Pinata: Survival Island

( 4 )

Overview

Piñata: Survival Island (which is listed in many databases as "Survival Island" and, thus, not always easy to find) has come to DVD with a full-screen transfer (1.33:1) and a dozen chapter markers, along with a nice load of special features. The highlight is the audio commentary track by directors David Hillenbrand and Scott Hillenbrand, who are delightful to listen to as they casually explain the evolution of the idea -- out of Jewish ritual on Yom Kippur, into a Cinco de Mayo monster story, and the jumping-off ...
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Overview

Piñata: Survival Island (which is listed in many databases as "Survival Island" and, thus, not always easy to find) has come to DVD with a full-screen transfer (1.33:1) and a dozen chapter markers, along with a nice load of special features. The highlight is the audio commentary track by directors David Hillenbrand and Scott Hillenbrand, who are delightful to listen to as they casually explain the evolution of the idea -- out of Jewish ritual on Yom Kippur, into a Cinco de Mayo monster story, and the jumping-off point to the pre-Columbian design of the opening sequence. They also go into how the distinctly different appearance of each part of the movie was devised, from the single shots of the ancient Central American sequence to the much more complicated sequences on the island. The CGI replacement for animatronic effects (involving the killer piñata) just weren't working. The commentary is supported and enhanced by a documentary depicting the different incarnations of the evil spirit, which is doubly fascinating as the makers show the abandoned animatronic version of the creature and the way in which they substituted a CGI creation in the relevant shots. In addition to the trailer for Piñata: Survival Island, the trailers for two other movies: the comedy Bark!, starring Lisa Kudrow and Vincent D'Onofrio and the occult thriller Revelation, starring Terence Stamp, Ron Moody, and Derek Jacobi. There are also optional Spanish subtitles and a trivia game, all accessible through a dual-layer menu that opens automatically on startup.
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Special Features

Director's commentary; "Creation of the Creature" featurette; Trivia game; Trailers; Scene selection; Spanish subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
There are so many resonances of David Hillenbrand and Scott Hillenbrand's Piñata: Survival Island in the horror genre, reaching back to the '50s and even earlier. The plot is clever, turning logic on its head in grisly fashion and twisting around some of the conventions of the modern horror genre. The film strings out the suspense across the first 20 minutes (after a cleverly designed and shot opening segment, set 500 years in the past), in which the students get ever closer to the evil piñata; it then reveals the monster in ever more threatening incarnations. Indeed, at one point, the movie seems to tip its hat, visually and metaphorically, to Dan Milner's 1957 killer tree-stump movie From Hell It Came (but with infinitely better effects), the Warner Bros. Tasmanian devil, and the id-monster in Forbidden Planet; and at other times, its plot recalls those Mexican horror films of the early '60s, such as Curse of the Doll People. As grisly as the deaths are, there are no two alike, and the movie maintains a nutty lightheartedness, reminiscent of the Chucky films. There are also other interesting elements: the fact that the slightly lesbian guide, portrayed by Kasey Fallo (who is excellent), plays an unusually strong role in the plot, and also the distinct look that the makers have given to each of the different sections of the movie. In the end, Piñata: Survival Island (which shows up in many retail databases as "Survival Island") is not a great movie, just a better, cleverer movie than one would expect from this genre at this late date and also a great deal of fun.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/4/2003
  • UPC: 687797974099
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Millennium
  • Presentation: Stereo
  • Sound: stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:30:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 35,238

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicholas Brendon Kyle,
Jaime Pressly
Eugene Byrd
Kasey Fallo
Scott Hillenbrand
Lara Boyd Rhodes
Nate Richert
Garrett Wang
Technical Credits
David Hillenbrand Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Scott Hillenbrand Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Jack Cloud Production Designer
Philip D. Schwartz Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Title [7:16]
2. Cinco de Mayo [7:10]
3. Start the Games [4:04]
4. Awaken the Piñata [5:35]
5. I Know What I Saw [9:58]
6. Jake and Julie Scoring [10:20]
7. Waiting Patiently [4:30]
8. May 6th [2:41]
9. Heading Back to Camp [9:08]
10. Outsmart Piñata [7:05]
11. Capture the Piñata [12:04]
12. Ending Credits [4:40]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Trailers
      Piñata: Survival Island
      Bark
      Revelation
   Special Features
      Audio Settings
         2.0 Stereo
         5.2 Surround
      Commentary
         Directors' Commentary by David Hillenbrand and Scott Hillenbrand: On
         Directors' Commentary by David Hillenbrand and Scott Hillenbrand: Off
      Cast
         Nicholas Brendon
         Jaime Pressly
         Eugene Byrd
         Nate Richert
         Garrett Wang
         Kasey Fallo
         Lara Boyd Rhodes
         Julia Mendoza
         Daphne Duplaix
         Aeryk Egan
         Tressa di Figlia
         Robert Tena
      Filmmakers
      "The Creation of the Creature"
      Subtitles
         Spanish
         Off
      Trivia Game
      Production Pictures
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Yuck

    Yuck

    I'm a horror fan, and I hated this. Nicholas Brendon, and Jaimie Pressley with a tropical setting and a monster. How it's possible to blow that for a horror fan is hard to describe, but this did. Please horror fans, look else where for gore entertainment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I wish you had less than one star as an option

    We just finished watching this terrible excuse for a horror. We laughed hysterically throughout the entire film at both the idiocy of the characters and their actions, and the poor special effects (think man in a big rubber suit), and don't forget the extreme (blatantly fake) blood. Don't forget the fact that it's a bunch of sex driven sorority girls and frat boys searching for undies on an island. All the makings for a spectacular F grade horror. If you're looking for nonstop laughs though, it's a sure winner!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very good popcorn flick

    Well, I found this movie to be a lot of fun. It has NON/STOP action and really cool effects.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not bad

    Pinata:Survival Island is a blend of Predator and Child's Play which leads to an entertaining 90 minutes of the film. By no means is this movie boring or awful as most people might think for a low budget B movie- but the main flaw is the special effects. Its overusage makes the movie exhausting and kind of out of pace. Regardless of the fact, this is a decent horror movie and should not be missed. Jamie Pressly is very good looking in the film and so is Nicholas Brendon, who makes the movie enjoyable from the 1st minute on-screen.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews