“It’s worse than dying!”


 1.5 Stars  1982/18/79m

A.k.a. Scared Alive; Island of Blood

“It’s worse than dying!”

Director/Writer: Bill Naud / Cast: Bari Suber, Rick Dean, Richard Helm, Red McVay, Jeanine Marie, Marie Alise, Terry Goodman, Ron Gardner, Jim Piper, Gary Phillips, Steven Tash.

Body Count: 11

Dire-logue: “Could you shut up? Just shut up ‘cos you’re depressing!”

Don’t you love how the 18 sticker is over the W making it look like the film is called Hodunit? That would be one awesome flick.

Is Whodunit? worse than dying? Would living in a world where Whodunit? didn’t exist be a bad thing? Hmm…well, who knows. We’ll all find out one day I guess. Maybe on my death bed as I recant all my wrongdoings I’ll be reminded of Whodunit? and it’s witty tagline (suited more to the alternate title Scared Alive) and that’ll finish me off.

Anyway, a group of actors are dropped off at Creep Island (where else?) with the director and producer of a “positive youth film” to begin rehearsals for an imminent shoot. Their mortality is soon problematised by the arrival of a maniac killer, who dispatches them in accordance with the lyrics of a terminally awful glam-rock song that is played on a seemingly endless supply of small grey portable cassette recorders that swing like pendulums from trees and telegraph each impending death to the words of the song:

“Boil me, boil me, boil me, face to face…” and so on ad nauseum with ‘boil’ substituted for shoot, spear, burn, saw, chop and nail. Still sounds better than the Christmas X Factor singles though.

Needless to say, the budding thesps soon meet their ends as predicted until only crappy singer-turned-actress BJ (phnarr!!!) remains to duke it out with the person she believes is the killer, who, in turn, believes SHE is the killer, while a third character holding a single candle (outside on a windy night, no less) encounters another suspect and says: “Stay away from me or I’ll burn you!”

With a candle. Ooooh, scary!!

This tangles mess fills in some of its slack with long scenes of people meandering around an old dilapidated building in a bid to create tension – but the murders are quite gory and there are some half-neat one-liners.

Without the ever-reoccurring annoyance of THAT song and some closure on why a totally anonymous and forgotten woman gets shot in the face at the beginning, this might’ve been good in an after-dinner cheeseboard sorta way.

So, no, not WORSE than dying. But that song certainly is.

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