The 80’s were a time of great things. Scott Baio was king, big hair was in fashion, and Kenny Loggins became a millionare. This movie features cheap knock-offs of two of those three things, with the big hair in abundance.
As Swimwear Illustrated prepares to release its fifteenth anniversary issue, the magazine sends out a model search. A number of hot women are picked, and taken to a photo shoot on an island, where they start dying.
With a shower scene and a dozen girls dancing in bikinis within the first ten minutes, who needs a plot? The trip to the island is five models, plus the magazine editor, camera man, make up guy, and older woman/former model/immediate suspect. Sleazy Jack (Robinson) is the aforementioned Scott Baio imposter as the magazine editor. The makeup artist behaves like he’s never seen women before, and the former model scowls and sneers a lot. (For a reference, the sex-starved makeup artist looks like Cousin Larry on Perfect Strangers.)
It should be mentioned that there’s a huge discrepancy of what’s hot in the past twenty years. For instance, all the breasts in this movie are real. It’s hard to imagine that statement describing a movie made today with “bikini” in the title.
Act One is a slow combination of character introduction, excuses to show off the women’s bodies, and cheese rock. At a short 85 minutes, this portion feels six hours long. Original music was composed by Marc David Decker, who went on to such heights as scoring 1993’s Bikini Squad.
Clearly setting out to dispel the myth of airhead models, Bikini Island features a woman forgetting to bring a bathing suit to the audition…FOR SWIMWEAR ILLUSTRATED! Following that is one of the five girls going to the photo shoot on the island without suntan lotion. Throw in the fact that most of them sleep with the producer, and the film really makes a strong statement about the moral fiber of cover models.
The movie finally turns the corner with the first death…by plunger. Not that this is on par with say Sleepaway Camp’s death by curling iron, but it makes for ten seconds of hilarity.
The entire movie is thin plot, bad acting and slow-motion tit shots with one exception. Not to spoil the film, but one death is a moment that rises above the muck. One character drives the VW van for about 45 minutes after being struck by an arrow just to find a cliff to drive off of. As for the bow and arrow, it’s not a Ted Nugent special. It’s the Toys R Us aisle six Fischer Price “My First Bow Hunter” kind, complete with the plastic feathers.
One notable member of the cast is Terry Miller as Frab. Miller has been the first assistant director on a ton of movies including Terminator 2, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and Lethal Weapon. Stuntman Jay C. Currin was killed on the first day of shooting.
The film is not available on DVD, and the VHS includes one coming attraction – 1992’s All-American Murder, featuring Christopher Walken and Joanna Cassidy. That gem in undoubtedly on par with this film, showing its quality with the need for breast shots in its 60-second trailer. Unless viewers are starving to relive the glory days of 80’s late night skinimax, they should blow past the first 80 movies and straight to the VW scene