if you don’t want to, just say no.” Oh, what an evil bastard, huh? He forces her to sit next to him, and then observes “You seem to be a lot for words, Bunny.” Get it? She doesn’t speak! Pretty clever, huh? Maybe he’ll say “You’re the strong, silent type” next. Yuk yuk!

Bobby pulls her hair to bring her close, and then the scene ends. We cut to morning, I guess sometime later (who knows when). Everyone is lining up at the chowline, where the women are serving up a startling array of food. It looks like the farmer’s market. I guess there are some really good farmers amongst these forty killers.

“I’ve got t*ts so I have to play Betty Crocker,” complains Lee. Man, I have fond memories of coming home after school and watching the robot wave its arms while yelling “Danger Will Robinson!” and the whining, treacherous Doctor Smith (why didn’t they ever kill that guy?). It really hurts to hear Judy Robinson saying these things. Hey, anybody want to ask me my opinion of Terminal Island now?

“I wish I could poison them all with something that works real slow,” says Carmen. Hearing this, Chino, the guy who tried to give Joy water earlier, quips he’s not hungry anymore.

Pardon me while I roll around on the floor laughing for a while.

Okay, I’m back.

“You’re too pretty to kill, Chino,” says Joy, who is still flirtatious in spite of everything. Now, you’re probably thinking there’s some romance about to happen here, right? Wrong. After this scene, Chino disappears from the movie. Well, he made a big difference.

An inmate yells some instruction to a guy on the storehouse (which now has a roof). We learn here that Bobby also wants running water in the storehouse. We’ll tear that apart in due time. Let’s for now direct our inattention to one of the other inmates, a psycho named Teal, who immediately spazzes out on the generic inmate.

Teal jams Mr. Generic’s head into a pot of stew, which apparently isn’t warm, because he doesn’t scream. Teal then beats him around the head and neck with…a squash. You see, Teal is trained in the ancient art of Squash-Fu. This is today taught by dojos across the country to supermarket employees so that they can defend themselves with vegetables (not to be confused with the Monty Python sketch, which strictly covers fruit).

The power of Squash-Fu makes this fight one-sided. Monk stands to break it up, but Bobby tells him to “let it happen.” Teal, tossing around Generic Inmate, trashes the food table. He then hits him with some punches that obviously (and let’s put particular emphasis on “obviously” here) do not connect. Finally, Teal fumbles with a knife on his belt, and stabs him. This effect may have been achieved by stabbing some fishguts attached to a watermelon.

Somehow, Terminal Island failed to make Gloria Steinem's top ten list.
Assault with a deadly squash!

Monk calls Teal a crazy SOB and says “he ought to be done away with right now.” Bobby could care less, and says it’s one less mouth to feed. Well, if they kill Teal, it will be two less mouths to feed, won’t it? And since Teal trashed the food table in the process, which lead to the death of an innocent squash and numerous other foodstuffs, I’m not really impressed by Bobby’s ruthless economics.

Next scene, four guys are carrying the body to a cliff. Funeral music is playing. Now, imagine one of those tacky all-night chapels in Las Vegas. Imagine the organist in one of those. Now imagine that the 80 year-old guy who won big in Vegas and picked up a 20 year-old gold digger subsequently had a heart attack upon kissing the bride, so that the organist had to switch to a funeral march. That’s what this music sounds like.

“Anybody like to say a few words?” asks one inmate. The shirt of the corpse appears to have a Kool-Aid stain on his shirt where the knife hit, but no apparent hole.

“Yeah, good riddance,” says BPG. They toss him over. In the next shot, the one that actually shows the fall, it seems they have changed their minds. Instead of the body, they have decided to toss a scarecrow over the cliff. Wait…that wasn’t suppose to be the body, was it?

Sherlock Holmes had Moriarty, Terminal Island has...Bobby Farr.
Wasteful inmates throw out a perfectly good dummy.

Later that day, or possibly five years later, who knows, the women are down by a stream doing laundry. The girls are ordered to wash faster by some inmates looking on. Carmen asks why. “There are guys out here who would love to get their hands on you,” one replies. Carmen doesn’t seem so interested, so he continues. “Pay attention, Carmen. I’m relaying vital plot information to you.”

He further explains that Bobby kicked these guys out of the camp before she arrived, and then ordered his followers to kill them on sight. You know, it probably would have been a better idea to just kill them in the first place, rather than kicking them out of camp and then ordering his boys to kill them. Apparently Bobby is as smart as he is intimidating.

Why, speak of the devil! The very people Bobby kicked out of the camp are standing on top of the hill in the most obvious fashion. They don’t attack right away, however, so as to build up ‘suspense.’

Carmen asks if Bunny ever talks. You know, Carmen doesn’t really do much in this movie, but I think I’ve finally figured out her character. In that great gothic romance Wuthering Heights, Lockwood comes into the novel not knowing the story of Heathcliff and Catherine. Then, through a series of questions, he gradually learns the novel’s plot. Lockwood is to Wuthering Heights what Carmen is to Terminal Island. Ah, I can feel Emily BrontÃŽ spinning in her grave as I write. My revenge against her horrid novel and Grade 10 English is complete.

Anyway, Carmen is told that Bunny stopped talking when she killed her parents. Carmen wonders why, and Lee dryly replies “She never told us.” Yep, mutes are a chuckle a minute. Of course, now we have to wonder how anyone knows who Bunny is or how they figured out what she did to get here.

The people standing on the cliff finally attack, and another poorly staged fight breaks out. One guy is knocked down and starts to rumble, and yet somehow another of the attackers manages to surprise one of Bobby’s gang long after the attack begins. Meanwhile, overly dramatic music plays, the kind you’d associate more with a big rubber monster attacking a cardboard Tokyo. One of Bobby’s crew backs up into the stream, and his assailant jams his head under.

The women flee with these new guys. Lee doesn’t seem to have any hesitation, despite her earlier remark about them not necessarily being better. These guys, henceforth referred to as “The Rebels,” have been living away from the only settlement on the island, cut off from most supplies, but don’t think to take any of the clothing the women were washing.

