- Genre : Horror, survival, entomology
- Movie: 1 hour, 16 mins
- Studio: Passione
School trips are a pain in the rear side. You can’t do what you want, you’re stuck with a bunch of people that regularly bully you, ignore you or try to boss you around and you only get through it because you have a best friend to lean on, if you’re lucky. There’s no video games, no internet and everything is educational. Maybe some people can make the best of it but it’s definitely not the best time for everyone. But when on top of that your plane crashes stranding you with a small group of survivors on a seemingly abandoned island with no provisions, it gets way harder to keep up the chipper attitude. Ok, now imagine that said island is full of gigantic killer bugs! Now that sounds like an absolutely horrible school trip. Barely better than mine!
I’m not sure where that came from… I had some really fun school trips. I would always be a pain about them though. I need alone time in my day. Being stuck with people 24/7 is just a nightmare for me no matter what. I’m just so much fun that way!
I first heard about The Island of Giant Insects from foovay who mentioned it in my comments (here) and I got really fascinated by the title. I was imagining something like a silly 1960s Sci Fi movie in anime form. You know, the type of old black and white movies Mystery Science Theater 3000 use to make fun of. Does anyone even know what Mystery Science Theater 3000 is?… Or maybe something like a low budget Jurassic World but animated. That’s the mindset I went into this movie with. Keep that in mind for later folks, it’s going to come into play.
Right off the bat I’m gonna warn you there’s going to be spoilers. This is an hour and 16 minute movie and I can’t really talk about it without giving a lot of the plot away. This said, it’s not like it’s a twist movie or anything. You pretty much know exactly what you’re in for in the first five minutes so I don’t think it would spoil your viewing much but still if you want to go in blind, then thanks for stopping by, hope to see you soon!
As you can see from the pictures, the Island of Giant Insects isn’t that bad looking. Maybe it was because I had decided it would be cheap going in but I was actually pleasantly surprised by the designs. Generic sure but not ugly in my opinion. The animation got a bit clunky at times like the skipped a few too many frames and on a few occasions I noticed that they had not animated mouth movements which was pretty funny but on average it was decent. The insects themselves are absolutely horrible cg that makes no effort to integrate with the rest of the animation but considering that they are supposed to be horrific monsters the uncaniness sort of works in their favour.
The soundtrack is best described as so earnest it’s quite funny. Not good but it literally made me giggle. The voice acting on the other hand WAS good. More on that later.
Overall the production is in fact cheap just not as cheap as I thought it would be and at least to me, none of the technical shortcomings were much of a drawback to the enjoyment of the movie. So let’s talk story.
Remember when I said I thought this would be a campy action adventure survival type movie. Well it’s not… It’s one of those schlocky soft porn gross out horror survival movies. Like an old Blumhouse production before they started putting out really interesting movies. I think the classiest way I can put it is that it’s a tits and gore show with giant bugs.
The premise is simple, it’s exactly what I spelled out in my summary. A bunch of high school students are on a school trip when their plane crashes on an island and the few survivors very quickly start getting killed in a variety of disgusting ways by an array of big bugs. Also the bugs always find a way to strip the girls during the process but only the girls for some reason. And some ways of getting killed look real pleasurable… Also Yuri for some reasons. All the hits are there, scatophilia, body horror, attempted rape (I’m impressed they stopped last minute), sex in the middle of dangerous situation, super smart yet oblivious characters with unexplainable priorities. If you have ever seen any movie in this genre you pretty much know exactly what to expect.
Except for the voice acting. Remember when I said it was good, well it’s so good it’s almost 4th wall breaking cause you can’t help but think it belongs in a different movie. It elevates what is solidly z grade dialogue to something almost decent on occasion. I’m not sure if I would have preferred bad acting as that could have been unintentionally funny, as it is it’s just confusing… I almost wish I could have seen live actors deliver these awful lines with such sincerity and craftsmanship.
These types of movies are best enjoyed when you don’t think too hard about anything that’s going on, or at all really. Pointing out plot holes sort of presupposes there’s enough solid plot to tell when there’s a hole. I strongly urge anyone who wants to see this to have this mindset. But there are 3 elements that I just can’t quite ignore.
First is a little premise thingie I probably should not be paying so much attention to but it’s sort of core to the story. The giant bugs are presented as some kind of mutants that exist only on the island and presumably always have, but the island isn’t uninhibited. There are abandoned structures and signs of modern civilization everywhere. It’s just that the humans were killed and recently at that. The generators still work. So where did the bugs come from?
Second is a scene towards the middle of the movie where one of the most useful characters is exploring a hospital and opens a door. We don’t see what’s there but he let’s out a blood curdling scream. Everyone assumes he’s dead. But no, he comes back later just fine and we never ever find out what he saw. Someone asks once, he said he saw something that startled him and it’s never brought up again…..
Which brings me to the third thing, this movie isn’t finished. And not like it’s open ended, it really feels like the story is about 2/3 through. An entire act is missing. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be the launch of a new series (I hope not) but it’s definitely incomplete.
At a bit over an hour it’s short enough to not get too boring or annoying but the Island of Giant Insects is definitely a bad movie. If you’re in the mood for that and enjoy those elements I mentioned earlier then you could give this a try. There’s an OVA on Crunchyroll that is “uncensored”. I don’t know what that means since the movie was pretty uncensored as is. We didn’t see boy parts though some maybe the ova just has tons of penises. (This sentence should do some fun things for the ol SEO). I jumped around through it and it was all scenes I had seen so it seems to be a condensed version of the movie for some reason.
In short I can’t recommend this movie but it is…what it is…
Favourite character: Akira?
What this anime taught me: Insects breath through spiracles which are tiny openings in the body walls, kind of like breathing through your pores. It sounds like a great design but apparently it’s really not and the lack of efficiency of these is what keeps insects at a relatively small size…
A drink is shorter than a tale
Suggested drink: Grasshopper
- Every time Mutsumi says Chitose – take a sip
- Every time someone says “underground idol” – take a swig
- Every time anyone just watches idly as someone gets murdered – take a sip
- Every time Jinno has no appreciation for the situation they are in – raise your glass
- Every time Ayumi mentions the softball club – do a sit up
- Every time you learn a fun insect fact – cheers!
- Every time anyone has screwed up priorities – take a sip
- Every time anyone is oddly unaffected by what’s going on – take a sip
- Every time Mami does nothing – breath in
- Every time it’s Yuri time – ahhh yeah
If you’re interested there are some more mildly NSFW screencaps here if you are interested.