Battle of Blood Island [DVD] [1960]

Joel Rapp's Battle of Blood Island (1960) is a deceptively good -- if nowhere near great -- social drama (dealing with prejudice) that's disguised as a war movie. It was shot in Puerto Rico during the same period in which Roger Corman was shooting The Last Woman On Earth and Creature From The Haunted Sea, and the director even appeared in a small role in the final section of Rapp's film. It's a curious movie, adapted from a story by Philip Roth and coming out of the same cinematic orbit as Corman's The Intruder, with a serious social conscience as its motivation -- think of Gentleman's Agreement done on the set of Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. The directing leaves something to be desired and the performance by Ron Kennedy has serious problems, but it does contain the best performance that Richard Devon (a talented leading man closely associated with Corman's movies) ever gave. Alpha Video has found a decent-looking source with very few blemishes and good sound (Fred Katz's music comes out very well ). The transfer is a good one, with usable picture detail even in the night shots, if one ignores some of the artistic flaws in the film. The price is right, and it's not as though this movie ever turned up much even on syndicated television across the decades, so the Alpha disc is a real find for movie buffs. The company's old requisite five chapters and simple opening menu are present; the disc claims a running time of 64 minutes, but actually runs several minutes longer.
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Battle of Blood Island
Short on action and slow in developing, this drama is set during World War II on a small island in the Pacific. Two GI's are holed up inside a cave, the only survivors of a failed offensive on the island. One day they witness a mass suicide among the Japanese soldiers who control the area, and so they realize that the war has ended. As they open up to each other, one of them loses his temper unexpectedly and bursts forth with an anti-Semitic tirade against his supposed buddy. That unexplained outburst mortifies him as much or more than it does his companion, and he takes a shocking punitive action against himself. Meanwhile, the two men need to be rescued soon because the island is scheduled for an atomic bomb test. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Richard Devon - Moe
  • Image coming soon
    Ron Kennedy - Ken
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