A bit later, Monk, BPG and some other guys are looking at the remains of the attack. The drowned guy is lying in the stream, his beard perfectly dry and in place. Geez, if only my hair would cooperate like that. “Bobby’s going to sh*it,” Monk charmingly asserts.

Cut to a campfire at night, where the rebels are roasting small birds of some kind. Someone is chuckling. “Bobby is going to sh*t when he find out we stole his women.” Whoa, way to cut these two scenes together! Auteur!

One of the rebels is a hick inmate whose name I can’t pick out so I’ll call him “Gomer.” He has a wineskin full of something. He offers it to Lee, but she doesn’t want to be “loaded when Bobby and Monk show up.” Judy Robinson is smart enough to recognize that consuming an alcoholic beverage drastically lowers your survival chances in a movie unless you’re a hard-drinkin’ male detective. In a horror movie, it’s safer to fling yourself off a building.

AJ, the leader of the bunch, says that “The little rat [Bobby] won’t do nothin’ unless the sun’s up.” Carmen asks straight out if he’s afraid of the dark, which AJ confirms. Well, we’ve discussed how likely hardened criminals are to obey Bobby, so let’s instead wonder why Bobby can’t send out a team of men at night, since he never accompanies them anyway.

Lee has a sip from the wineskin (she’s toast), and identifies it as “Mead–fermented honey and water.” It’s good to see Judy Robinson hasn’t forgotten her education. Gomer says that back home they call it CP–“Cow piss.” Brainy Lee actually giggles at Gomer’s simple charm. Hey, anybody want to ask me my opinion of Terminal Island now?

Put them side by side, and you can see why Monk would be afraid of Bobby.
Cornell and AJ, with Dylan in the background...the Rebel Alliance.

The rebels have a BPG of their own, Dylan. We see him come up behind Joy, grabbing her breasts. “Your brain is still between your legs, Dylan,” she mutters, and takes off.

Back at the camp, AJ hands one of the birds to Carmen, but she passes it up. “Why you hanging back?” he asks. “I like to test the water before I jump in,” she says. Oh. That explains everything.

Now Joy sits down next to Gomer and begins coming on to him in an extremely subtle fashion that viewers will really have to be alert to catch. Taking some of the meat she announces “I dropped some down my shirt.” She begins to unbutton it. “Oh, here’s some, and here’s some more, and here’s some more…there’s no more.” Only in an exploitation movie will a woman who’s been repeatedly raped flirt this obviously.

“Here, you can have some of mine,” says Gomer. She takes the meat and drops it down his shirt. Now she reaches for his pants. Please use your imagination. Don’t make me recount this scene. You can check for more of it under IMMORTAL DIALOGUE.

Dylan is watching all this, aroused. The others’ reaction is not shown, but presumably they’re all off their food as the two roll around.

A while later, still at night, Gomer and Joy are seen away from the camp kissing, apparently having finished business. Enter Dylan, who wants to have sex with Joy and that’s that.

“Now, this ain’t right, Dylan. You ought to ask if she wants to, first,” asserts Gomer. Wow, what an enlightened, friendly killer. Okay, yes, it is plausible that a killer would object to rape, but the problem is we don’t know who these people are, or the motivation for their crimes. This would help us understand the way they behave.

Dylan sneers “I’ve been floggin’ my mule three months, the same as you partner. I ain’t asking nothin’.” He clobbers Gomer, after which he pins Joy down. Once again, a potentially offensive scene is diffused by being unintentionally and hopelessly comical. Particularly laughable are Joy’s protests: “Stick that back in your pants,” she growls, but there’s no way he’s actually produced it yet. I have to wonder if this incompetence was intentional. Perhaps the director wanted to subtly say “See? She’s not really in any danger,” perhaps to avoid any protest against the movie. It’s hard to say.

Back at the camp, the others hear the commotion, and arrive to pull Dylan off before anything can happen (for some reason, they’re playing some ’70s jive beat). Joy swears revenge. “I’m gonna fix your ass,” she says.

The next day, they’re putting out the fire, and discussing where to go. It’s speculated that they can’t let the women run around loose. Carmen pulls a knife and says “Nobody’s gonna put me in no cage. And anybody who thinks different is gonna eat a piece of this.” She runs up to Gomer and puts the knife to his throat. Gomer must have the slowest reflexes on the planet. Oh, so now Carmen’s paranoid? They already stopped a rape, obviously they aren’t like the others.

AJ tells Carmen they only meant that survival is “a bitch, baby” and that she will be expected to contribute. This calms her down. Now we learn that the Rebels split up for the day, wander the island, and then meet at a pre-arranged place at night. This doesn’t explain how they all got together and attacked the laundry brigade though.

Lee asks if this is the way they’ve been living. “Wake up and run?” She wants to go find and kill Bobby. AJ points out the numbers issue–i.e. there’s more of Bobby’s Brigade then there are of them. Lee replies “They say when you cut off the head of a snake, the body dies too.” That’s certainly true. In fact, it’s true of many different lifeforms. However, chopping off the head of one snake doesn’t take care of the 30 odd remaining snakes.

So the gang splits into small groups. Later, we see a shot of Joy practicing archery. I wonder if these were provided by the mainland, because they certainly weren’t improvised. They are too well crafted and have rubber tips at the end. As Joy fires, we can plainly see that the arc of the arrow she shoots is wrong, but we still cut to a shot showing it hitting the tree quite high. This tree is covered in arrows. I personally think I’d be a little more conservative with ammo. Sure you can reuse an arrow, but why dull down all your arrows? Why not just use two or three over and over?

Joy offers the bow to Lee, who is examining a rock. “You know what this is?” ask Lee. “Oh, let me think. A rock,” answers wise-ass Joy. But Lee explains “It’s niter,” and that they can get potassium nitrate from it. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, wouldn’t they still need potassium?

She further asserts that if they mix it with charcoal and sulfur they can make gunpowder. [Editorial Note: This will prove particularly handy if the island is invaded by a Gorn. – Trivia King Ken.] Then she says they can make grenades! Ah, a woman after McGuyver’s heart. Yes, this is going to be one of those movies. Despite an apparent lack of resources, the characters will use their knowledge and the simple environment around them to build weapons, traps, vehicles, a local area network, a satellite dish… Also, please note that she’s been on the island for a while, but is only noticing the potential munitions now.

Next we see Carmen and AJ. She gives him some kind of plant. She says “it grows all over the place. Ever heard of curare?” AJ says “You mean that poison stuff they put on darts?” Carmen replies “All we got to do is boil that down, and we got a mean mother on our side.” She tells AJ that she learned this from her Grandmother. “She was really into voodoo.” Ah yes, let me also add that there are some stunningly fortunate proficiencies in this party. A chemist, later a doctor, a Wizard, Cleric, Ranger, Paladin…

Horrible romantic music is playing, and Carmen attempts to give back the knife, which she apparently borrowed from him. “You sure wanted it last night,” he says. Yes, and she still was unable to figure out that they weren’t about to harm her. People who want to harm someone generally don’t arm them first.

“That was last night,” she says tenderly. Uh oh, here we go. He promises to get one just for her, reminding us that they didn’t raid the bodies of their fallen adversaries. “AJ, why did you take us away from Bobby?” asks Carmen. AJ offers up that slick line that’s never failed anyone: “I don’t like to fish alone.” They kiss.

Meanwhile, Cornell and Bunny are wandering the island. Cornell directs Bunny to a berry bush, which she can pick from while he hunts. Bunny does pick a berry while tender music plays, a sure sign that Bunny is really going to get it later. This scene is meant to show her innocence, which comes across well enough, because she seems to be stroking the berry. Yeah, I’d say you’d have to pretty innocent in order to fall in love with a berry.

Back at camp, Bobby is pissed. (Oh, Mommy, take the bad man away!) Monk has yet to turn up the Rebels. “I’m telling you, I looked under every bush,” he says. “Not every bush,” retorts Bobby, “or you would have found ’em.” It seems that these geniuses haven’t considered the possibility that they’re moving around. I guess what they should do now is watch Monk search an area, and then when he’s gone, set up camp there.

Now cut to Gomer and Joy, who are checking out a bucket of honey. Mysteriously, Joy points out a “part” of the honey, which is in some way different than other parts of the honey (look, I’m just the interpreter and the reporter. Content is out of my hands). Gomer identifies the stuff as “Royal jelly. Those bees will stomp all over your body if you get any of that on you.” We get a quick shot of a stump, where the bees have built their hive.

Incidentally, there are ways to extract honey in the wild. The SAS Survival Handbook has a method (but it recommends another meal if at all possible). It involves actually killing the bees in the hive, as people in survival situations are usually marooned without bee-keeping equipment. These two don’t have bee-keeping equipment and haven’t killed the bees, so I really wonder how they got that honey.

Joy, upon learning about royal jelly, has an idea. “How nice,” she says, and cheeseball sax music starts playing. We cut to a small pool, where Joy is bathing. See? Even in a Women In Prison movie without a prison, we still get a shower scene.

Gomer has a thought...no wait, false alarm.
Failure to include a bathing/shower scene in a WIP flick is like letting sexually active teens in a horror movie survive.

Dylan enters and watches Joy, who smiles coyly. She leaves the pool, and begins to dress. She says “Hi,” in the most obvious manner possible, and leads him towards the stump with the bees. Joy easily uses sex appeal to manipulate Dylan. She grabs some “royal jelly” from the stump. The bees leave her alone, despite Gomer’s claim (by the way, anyone know their bee lore? Is there anything to this? Sounds like bunk to me). Joy gets Dylan to remove his pants, and begins to…err…anoint him with the jelly. The sax music and her actions make this sound like a ’70s porno, even though what Joy is doing is only implied.

“More to the left, huh?” requests Dylan, as if he’s asking her to hang a painting. Joy also covers his buttocks, and then moves away, grabs a stick, and whacks the stump. We actually get a different shot of the stump being hit. I don’t think they used stock footage of the beehive, because it actually vaguely matches what’s going on. The background is similar, but the stump is on a slightly different angle.

We get a quick shot of bees on Dylan’s ass (it ranks high on my list of shots I’d rather not see). Dylan howls and runs off. Somehow she escapes being stung, even though she was closest to the hive and has royal jelly on her hands. She runs after him, laughing and waving his pants. Hey, anybody want to ask me my opinion of Terminal Island now?

I know this is in bad taste, but if I have to be scarred forever by this scene, so do you.

Dylan runs back to what appears to be the same pool Joy was bathing in earlier, but he’s approaching it from the wrong angle. All the others are here for some reason, and they’re laughing this up. So somehow, they know what Joy has been up to. By throwing himself in the water, Dylan seems to have escaped the bees. You know something? I know someone who has been swarmed. He dove into a swimming pool to escape them. It wasn’t a very large pool, but he swam to the other end, and held his breath as long as he could. The bees were waiting for him when he surfaced.

Once again, a potential horrific scene loses its sting (pardon the pun) by the ineptness of the film. If Joy put that jelly (women and children leave the room please) down there and Dylan was stung there, Dylan would be in excruciating pain for a long, long time. He would definitely not be running around just a few seconds later.

Suddenly, one of the Rebels takes a spear in the back. There’s some more ridiculous fighting as Bobby’s goons attack. It’s not very long, as the Rebels believe discretion is the better part of valor. Still, one of their guys gets an axe in the stomach, and has to be hauled away.

As they run through the forest, AJ tells Cornell, “Get me some time.” Cornell has this great fur trim around his jacket. Wonder where he got this piece of pimpware? At any rate, Cornell stops to fight Monk. Monk gets in a few whacks with a stick, and a few kicks to the chest that should put Cornell down for good. However, Cornell counters with an embarrassingly phony flip, grabs the stick, and begins to wail on Monk. Monk calls for help, though realistically his skull should be oatmeal by now (of course, so should Cornell’s, so I guess fair is fair).

Reinforcements arrive, forcing Cornell to retreat (he didn’t have to drop his club, though). Monk, recovering, tells just one of the new arrivals to go and get killed stupidly…I mean, go and find Cornell.

Meanwhile we see AJ has set up a crude Malaysian Tiger Gate. This is a trap whereby a tree limb is fastened with sharpened sticks, and then pulled back so that when the victim hits the tripwire, the gate springs “closed,” skewering the victim. Of course, the gate that AJ has somehow rigged up so quickly looks a little weak for a tiger. More like a Malaysian Poodle Gate.

