The Asylum have the odd watchable effort, but never has their best work really been more than that. Most of the time though, their output is rarely above mediocre and even often terrible, the worst without any redeeming qualities. Yet there is something compulsive about their relatively consistent badness, speaking as somebody who does not actually mind low-budget and can get enjoyment out of this kind of story, as long as some kind of effort is obvious.
'Monster Island', starting off on a kind note or at least an attempt an honest attempt of a kind note if it doesn't come over that year, is not one of The Asylum's worst. Nowhere near, although there is hardly anything good in 'Monster Island' to me (did have to look hard for them too) it isn't completely irredeemable like their worst efforts are. This is from personal perspective of course. Still found it monstrously bad, the flaws are many, almost every other way, and they are not small, huge actually. Saying this with regret not malice, and there is much more to the problem than being derivative.
Its least bad asset is the production design, the one asset where effort was obvious. Though this is only marginally so rather than significantly so. A particularly good job was done with the caves as has been said already. Some of the photography was okay.
Elsewhere, the production values were really poorly done and that the film was made on the cheap is obvious. It looks pretty drab, but it's the disorganised looking editing and last minute looking visual effects, that would even look out of date in the 50s, that come off worst. The submarine is used poorly and there is nothing authentic about it, it didn't look like a submarine and looked like it was filmed in a tank. What can be remembered of the music has very little presence and the film might as better well not had music at all because it didn't fit, added nothing and wouldn't have sounded appealing on its own.
Was expecting little from the script, and it turned out to be worse than expected with the cheese and awkwardness too frequently being rather hard to take. Predictability was hardly unexpected and would have tolerated it, providing that there was some degree of fun and suspense. Unfortunately, 'Monster Island' completely failed to be fun, even on a guilty pleasure level, and the stupidity became intelligence-insulting and exhausting after a while. The suspense was also absent and the whole film felt dreary. The monster action is limited, or at least what the underused creatures are given to do. What there was leaves one confused, bored and shouting at the screen in frustration and the creatures have little personality let alone menace or soul.
Got the sense that the director Mark Atkins had little plan of how to direct or structure 'Monster Island' or what to do with it or that his heart was barely in it. The characters were neither interesting or worth rooting for, there is so little to them in personality or development, their nonsensical decision making is both frustrating and disreacting and how they're written has been seen before many times. The acting is poor at best, the biggest name being Eric Roberts who acts like a sleepwalking robot.
Review by TheLittleSongbird from the Internet Movie Database.