1983: Savage Islands
November 26, 2018
I’ve recently discovered this NZ made film, where Tommy Lee Jones shoots Prince Tui Teka stone dead. Savage Islands (1983) was an attempted rip-off of Indiana Jones but in the form of some kinda buddy movie.
Wikipedia is right, swashbuckling films are basically doomed with the surprise exception of Pirates of the Caribbean and its increasingly decaying charm capitalised on for the countless sequels. Savage Islands didn’t work out and the scenes are junk.
If things had been different then Jenny Seagrove’s career might have bopped along a bit, which would have been good. Maybe it would’ve propelled her to Robin Wright levels? I liked her in Local Hero (1983) too.
According to Richard Taylor this film kick-started the New Zealand filmmaking boom of the 1980s.
According to Kelly Tarlton the entire project was a pain in the arse because it crowding him out of boats he wanted to use on salvaging the wreck of Tasmania! The big budget film sucked up all the ships of size, especially around Hawkes Bay which made it hard to have a real treasure adventure pulling up sunken Rothschild riches. Tarlton’s project did far better than this film in its final results though!
Note: aka Nate and Hayes