Oh, but it does pack enough force to administer a lethal blow to a human (wink, wink), as we see when the generic con stumbles in and takes it right in the stomach. This kills him pretty quickly, somehow. Monk arrives shortly after this and sighs “Well, that’s one for AJ.”

Later, we see Monk giving a damage report to Bobby. Bobby fumes “What about the others? I want them dead, Monk, why can’t you do that?” Well, sorry Bobby, he’s not a super tough felon like you…I mean, he’s not a super-genius…er, what do you do around here again?

Cut to the Rebel camp. The guy who took an axe in the stomach is howling in pain (yeah, I know how you feel pal). Lee asks “How is he?” Well, he’s bleeding from a gaping wound in his chest, he’s screaming in agony…my prognosis is that he’s just peachy.

AJ decides that only Milford can help Injured Guy, so he goes to get him. Meanwhile, Cornell and Carmen retire for some quality time. Carmen begins massaging her own neck, and Cornell takes over as violin music begins to play. They embrace. Carmen now seems to have initiated two romantic couplings. This is also one of those movies that carefully segregates the couples. Carmen has now been with the only two black men in the group, and the other women express no interest in anyone outside their race. Exploitation movies are hardly the only ones guilty of this sort of thing though.

More obvious day for night shooting later, AJ is pushing Milford along. How he found him and got him away from the camp is not discussed. He seems to be under the influence of Wild Mamosa (that one instance of his drug use at the beginning of the movie was apparently meant to establish him as a junkie). So they toss some water on him, and confiscate that tin we saw.

Now AJ notices Carmen is absent, and asks where she is. There are long looks all around. Obviously, nobody wants to break the news to him. How they’ve determined that they were supposed to be a couple when just a day has gone by is anyone’s guess. Actually, this whole love triangle thing is the hands down winner of the Terminal Island Useless Subplot Awardâ„¢, and it was up against some pretty stiff competition.

AJ asks where Cornell is. Fortunately, Injured Guy interrupts with a pretty funny scream of pain. This is his last gasp. So, AJ goes off to locate Carmen and Cornell. Upon finding them, they are just finishing getting dressed. AJ keeps a poker face, Carm and Corny look mildly guilty.

There’s no confrontation. AJ simply lets them know that Mr. Injured Guy is dead. And that’s all. And by the way, that is the last we see of this romantic triangle. It is not referred to ever again. This portion of this turkey is undercooked, to put it mildly. We have seen no reason why Carmen would get involved with two people.

There’s nothing in the way of characterization to help us understand why this took place. We can only assume that Carmen’s carnal habits are rather reckless, to put it politely. Still, romantic triangles come with rules. Instead of taking an emotional route where the three work out their feelings (requires good writing and acting), they’ll do what most movies do and try the easier route of having one of them die, leaving the other free to claim Carmen.

The very next shot shows Carmen and AJ together. You would think this is the heart to heart moment. You’d be wrong. The shot cuts to reveal more Rebels. They’re trying to come up with a battle strategy.

“I keep thinking about numbers, there’s only seven of us,” says AJ. “Yeah, but we can make grenades, and that evens it,” says Lee. They will in fact end up making grenades, and promptly lose this advantage by using them in the most idiotic fashion possible.

“Don’t you think I’d like to go in there and bust that little bastard’s head wide open?” says AJ. “I’m the only one who stood up to him. And I almost lost my ass doing it.” AJ’s doing the reluctant hero thing. Obviously, he’s terrified of Bobby because…uhm, is that a rabbit over there? “The rest of you came with me. Remember that?” It’s an awkward line, but it’s there so Cornell can respond with this master stroke: “We got memories, man. But that was then, and this is now.” Hmmm. Could be evidence that the entire cast escaped from an SE Hinton novel.

“Okay, Cornell, the worst thing that can happen to us is that we die,” says AJ. You know, earlier scenes seemed to indicate that AJ isn’t against fighting, just fighting Bobby and his minions directly. A sensible policy, and it’s one they should adhere too. They should do hit and run attacks to gradually thin out their numbers. Or, if the only threat is Bobby and his amazing leadership qualities (HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHA Excuse me), just wait for one moment of carelessness, and then assassinate him. A direct frontal assault is dangerous and unnecessary, unless they’ve got, say, a few MIRV batteries. Then again, maybe Lee rigged some together with a few empty pop cans, a tree trunk, and some dried grass.

The next scene, Carmen is putting coffee–I mean, curare on a dart. Gomer is examining a blowgun like he’s never seen one before. But we saw him carrying one earlier. Carmen says the curare will kill in 10 seconds. Gomer asks “This thing won’t backfire will it,” apparently having yet to master the gentle art of Advanced Breathing. “Well, just be sure you blow instead of suck,” says Joy, possibly with a dual meaning (you think?). Good advice, though, Gomer. You should blow. Do not make the same mistake this movie made.

Cornell carries over a cardboard rock to Lee. His muscles aren’t even tensed, and it isn’t the most convincing rock, so this wasn’t too tricky to spot. Lee takes inventory. “I’ve got plenty of niter, charcoal’s no problem…” Really? Why? Does the mainland deliver briquettes for a Terminal Island cookout? “What I need now is sulfur.” Well, thanks for waiting to see that you had all the ingredients before forcing Cornell to move that ‘heavy’ rock, Lee.

Lee is asked where they can find sulfur. Well, we’ve seen matches on the island, how about that? Amazingly, she responds “I don’t know. My chemicals always came in bottles.” That’s right. Another good example is obstetricians, who only advise mothers on the birth of their babies, but don’t actually know where babies come from.

“Wild mustard has a high sulfur content,” says Milford, sitting around dejectedly. “That stuff grows every place,” says Carmen. Well, that’s convenient. I think they’re going to find a tree that has tear gas canisters as fruit next.

Before we get the McGuyverish scene of people putting together weapons from odds and ends, we get a scene of them burying Injured Guy (who I guess we can now safely dub “Dead Guy.”) AJ tosses Milford’s mamosa tin into the grave. “We don’t have any room for junkies,” says AJ. “If you stick with us, you stay straight.” “Amen,” replies Milford. Wow, the horrors of grappling with drug abuse. That lasted almost five seconds. I wonder if it’s really that easy.

Okay, back at Bobby’s cabana, Bobby is doing something McGuyverish as well. One of the inmates seems to have rigged up a crude radio that looks like it consists of a fork and a few sticks. Bobby tries listening through some kind of earpiece, but it doesn’t work. “Relax, you just have to wet the coil,” says the con, and empties a little bit of water from a canteen on it. Suddenly, we can hear some form of radio chatter on it. For such a crude instrument, it’s coming in remarkably clear. Knowing this movie, they’ll probably install it in the M-1 Abrams they’ve improvised.

Bobby, happy with this development, notes “The only problem now is tuning it to the correct wavelength.” The convict says “You can handle that.” Uh, how can he handle it? Did someone else build an AM/FM tuner when we weren’t looking?

“What are you going to do with this?” asks Monk, skeptical. “Listen to the news, Monk,” replies Bobby. Well, I see he’s as mysterious as he is threatening. When a (good) movie villain says something innocent like “I’m just going for a walk,” you instinctively tighten up, because you know that they’re doing something that’s most assuredly not innocent, plus you recognize that they have the ability to do damage. Bobby is not a good movie villain, so when he says he’s going to listen to the news, you actually believe him. And you figure after that he will do other threatening things like have a cup of tea, brush the dog, do his taxes…

Ah well, let’s look in on the Rebels. Gomer and AJ are rubbing a rock back and forth across another rock. They are crushing Lee’s ingredients between them. Neither rock is the one we saw Cornell hauling around earlier. I guess they determined that a paper mache rock wouldn’t be much help in their efforts to make grenades.

Bunny, who has been sitting around quietly (BECAUSE SHE’S MUTE! GET IT?! HAR HAR HAR), walks over to a collection of canteens while tender music begins to play. She opens a canteen, but only finds black powder inside. So she wanders off. Suddenly, that monster movie music begins playing. Monk and his crew are stomping along. Uh, oh. I sense Bunny’s date with martyrdom getting closer.

Back at the Rebel’s, Lee is demonstrating how her grenades work. Apparently they are filled with gun powder and fragments of coral (uh, where did they get that?). You then place a match inside the cap, and twist it. “When you throw it, the match hits the striker inside, and it explodes.” Striker? What striker? Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a fuse? How do you know the match will ignite?

Dylan takes one, and despite a warning, says “Here, catch!” and throws it. They all duck, pretty much right where they stand. I’m sure these things don’t have the power or range of a proper, factory produced fragmentation grenade, but if this is all they have to offer in the way of splash damage, the rebs are in big trouble.

Lee catches the grenade (which has been in the air too long thanks to a sloppy edit) and glares at Dylan. “Just wanted to see if it was loaded,” mumbles Dylan. Gomer apparently is from Wilmington, North Carolina, (the one featured in Maximum Overdrive), because he uses the same kind of movie country-speak. “Dylan, if *ssh*les had wings you could fly us all out of here.” What a lot of horsepucky, eh Gomer?

Cornell, meanwhile, finally realizes that “Rabbit” is missing. The ’70s jive music starts up as Cornell and AJ go to look for her. Cut to a small waterfall, where nature child Bunny is enjoying a drink. Doo dooooo…do do do do do doo doo doo. Damn, I love this music. You really must hear it for yourself. It’s about as subtle as a knee to the groin.

Along comes Teal, who grabs her, and they struggle a bit. Teal hauls her over to Monk and a small crew of cons. Bunny temporarily breaks free of Teal and scratches his face. “She’s dead,” he says, pulling a knife. Monk tells him to back off, because Bobby wants her back. “Screw Bobby,” answers Teal, “Look what she did to my face.” Uh, we can’t see anything about his face. Someone calls out “Down here,” presumably one of the Rebels, so now Monk decides to take off. Teal, sulking, decides to stay behind.

One weird edit later, Gomer is walking down the path, and Teal is stalking him. Gomer spots him though, and raises the hatchet he’s carrying. “I’m gonna use you for firewood, Teal.” Hey, nice work, Gomer! He’s figured out a use for all these wooden actors!

Teal and Gomer wave their weapons at each other. During the scuffle, Teal loses his knife. As it falls, it sticks into the ground, which looks kinda cool, so you know it didn’t happen by design of the filmmakers. Teal runs for it, and Gomer flings the axe at him. It nails Teal in the back, and kills him. Considering that you’d have to fire it with about as much force as a bullet to administer a lethal blow, Gomer must have one hell of an arm. Somebody get this man a pitching contract, and his catcher a Kevlar glove.

Cut to Bobby’s camp. Bobby is chuckling. “Mad Dog Roy Teal. I’ll bet he’s lying on his back cold and stiff.” I think this is meant to compliment the two “Bobby’s gonna sh*t” scenes, but it doesn’t quite work here because Teal is lying on his front cold and stiff.

Bobby is listening to his radio, and announces “The picket ship. They’re bringing in supplies in the morning.” Ah, so that’s what the radio’s for. But…hasn’t the picket ship worked out some kind of routine anyway? Or do they just randomly deliver supplies when they think the prisoners might be hungry? In any case, Bobby’s got a plan, and looking at Bunny, he says “And she’ll make it so easy.”

A bit later, we see Bunny, BPG, and another Generic Inmate, whom we’ll call “Bearded Moron” or “BM” for short. They are tying Bunny between two poles. Maybe they’re going to sacrifice her to the Kraken. The other women are up on the cliff, watching unnoticed, even though they’ve got no cover.

“Your plan had better work,” grouses BPG. Whoa, first Teal says “Screw Bobby,” now this. Is the revolution starting? Sadly no. Bobby rips open Bunny’s shirt, exposing her back. He begins whipping her with his rope belt, which makes a crisp sounding noise even though the rope obviously isn’t hitting her that hard.

Judy Robinson explains the fine art of self-defense with a canteen to Gomer and Dylan
Of course we have to tie her up! How else are we going to get someone to stay still for this movie?

