Curse of Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island

Curse of Alcatraz is a truly awful eighties throwback. This horror wannabe is set on Alcatraz and tells the tale of a grim discovery in the prison basement, an old buried body which unleashes a terrible curse on the hapless inhabitants of the island. For all intents and purposes the film plays out like a generic slasher as the guards and teens at the prison are murdered one by one by a largely unseen killer.

The set up for the film is a long and boring intro sequence which eventually leads to the discovery of a sealed room in the prison basement. A corpse is found and the dim-witted resident guard manages to cut his finger on one of the fang like teeth. A team of forensic archaeologists is called in to prove the body is not a recent addition; enter a Professor and his team of teenage killer fodder.

We are then treated to a history of Alcatraz which stretches back to Native American times when the island was apparently used to house fang tooth nutcases with a mysterious disease. Naturally the corpse they found was one of the diseased Native Americans and the guard has infected himself. As his cut finger begins to get worse and he starts throwing up all over the place he decides not to seek help or tell anyone and instead embarks on a dull murder spree.

The film was written and directed by Daniel Zirilli and a quick scan of his back catalogue on the Internet Movie Database reveals a treasure trove of lowly rated trash. The film is poor quality and the sound is utterly abysmal adding to the general impression of a film made during the height of the eighties horror movie cash in, but wait this was actually made in 2007.

Curse of Alcatraz lacks any real redeeming features. The plot is terrible, not content with the military fort and prison history, which you'd think gives a lot of potential background, Zirilli chucks in the old ancient Native American burial ground as well. The writing is completely devoid of any attempt at believability or humour. The acting is slightly below the general standard of a low budget horror film and is made to look worse by the uninspired direction, poor quality film and terrible sound. In this genre the film could have clawed back some points by at least having some gory or imaginative murders, but it doesn't. Most of the murders are cut a ways with the occasional shot of a fake blood covered corpse.

There is nothing to recommend this film, although parts of it are so bad you have to laugh. Mostly though it is just very boring and you may struggle to stay awake all the way to the horrible ending. Alcatraz is a great potential setting but it is entirely squandered by this lifeless movie. You would genuinely be best to avoid this altogether.


Reviewed by Simon Hill

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