A bunch of college kids go to an island for Cinco de Mayo and are terrorized by a piñata full of demons. Of course, these aren’t just any kids. These are the appropriately placed cast of college kids, evenly split between the genders as God intended. Leading the pack are the smart guy (Brendon), the hot chick (Pressly), the obligatory black guy, the obligatory party guy, the obligatory prude blonde, the obligatory stoner dude, etc etc etc.
Allow me to mention that this isn’t just a piñata like a stuffed donkey or a lamb, this is a CGI nightmare of anger and venom and mayhem! And when it runs, it uses the camera as its point of view! And it comes with a whole sidebar of keyboard hits, and flashbacks to the village of naked guys who banished him to begin with.
The movie was stupid enough before showing the piñata’s point of view as red triangles with silhouettes behind them. The piñata is an entirely computer-generated piece of crap less realistic than every fake snake ever to grace the Sci Fi Channel. After about four seconds, the producers give up all thoughts of making it believable.
Adding to the misery of the college folks is the fact that the two judges drive the only ATV’s in the history of mankind that instantly explode when they hit a root. Since Nicholas Brendan cut his teeth on the TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he is a history buff and knows the story of the tiny remote village that made the piñata.
Anyway, the tiny pint-sized piñata converts into a giant angry demon thing when it doesn’t have to share the screen with anyone. When it does, the effect is pathetic. Fortunately, that’s pretty much the aim of this straight-to-video cheesefest. Unlike the majority of budget horror flicks, this film makes absolutely no attempt at humor on any level, and therefore misses a great opportunity to satirize itself.
2002 is clearly showing the trend moving from burly non-speaking actors in masks to goofy non-speaking cartoons as the merciless killer. It hasn’t taken away the tradition of the obligatory black guy making the obligatory stupid decision. It also hasn’t rid us of the joys of watching hot chicks run, and there are at least a handful of Jamie Pressley ass shots to help make this tolerable.
Piñata: Survival Island isn’t bad in a cheap bunch of guys having fun on the weekend with tons of corn syrup and rubber limbs. It’s bad in an ordered-by-basic cable sort of way, which makes it incredibly more insulting. Throw in the jump over the wall to avoid the explosion, the casio soundtrack, and the unnecessary flash of the villain at the end and you have every stock formulaic aspect of a crappy horror flick.