Carmen wants to go down, but Joy restrains her. Obviously she can see that Bunny can still support herself despite the “abuse” she’s taking. Down on the shore, Bobby observes “No one will be able to resist that.”

On the horizon, the supply boat appears. The guys in the boat should be able to spot Bobby and the boyz quite easily, but of course if they did, we couldn’t have an exciting finish. Well, we don’t get an exciting finish anyway, but you know what I mean.

The others run off to hide. Bobby says to Bunny “I wanted it to work, Bunny. I had to use you. You understand.” I hope she does, because I sure don’t. Since the guards always seem to drop stuff off in this location, it would be very easy to make traps or set up an ambush here. There’s no need to use Bunny as bait. Anyway, while Bobby blathers, the guards on the boat have more time to spot him, but again, they don’t. Finally, Bobby gets out of sight, but sadly, not for the duration of the rest of the movie.

The boat stops off shore. We now see that two guys are getting into a rubber raft with two pretty small boxes and are rowing to shore! Oh yeah, this is a secure arrangement. Something wrong with pushing supplies out of a helicopter?

The guards get to shore and drop off two very small crates. The largest one is about as long as the M-16s they’re carrying, and about a foot tall and wide. This is “supplies” for 40 people? Of course, there were 70 originally, and there’s been nothing to indicate that the outside world tracks the population of the island…

While this is going on, BPG swims up to the boat. On shore, one of the guards “can’t take it anymore,” and releases Bunny, who quickly runs off. On the boat, BPG knocks out the remaining guard with a fake chop. Nice timing Bobby. This scheme bought BPG the extra three seconds he needed to knock out the boat guard, grab the M-16, and gun down the two guards on the shore.

I might add that the Rebels have been watching all this, and haven’t deemed to shout a word of warning. AJ tells Milford to find Bunny, that’s all.

BPG, Bearded Moron, and Bobby congregate on the beach. They get two M-16s and two slide-action pistols. BPG notes that the authorities will miss the boat, but Bobby says he’ll have Monk push it into the minefield. “They’ll think the pilot made a mistake,” he gloats.

Whooaaaa boy. This wasn’t an escape plan. The point was simply to obtain the firearms. This is apparently just part of Bobby’s increasingly silly Master Plan. Somehow, we’re meant to believe that he can control an island full of maniacs, and you’d need a crane to willfully suspend that disbelief. Assuming you’ve got a crane and can accept this, firearms do not give him a new or significant advantage.

Sure, they’re great for hunting as opposed to bows and arrows, but now anyone who has a gun has the ability to instantly mow down about half the population of the island. They’re little help against the Rebels, who have been running and staying out of sight anyway. If there had been two rival settlements of equal size, then you could see where this would make a difference. It would give Bobby the ability to march in there and wipe it out. As it stands now, all it really gives him is something to be paranoid about.

Bobby leaves BM with a pistol, and he and BPG leave. Up on the cliff, the Rebels discuss what to do. AJ wants to get to the boat. “They’re holdin’ a piece down there man,” protests Cornell. “That’s why we’re going,” says AJ. I’m not sure if he’s referring to trying to escape the island or not. It would seem as though he is, but the concept is never discussed again. Meanwhile, Gomer offers to get to the boat “You can swim?” asks Dylan like a moron, and as if Gomer said he knew how to operate an electron microscope.

Further up the island, Bobby is walking with his back to BPG, who is also armed. Oh, brilliant. BPG points the gun at him and says “Okay, hold it right there.” Bobby whirls around and points the M-16 at him.

“Pardner,” smiles BPG. Bobby, playing along, says “I’m a peaceable man. I got no quarrel with you, stranger.” Wow, this mock Western is almost starting to make me miss Bad Girls. Almost. Anyone want to ask me what I think of Terminal Island now?

“I thought I told you to get out of my town,” says BPG.
“This ain’t your town,” replies Bobby.

“You callin’ me a liar?”
“No I wouldn’t call you that. I’d call you…” He blasts him a few times with the M-16. “…DEAD!”
“I’m on your side,” gasps BPG, stunned by the betrayal of his…his…whatever.
“I don’t need you,” yells Bobby. “I don’t need anybody. But these and the bunker.”

He takes BPG’s pistol and jabs it into his pants. You know the accidental discharge scene in Pulp Fiction? I was really hoping for a scene like this, so Bobby would sing soprano for the rest of the movie.

Ok, Bobby’s plan is now to get the guns, and hole up in the bunker (the so-called storage-shed). For this, he needs no one else on the island. Good plan Bobby. What will all this be in aid of? I guess they’re trying to establish that Bobby is going crazy. Fortunately for the story, the inmates have a very good reason to follow him in his mad plan, which is…hang on, the pizza I ordered is here.

Back to the beach, where Annette and Frankie…oh wait, wrong bad movie. Bearded Moron is standing in front of the rubber raft, trying very hard to look unsuspecting as Gomer swims up to shore behind him. I’ve seen mime acts that were less exaggerated.

Gomer gets to shore, and hides behind the raft. He produces a bag that doesn’t look waterproof, and fires a dart. The first one doesn’t work, but a second shot does. He lies prone behind the raft between shots in order to stay out of sight. When we cut back to the shot of BM, we can clearly see his ass above the raft.

Terminal Island's high tech, high security delivery system.
Gosh, I wish this guy behind me would hurry up and ambush me so I can stop behaving unsuspectingly.

BM keels over, and the Rebels gather on the beach. Gomer meanwhile has gone out to the boat to get two cans of gas. (“I ain’t got my bike with me,” says Dylan.) They will take the gas and the gun, but they’re leaving the supplies behind, because AJ says they’re too heavy. We’ve seen how easily the guards handled them, so we know this is not true. In any case, they have the numbers to carry them. Or they could booby-trap the supplies with an explosive, or poison it with the curare.

At the very least, they should destroy the contents, rather than let their enemies have them. They can beat Bobby despite his numbers and firepower. However, in order to do this they’d have to be patient and fight in stages to wear him down. Since the movie doesn’t have long to run, they’ll have to have the speed things up by having them do idiotic things. Like that’s a switch.

