During renovations of the notorious
Alcatraz prison workers unearth a mysterious body. A forensic
anthropologist and some of his students are brought to the island to
identify the remains. Little do they realize that they are all
in terrible danger because the body is that of an Indian warrior who
was suffering from a terrible virus that drove him mad with bloodlust.
And even though he has been dead for more than 150 years he is still
contagious. Soon the prison is overrun with crazed killers as
one by one the survivors are either killed off or infected.
There really isnít much to
say about this movie. The story follows a fairly typical pattern
with a group of isolated people that are slowly picked off one by one.
The story does try to add some paranoia about who can be trusted, but
really it isnít done well and is abandoned quickly. The infected
are identified early on and the movie moves briskly thru the killings.
The ending is also typical of these sorts of movies with the authorities
thinking the menace is over, but we the audience seeing that it isnít.
To be fair they arenít trying to reinvent the wheel here and are trying
to make a typical ďmonsterĒ movie. Do they succeed?
Iíd have to say yes. The cast is mediocre but does manage to
get the job done with enough skill as to not be distracting or bog the
movie down. As with the script there really isn't much I can say
about the cast.
Everything about this movie
points towards a competent if not creative crew. The effects in
Curse of Alcatraz are really non-existent. With the exception
of a tomahawk to the chest there really isnít much blood shown on
screen. There are a couple of shots of the bodies that are discovered
after the fact, but even those shots are kind of weak. The movie
is light well with all of the interior scenes being very crisp and clear.
This is a big plus because the filmmakers make much use out of their
locations in the prison.
There is a phrase that Iíve
heard applied to books that I think is appropriate here. This
movie is ďmind candyĒ. You can sit down and enjoy it without
having to think about it at all. In fact if you try and think
about the movie you will probably not enjoy it at all. While not
worth purchasing if you get a chance to rent this movie and are in the
mood for a movie to kick back and watch while having a few beers I think
Curse of Alcatraz may be for you.
Rating - **
-John "El Juan" Shatzer