Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Written by / 8/31/2018 / No comments / , , , , , , , ,

GENE NELSON AIMS AT JACK NICHOLSON'S 'THUNDER ISLAND'

Year of Assignment: 1963
Here's a movie that almost was, and nearly could've been — something pretty good: As one of many low budget programmers by 20th Century Fox in the early sixties, THUNDER ISLAND just happens to be co-written (alongside Don Devilin) by a young starving actor named Jack Nicholson (who doesn't appear), and the set-up is cool enough...

On a balmy locale straight out of KEY LARGO style Film Noir, Brian Kelly, best known as the two young boys' dad on TV's FLIPPER, ironically runs a boat charter business, and his ex wife and daughter just happen to show up for a visit while, right inside the only hotel, a hit man's being paid by slick Latin beauty Miriam Colin, whose family suffered the wrath of a former dictator from a Cuba-like country, and he's exiled on a nearby, heavily guarded island... you can call it THUNDER ISLAND although the 11th hour bursts of rushed gunfire would hardly be mistaken for cinematic lightning...

Picture on Fox DVD Cover
Filmed in black and white within a sparse, pulpy aesthetic skipping from land to sea, the hit man is played with slow burn, stone-walled ease by former dancer and CRIME WAVE protagonist Gene Nelson...

Brian Kelly shooting blanks
But he's thwarted by a few annoying devices. The grating-voiced horrible acting daughter of Brian Kelly and ex-wife in former AL CAPONE girlfriend and future GODFATHER II Hyman Roth betrothed, Fay Spain, blocks the killshot before her charter captain dad... distraction number two... shows up; a mere afterthought despite his initial potential as a TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT Bogart type, and who'd already been forced to hand his vessel over to the killer.

Gene Nelson ISLAND Score: ***
Backing up a bit with some interesting Brian Kelly trivia: He was a tall and muscular, handsome lug who, after a severe injury riding a borrowed motorcycle, and no longer able to be cast as a tall and muscular, handsome lug, talked a secluded, temperamental and, up to that point, completely reluctant science-fiction author Philip K. Dick into selling the rights to his novel, DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? That's right... Without Flipper's father, Ridley Scott's dystopian future neo noir, BLADE RUNNER, wouldn't exist at all...

Brian Kelly hunting for the hunter in Thunder Island
But a decade before sealing that legendary deal,  the young actor's bills were being paid, portraying a useless hero who is absolutely no logical match for, and a complete bulwark to, Gene Nelson...

Not only does he look the part of a cold-blooded, slithering assassin, but he uses his dance skills to goat-leap around the craggy island exterior (replete with wild yet caged zoo animals) as his character alone attempts making this clunky misfire an action vehicle that almost was, and nearly could've been — something pretty good...  Sound familiar? Well, either way, THUNDER ISLAND  does exist comfortable within the predictable confides of its own safe mediocrity.
What can you say about this picture of Gene Nelson firing a gun but... it's a cool picture from THUNDER ISLAND
Miriam Colon and Fay Spain in Jack Nicholson's Thunder Island
Miriam Colon and Fay Spain sunbathing bikini in THUNDER ISLAND
Miriam Colon and Gene Nelson in Jack Nicholson's THUNDER ISLAND
Miriam Colon and Gene Nelson in Jack Nicholson's THUNDER ISLAND
Miriam Colon and Gene Nelson in Jack Nicholson's THUNDER ISLAND
Miriam Colon and Gene Nelson in Jack Nicholson's THUNDER ISLAND
Miriam Colon and Gene Nelson in Jack Nicholson's THUNDER ISLAND
Miriam Colon and Gene Nelson in Jack Nicholson's THUNDER ISLAND
The bad and the good Gene Nelson and Brian Kelly in THUNDER ISLAND
A scuba geared Gene Nelson slithers for the kill beneath the a henchman leopard
Beside hunky Brian Kelly is Hyman Roth's wife and Al Capone's girlfriend... Fay Spain in Thunder Island
Brian Kelly's name (along with the guy who couldn't get Dick) at the Shining-footage version of Blade Runner
Miriam Colon appearing with and directed by Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks
Gene Nelson looking like Will Ferrell with Tuco's grandma from Better Call Saul, Miriam Colon in Thunder Island
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

KRISTY SWASON IN WES CRAVEN'S SCIENCE-HORROR 'DEADLY FRIEND'

Blu Ray Cover Artwork for DEADLY FRIEND Year Released: 1986 Rating: **** A year before giving her class the lowdown about FERRIS BEULLER'...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP KEN HUTCHISON MONTH

RIP KEN HUTCHISON MONTH
Reviews with the late Scottish tough guy actor

JACK NICHOLSON IN OCTOBER

JACK NICHOLSON IN OCTOBER
from Chinatown to THE SHINING Halloween

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "You don't say Hitler in an airport." Harley Morensteinm from TUSK

CRIME/FILM NOIR/NEO NOIR


Gritty Exploitation Cinema of Charles Bronson

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)HOT CARS 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)CANYON PASSAGE 6)THE CROWDED SKY 7)JUNGLE STREET 8)VIOLENT SATURDAY 9)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 10)HELL IS A CITY 11))THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)HARDCORE 15)FRENZY 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)THE SERGEANT 19)AL CAPONE 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)ASH WEDNESDAY 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)THE HIJACKERS 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY 30)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)STANLEY BAKER DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

CINEMA INCUBO SPAVENTATA

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

PEAKING IN THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE