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Battle of Blood Island (1960)
Topic Started: Nov 11 2017, 06:28 PM (124 Views)
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Battle of Blood Island (1960) Dir. Joel Rapp
A Filmgroup Production
1960 / B&W / 1.66:1
On DVD from Something Weird

January 1945, and an amphibious assault on a Japanese island goes astray - the Japanese are waiting for us, and those they don't shoot down on the beach are bayoneted. There are only two Yank survivors - Moe (Richard Devon) and the seriously wounded Ken (Ron Kennedy), who hide out in a cave and try to stay alive by pilfering goods and medicine from the Japanese camp and catching fish. They begin to get on each other's nerves and squabble and wonder if they'll ever get home again.

Well, you know how these low-budget war pictures go: promise a lot ("10,000 Men Attacked!") and deliver two guys in a cave but guess what? This is, as Roger Corman put it, "a good little picture." Our cast, such as it is, is fine, and I especially like Devon, whom of course we all remember as playing dat ol' debbil in Corman's The Undead. Corman had taken his troops (filmmakers, not Army) to Puerto Rico to film a couple of low-budget quickies, this (budget $45,000 - two-thirds put up by Roger, who saved costs by playing a sergeant in the film) and The Last Woman on Earth, but they stayed an extra few days and made Creature from the Haunted Sea while they were down there.

Million-dollar Dialog:

Devon, on the cruel heartlessness of war: "You know, I'd rather be a bombardier and killing a thousand people all at once. At least you wouldn't have to look at their faces."

I was expecting nothing but Corman seemed to work for a little special polish on his Filmgroup releases, and this is indeed a nice little movie, based on a story by Philip Roth. The DVD pairs it with Shell Shock (1964), two half-hour Army training films from WWII, a whole bunch of war trailers (including The Devil's General, 1955, with Curt Jurgens, which looks very good indeed) and a Bing Crosby singalong for War Bonds. Great stuff.
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