Milford arrives, saying he can’t find Bunny. Suddenly Bunny appears on the shore, staggering. How hard did you search, Doc? Milford runs up to her and holds her. That awful tender music kicks in. We can hear a woman’s voice, presumably Bunny’s, sob “I want to…home.” Home, the place where she probably killed her parents. If we knew Bunny’s story, and the circumstances under which she killed her parents, we might make some sense out of this.

Back at the nation’s capital, Monk is reporting to Bobby. The boat has been blown up, but BM is dead. Why did they leave him there alone, anyway? Why didn’t they come with more guys? Anyway. “They got one gun, what does that mean?” says Bobby, trying to downplay it. Monk is worried because they haven’t seen the Rebels for months, but now “They’re ripping us off one by one.” Which is a good strategy that they should continue to use.

“You’re afraid, Monk,” taunts Bobby. Monk says that’s BS. “You think they’re going to come after us now, don’t you? Well, they are.” Speaking for the audience, Monk says “How do you know that?” and Bobby replies “Because they’re smart.” Badoom CHING! But seriously, folks…

Bobby continues. “And strong. The only strong ones left besides me…and you.” I think some of the crops on the island are as strong as Bobby, but a fair case can be made for the Rebels being as smart as he is.

The Rebel’s camp. The Rebels are goofing around. It would be better for them to attack now, but I think that like Dylan, I’ve flogged that mule enough. “She’d have made a fine old lady, don’t you think?” asks Dylan, referring to Joy. I guess all is forgiven between the two, and they’re friends now. What’s a little attempted rape and mutilation between friends anyway?

“You guys are fossils, you know that?” says Joy. Dylan prattles on. “They’re ain’t nothin’ like sitting on a chopped-down hog, all that power between your legs. Brrrm brrm.” This leads to a quick discussion regarding some guy they did a biker funeral for. Dylan wonders what he thought of the send off. Wry Joy observes that this time tomorrow they’ll probably be able to ask him. Speaking of asking, anyone want to ask me what I think of…

Lee asks Milford if he’s going to help tomorrow. Thoroughly Modern Milford wouldn’t miss it for the world, and the launches into some character development (with about 10 minutes to go in the flick.) “The doomed against the damned,” he says. “By the way, what are you fighting for?” “Survival,” says Joy. They want to make things better here, since they aren’t leaving. (They had a rubber raft. Couldn’t that make it through the minefield?)

Lee asks if he dreams of going back. “Not after what medicine did to me. I had a patient with permanent brain damage being kept alive by artificial life support. I withdrew it. With his wife’s permission. In my opinion, he was already dead. But his father didn’t agree. Had me charged with murder.”

Okay, so how does that work? A doctor can make this kind of judgement call. Milford adds “All my colleagues testified against me.” Well, that’s bad, but this sort of thing can be verified independently. “I was convicted on a legal technicality. Are you dead when your brain stops working, or when your heart stops beating?” Uh, either, actually. Although if your brain stops working, you can create movies like Terminal Island. “I wouldn’t go home if I could,” finishes Milford. Lee holds his hand. “You are home.” Again, earlier the Doctor seemed to be nearly suicidal, but has changed his tune.

Next day and it’s time for battle. The Rebels wander through the bushes to Bobby’s camp. Seeing it deserted, AJ says that Bobby is waiting for them. That’s a good indication that they should come back later. He can’t be ready for them all the time. They stay anyway.

They speculate whether Bobby and Monk are together. “If I were them, I’d separate and set up a crossfire,” someone says. You know, I’m not a super soldier, and I’m not Napoleon. Yet watching these movies really makes me feel like a military/tactical genius, because these turkeys have assembled the worst possible plan.

Number one: They’re attacking in broad daylight. Since Bobby has powerful ranged weapons (the guns) and superior numbers, they should be attacking at night, which would reduce that advantage. And remember, Bobby’s afraid of the dark. If the lights in his cabin go out during the fight, the leader becomes useless.

Number two: Upon arrival at the camp, it’s obvious that their opponents are ready for them. So don’t attack. What’s the rush? Leave and come back when they’re not so ready. Eventually, they will slip up. During that time, who knows what will happen to the guns? More ammo could be wasted, a fight could break out over possession of the guns, who knows?

Number three: given their small numbers, it would be better to hit Bobby’s crew when they’re out on patrol, doing laundry, whatever. Setting up traps would be a great way to gradually thin out numbers. If they’re very lucky, they might nab somebody who’s carrying one of the guns. Between the explosives and the curare, they should be able to slowly wear down Bobby’s camp.

Number four: instead of attacking from the bush close to some huts, they instead choose to make their attack across a long, cover-less field in full view of Bobby’s bunker.

Lee and Dylan drop cans on a trough, which leads to Bobby’s bunker. This is meant to supply water to the bunker, but it isn’t doing this yet. Bunny is to stand here. When the signal is given, she will open the gas cans, let them pour into the bunker, and then light the gas. Bobby’s idea of running water in the bunker is pretty silly. It would flood the bunker and/or the camp if there was water in the trough. I wonder, could this thing exist only to provide the device by which the Rebels eventually beat Bobby (oops, hope I didn’t spoil anything there). Since they seem to think Bobby is in the bunker, you have to wonder why they’re even waiting to destroy it.

Next, Lee and Cornell sneak up on an outhouse. Opening the door, Cornell discovers an inmate and strangles him. Lee lights a canteen full of gas and drops it in the outhouse. They quickly run away. After the outhouse explodes, Cornell remarks “That dude just took his last crap.” Yes, well done guys. You just sacrificed a Molatov cocktail to blow up an outhouse with a corpse in it. Good work.

Next, three guys from nowhere run into a hut. Dylan throws a grenade into it, blowing it up, a much more sensible use of them. Monk, taking cover next to a hut, begins firing one handed at Lee and Cornell with the M-16. They are idiotically standing in the open, but flatten themselves on the ground before they can be hit.

About twenty guys come running out. Cornell shoots two–twice each. Sigh. There’s some more of that lame-o hand to hand fighting that makes you long for the realism of Batman, the TV series. From the bunker, Bobby starts shooting, and succeeds in taking down two or three of his own guys.

