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Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls

Vanguard // Unrated // July 26, 2005
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted August 5, 2005 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

You could pick from a thousand random comedies and not find one less humorous or more amateurish than Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls. I mean, there's bad, there's mega-bad, and there's this. Words never fail me, and I'm sitting here stunned over the cinematic ineptitude that's unfolding in front of me.

Desperately shooting for Airplane!-style spoof and failing in every conceivable fashion, Miss Cast Away is nothing more than an 89-minute series of putrid puns, pathetic pratfalls, and the sort of atrocious filmmaking techniques that make you wish a person needed a license (and a psychiatric exam) to call himself a director.

You know that guy? The one who wanders around your neighborhood / mall / work cubicle spouting quotes from Austin Powers and Jerry Maguire while beaming like the world's biggest moron? ("Hi Janet. Oooh beHAVE! Hi Janet. Show me the money." and on and on...) Imagine a movie version of that horrific imbecile and you're halfway to understanding the interminable brain tumor that is Miss Cast Away.

Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls is "about" two pilots who get stranded on a deserted island with a bevy of bouncing beauty contestants. Subplots include:

A giant pig that's (repeatedly) referred to as Jurassic Pork. (Oh, my sides.)

The biblical Noah is being held captive by the apes from Planet of the Apes, and the nasty primates hope to destroy the world by starting a "perfect storm" with Noah's ark. (Still with me?)

Michael Jackson.

Yeah, I said it. Michael Jackson appears in this movie three separate times. He's playing something called "Agent MJ," and he appears only as part of a holographic transmission who helps steer the pilots (Eric Roberts & Charlie Schlatter, I shit you not) in the right direction. The entire laborious mess is nothing more than a series of endless movie references: Men in Black, The Sixth Sense, Austin Powers, Mission: Impossible, Scream, Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, The Hulk, The Matrix, and on and on goes the biting and witty commentary. I'm not saying you couldn't make a funny spoof of these movies; I'm saying that Miss Cast Away is about as funny as a shit-smeared wall.

And here's a free tip for Bryan Stoller, the overwhelmingly inept director of this certified junkpile: Bri, you can't just have your characters recite old and familiar lines of dialogue from real movies. For a satire to work, you need to do more than just say the words "I see dead people," and "I'll be right here." There also needs to be a joke somewhere. Anywhere. You pull this schtick at least 1,431 times in this nightmare of a movie, and every time it happened, I felt the urge to rise from my chair and kick in my television with my bare feet.

Frankly I had no goddam clue what was going on in this movie, which is strange because the comedy material is clearly written with brain-damaged 9-year-old chimps in mind, and I'm easily just as smart as a brain-damaged 9-year-old chimp. Maybe smarter.

Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls is easily one of the worst comedies I've ever seen. It's like 2001: A Space Travesty bad -- and that's not a criticism I'm likely to toss around lightly. I'm convinced that Mr. Stoller is entirely unfamiliar with simple concepts like wit, timing, satire, humor, and talent. Movies this bad just make you hang your head in shame, desperately terrified that once the first alien visitors stop by our planet ... this is the first movie they'll see. It's nothing more than a few has-beens running around on a beach, frantically flinging limp one-liners in every direction, clearly horrified that their paychecks are going to bounce. I feel actual pity for Eric Roberts; the guy's a freakin' Oscar nominee for cryin' out loud -- and now he's starring in a "comedy" that makes the "Ernest Does Something" series look like the collected works of Oscar Wilde.

And I didn't even mention the cameo appearances from Joe Millionaire, George Bush, Marilyn Monroe, Groucho Marx, Elvis Preseley, a robot sidekick, Charlie Chaplin, a talking bird, and the Pope. Don't ask. Seriously.

Anyway, it's fish in a barrel. Just trust me when I warn you never to rent, buy, or even discuss this mindless cinematic abomination. If this movie were a guest at your dinner party, you'd ask him to hit the road in less time than it takes to slam a door on someone's ass.


Video: The "movie" is presented in a flat and flimsy looking Fullscreen presentation, which retains all the cheap tackiness you'd expect from a product this inane.

Audio: You can choose between a Dolby Digital 2.0 track -- or you can employ your handy-dandy mute button. The flick's just as atrocious either way, but using the mute button enables you to miss the unbelievably abysmal pseudo-lounge lizard music, as well as the non-stop groan-a-thon that is the screenplay.


Oh lord help me...

Good news right off the bat: There's no commentary track. Whew.

But there is a 25-minute behind-the-scenes mega-chore called The Making of Miss Castaway and the Island Girls. It's basically your typical blather-on-the-set sort of material, only this featurette comes packed with even more of Bryan Stoller's distinct brand of non-humor. Still, the guy's smart enough to point his camera towards his only asset: Lots of hot women. Fair warning: There are some fairly close-up looks at Michael Jackson here. Horrifying.

You can also force yourself to sit through the theatrical trailer, but since it's included within the behind-the-scenes migraine, I'll just label its inclusion as unnecessary filler.

But wait, there's more! (Sigh.)

Top Secret! Visit to Neverland Ranch is precisely what it sounds like, god help us all. See, once upon a time Mr. Stoller directed a parody of a Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial, which then played on TV's Bloopers and Blunders program, after which MJ called Bryan and the pair became great buddies -- which leads us to this pointless little 7-minute void. And I mean "pointless" in the truest sense of the word, because there's practically nothing in this "Top Secret!" material that wasn't already presented in the Making-Of featurette. So it's not only pointless, but also doubly irritating.

Then we get the 2-minute vintage Michael Jackson comedy short that Stoller directed, like, 20 years ago -- which was also included in the main featurette! OK, this is really starting to piss me off.

Rounding out this unfair night of torture are a Miss Castaway Music Video and a 5-minute special effects featurette, which does very little to explain how the filmmakers were able to create what are arguably the least special effects ever committed to film. Stoller seems particularly impressed by the amazing technology known as "blue screen backgrounds."

Final Thoughts

This movie was made by the guy who wrote the "Filmmaking for Dummies" book. Enough said?

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