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Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women (aka Island of Sister Theresa)

Kino // Unrated // August 30, 2022
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted September 19, 2022 | E-mail the Author
Mysterious Island Of Beautiful Women:

This movie should not be confused with either the original Jules Verne novel or any of the other cinematic Mysterious Island interpretations. No, as you'll note, this is the Mysterious Island Of Beautiful Women. Thanks, I suppose, go to Kino Lorber (kind of one of my favorite labels these days) for digging up another Made For TV Movie that would have adequately killed a Saturday evening in December 1979, when it was released on an unsuspecting public. Those were indeed the days.

Directed by stalwart TV master Joseph Pevney, (maybe best known for Star Trek) and starring Peter Lawford, Steven Keats and Jamie Lyn Bauer, Mysterious Island Of Beautiful Women tells the story of a mysterious island inhabited, in part, by a rather small 'tribe' of beautiful women, as well as a somewhat larger tribe of savage men known as 'headchoppers'. When a plane of less-savage men is forced to land on said island, those men become compelled to figure out what the heck is going on with the beautiful women and their soon-to-be-revealed extreme ambivalence towards the menfolk.

And here we have another goofball effort to get people to stay home in front of the boob-tube on a Saturday night, not that any boobs explicitly appear on the tube, which is too bad because this clumsy-fun, innocent sleaze-fest makes me long for Joe D'Amato and Bruno Mattei in the best way possible.

The movie starts in weird fashion, going to extreme lengths to establish realism through extensive use of footage from the First Indochina War, mixed in with scenes of a planeload of Catholic girls crashing on an island in the South Pacific. (You do the math.) Thence, the men from the plane try to figure our a couple things, how to get off the island, and how to do so without being speared by the beautiful women, whom they ultimately hope to figure out as well. There's lots of drama to be thrown around on the sandy beaches, with a recovering alcoholic who drinks up all the remaining booze in despair, an injured dude who must "bite down on the pain!" because there's no other way to help him, and much more.

The beautiful women are comprised of a racially-diverse cadre of hotties who speak poor English and are naive-beyond-belief. They're parented by Lizabeth, (Bauer) a slightly older hottie who gets her marching orders by a mysterious matriarch to whom only Lizabeth can speak. That said, Lizabeth does a good job with the gals, leading them to stab, stab, and kill, whenever the 'headchoppers' come calling.

It's no great shakes, by any means, but Mysterious Island Of Beautiful Women comports itself nicely. Is it ultimately predictable? Sure, but in the interim, it goes places you wouldn't likely expect, opting for human drama rather than 'crazy native' fear-mongering. The movie is anchored by two fun performances, Bauer's barely-holding-it-together mania, and male lead Mike's slightly unctuous personality. Mike is played with odd, slick charisma by Steven Keats. He's a Brooklyn caricature with odd earnestness that seems out-of-place both on the island and in the movie altogether, yet somehow drives the whole thing forward. Lawford is great as well, while Clint Walker's huge, menacing tough-guy Wendell adds a great amount of spice.

Mysterious Island Of Beautiful Women represents another weird nugget dug up from the soil far beneath the bottom of the barrel by Kino Lorber! This 1979 made-for-TV movie features a kooky , tropical plot, off-kilter performances, and nothing you'd exactly go out of your way to watch. Yet for a lonely Saturday night, if you the viewer leave yourself open to all possible movie genres, you'll find yourself having a good time. I'm not going to say this movie is recommended exactly, but after you Rent It you'll know if you want it in your collection.


The DVD

Video:
Mysterious Island Of Beautiful Women floats around in a 1.33:1 ratio 1080p transfer assembled from a variety of 35 and 16mm sources. This complete print looks as good as it is likely to get, varying widely as one would expect, from soft and grainy to pretty sharp. Colors also vary, and details range in clarity as well. Other than that, the new 2k transfer looks solid.


Sound:
The DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio Mono audio track does everything it needs to do, which is convey dialog cleanly and clearly, while not competing with the score and other soundtrack elements. Sounds OK!


Extras:
English SDH subtitles, a cold-grip of KL Trailers including Night Gallery and other delightful stuff are accompanied by a Commentary Track from Amanda Reyes and Lance Vaughan (of Kindertrauma fame). The track is wide-ranging and quite fun.


Final Thoughts:
Mysterious Island Of Beautiful Women represents another weird nugget dug up from the soil far beneath the bottom of the barrel by Kino Lorber! This 1979 made-for-TV movie features a kooky , tropical plot, off-kilter performances, and nothing you'd exactly go out of your way to watch. Yet for a lonely Saturday night, if you the viewer leave yourself open to all possible movie genres, you'll find yourself having a good time. I'm not going to say this movie is recommended exactly, but after you Rent It you'll know if you want it in your collection.

www.kurtdahlke.com

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