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Drive-In Dust Offs: The Island (1980)

Michael Caine had an interesting run of genre flicks starting in the late ‘70s. The Swarm (1978) was laughed off the screen, Dressed to Kill (1980) was enjoyed by audiences and critics alike, and The Hand (1981) dropped his batting average once again. Nestled in between all those was The Island (1980), a killer pirate movie from the author of Jaws and directed by the man behind The Bad News Bears. What could go wrong? Well, everything, according to most folk. It’s an odd one to be sure, but the wild tonal shifts that prevent the ship from staying on a clear course make it a fascinating treasure that gets better with each viewing.

Released in June by Universal, The Island had a surefire pedigree for success; the Jaws juggernaut of producers Zanuck and Brown and author Peter Benchley (here, adapting his own novel) promised a good time to be had by all.

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