Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rescue From Gilligan's Island

Today, one of my shortest reviews ever. Why? Because there really isn’t a whole hell of a lot that one can say about Rescue From Gilligan’s Island, that’s why. Now, for anyone who has spent the last 40 years lost on an uncharted desert isle, this video is all you need to know about Gilligan’s Island.

And that is all you need to know about the show, and subsequent series of telemovies. Now, you’d think that with a name like Rescue From Gilligan’s Island, that this would be the final one – but no... it’s actually the first, and was actually broadcast as two eps, rather than the standalone movie I see before me now. 

 In a nutshell – Gilligan’s antics, so often the cause of the Castaways never leaving the damn island, finally get them rescued after 15 years on the island (proving that they are not on the island from LOST). But, of course, that’s not all – through a zany series of contrivances too mind numbingly stupid to bother recounting, they end up getting rescued by the Coast Guard. And that ends part one. In part two, Gilligan ends up with a data disc dropped from an exploded spy satellite (which is not even the wackiest thing to ever happen to him, mind) and our now free Castaways end up getting chased around the place in a plot that even Hanna Barbera in their most desperate wouldn’t even touch. Long story short, they all decide to go on another cruise (me, if I’d just spent 15 years shipwrecked, would stay far the fuck away from the ocean – but there is no place for smarts in the world of Gilligan’s Island) and, thanks to yet another storm, end up back on the island again. WACKITY SHMACKITY DOO! 

 There is a lot to dislike about this film, especially if you are a fan of the show (which was hardly the high water mark of good television to begin with). First and foremost, this project was made 12 years after the show had finished, so the cast – who were no spring chickens during the heyday of the show, are now beginning to show some real age; so seeing the buffoonish antics of people who are long past middle age is kinda sad – much like the New Leave It To Beaver or I Love Lucy Again (look ‘em up, they both existed), but second only to the later Three Stooges shorts. Bob Denver, in particular, is a sad site for one’s eyes – you can see in his face that he is resigned to playing this role the rest of his life. 

 What to like? Well, Vincent Schiavelli plays one of the “Eastern European” baddies who try to get the data disc back from Gilligan. And...well...that’s about it. Seriously – the film’s one bright spot is one of my favourite “That Guy” actors. And, literally, that is it.

 As a good reviewer/critic, I look at myself as not above watching and reviewing bad films (hit up the Bad Film tag for others that I have put myself through). Hell, a lot of my favourite films, other people would look at as “bad films”, hell, some of them, so would I – but they are not without their charm. This, however, has no charm (at least the show had a certain zany charm) – this is just sad, like watching your parents using the latest lingo to prove that they are hip. I don’t think you can even enjoy this ironically or with a sense of kitsch. 

 Now that I have watched it, I can see why it fell into the public domain. I spent a dollar on a disc that features this and The Wackiest Wagon Train In The West (which is not even the most obscure thing Bob Denver did, but in every one, he was still playing Gilligan), and I think I was ripped off. To use the parlance of the internet – bad film is bad. 

Now who’s being hip?

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