This would be a beautiful time to leave. They’ve still got most of their supplies. Nobody on their side is hurt. Bobby and Monk have wasted plenty of ammo. About seven of Bobby’s people are dead. Plus, once the smoke clears, he’ll have to deal with the fact that he killed three of his own guys. Still, they fight on.

TC and Magnum were in Vietnam together.
Bobby doesn't want to play house with anyone else.

Cornell just watches Bobby gun down his own guys, and gets cut down himself for his troubles (thus capping off the semi-triangle. AJ wins.). AJ crawls up to Cornell’s body, confirms that he is dead, but decides to leave the gun with him. (Aren’t you beginning to feel like you could rule this island, too?) They all run crouched over, instead of crawling, but somehow evade the incoming fire.

At this point, you’re probably wondering about ammo. Bobby is seen reaching for what looks like a fresh clip just once in this entire sequence. What I can’t figure out is why the guards were carrying so many–Bobby alone wastes at least three clips worth of ammo.

At the edge of the clearing, the rebels regroup. They decide that they’re pinned down with Monk behind Bobby’s old tent. Why do they feel the need to run across a long, wide open clearing in order to attack? There are trees surrounding the camp, and many of them are much closer to the structures. Why not attack from there?

In desperation, Lee grabs a grenade. She runs up to Monk’s tent, somehow not getting cut to pieces by Bobby or Monk. She tosses the grenade in, and runs away. The tent goes boom, and for some reason she runs back to look. (Why, why, why?) This time, Bobby doesn’t miss. Nighty-night Lee.

Monk is injured by the blast and hops over to the door. He screams at Bobby to open it up. During his cries, he hits the door with his rifle, showing us that he could easily push it over. Finally, Bobby opens the door and lets him in. Inside, Bobby begins to fire at nothing in particular, despite Monk’s cries that he’s wasting ammo.

AJ throws grenade at the bunker door, to no effect. How he got so close is beyond me. (He also gets back to the edge of the clearing intact.) Joy signals Bunny to start the bonfire, but she’s staring blankly ahead. I think so was I at this point. Dylan runs out to her, but gets shot down. Now this is even crazier. They could easily retreat into the woods, walk around to the trough, and start the fire themselves. Instead, they’d rather run through the clearing to give Bobby some target practice.

Seeing the fallen Dylan, Bunny runs up to him, gets shot in the arm, and passes out. So now Milford decides to take the suicidal shortcut (although, to his credit, he does run behind a bush or two). Milford hauls Bunny out of harm’s way, then makes it to the trough. He opens up the gas cans, and lights up the trough.

Inside the bunker, water is dripping through what appears to be a crude tap into a bucket (see what I mean about it flooding the bunker?). Bobby sniffs it, and then runs to the door. Monk shoves him down trying to get out himself. They have about two, three hours to get out, but are still present for the fireball that destroys the bunker. That tiny bucket of gas sure packed a wallop. Next we get a shot of a guy dancing around on fire, presumably Bobby. Everyone else on the island seems to be gone (what happened to the population of 40?).

Magnum! What are you doing?

Monk crawls out, still alive. Monk howls that he can’t see, which is no wonder, because his eyes are closed. AJ grabs an M-16, and aims it at Monk. However, Monk really is blind, and calls out for Bobby. They take pity on him. After all, they’re all stuck in this movie together.

Sometime later, we get an unexpected close-up of a goat being milked. Now we see Joy, about five months pregnant. Another reason why the idea of Terminal Island won’t float legally. Upon birth, the baby has rights, and can’t be allowed to grow up in prison.

Apparently the Rebels have taken over the village in peace and harmony. There is no sign of any of Bobby’s gang, so I guess that they’re all dead. Bunny is leading the still blind Monk, who is carrying water. She finds Milford and brings him to the shore.

The guard boat is there (gosh, it looks a lot like the one that was supposedly destroyed), dropping off a new inmate and calling to the shore through a bullhorn. Good thing somebody was around to hear it so soon. They could have yelled all night. In light of recent problems, the boat’s security has improved. There are four guards instead of three.

The guards want to speak to Milford. A new trial has been ordered, and they’ve come to collect him. Wasn’t he declared legally dead when he was dropped off on the island? Who the hell orders a new trial for a dead guy? They actually have to ask if he’s Milford. Once again, further proof that this system just can’t work the way they’ve structured it. What’s to stop someone else from claiming to be Milford?

Milford yells that “Norman Milford’s dead.” The guards, grateful that the taxpayers have been saved the cost of a trial (?) depart. “I don’t know why I did that,” says Milford. Except that he already told us that he wouldn’t leave if he could. “I’d have to go through another trial. Maybe end up here again…Yeah. I do know why. I don’t want to go back. Ever. Lee was right. This is home now.”

The guards are escorting a young woman to the beach. Gosh, they’re awfully trusting. Milford’s right here, who knows who else could be around? The woman wanders up to Milford and Bunny. “Hello, who are you?” he asks. “I’m Dana,” she replies. Apparently, there are lots of attractive murderers around.

“Welcome to Terminal Island,” says Doc, and Dana smiles, as she’s apparently thrilled to be here. Yep, life is gonna be so much better on TI. At least until another boatload of psychos are dropped off. In fact, maybe Dana is here because she cannibalized her entire graduating year and is smiling because she can’t wait to turn Bunny, Milford, et al. into coldcuts.

We end with a reprisal of the song that perfectly describes this movie: “It’s Too Damn Bad.”


From “It’s Too Damn Bad” by Jeff Wright:

“Well it’s too damn bad nobody loves her
nobody ever cared the way they should
it’s too damn bad what they made of her
’cause she too damn bad for her own good”

Joy summarizes the island’s population:
Joy: “What do you want? We got white bastards, black bastards, big bastards, little bastards…”

Joy, demonstrating the subtle art of flirting:
(Joy is reaching into Gomer’s pants)
Gomer: “I don’t think there’s any meat down there, Joy.”
Joy: “I know, but there’s a bone.” (Pulls out chicken bone.)

  • Austexchili

    I remember when Selleck appeared on Letterman (back when Letterman was worth watching) with a “Bring Back Terminal Island coffee mug. At least Selleck had a sense of humor about this turkey.