Giant of the Evil Island (1965)

GiantOfTheEvilIslandPosterGiant of the Evil Island promises us so much. Like a giant. And an evil island. And director Piero Pierotti (Hercules Against Rome) delivers exactly all of it! Now you may need to be a bit flexible on your definition of what a giant is since the pirate Malek appears to be of normal size, though admittedly stocky enough that a little kid might think he was giant. But there’s no doubting the presence of an evil island since Piero has the good sense to actually name Malek’s island hideout as Evil Island!

Malek is the scourge of the seven seas, attacking and sinking Spanish ships, killing guys, stealing booty, and taking women prisoner! Through it all, one man, Captain José Rivera has dedicated himself to hunting this scoundrel down with a dogged determination he describes while enjoying his customary cup of chocolate aboard his ship.

But now Captain Jose is just one day away from retirement! He’s making his last voyage and once he puts into port, he’ll have to turn his command over to the young stud, Captain Pedro! And if that isn’t bad enough, he still has that damn ship’s cook harassing him about making him a soldier!

The problem with hunting Malek down is that he’s set up camp on Evil Island and has a fortress there that will tear any invading force to shreds! Even worse, it’s clear that he’s getting inside information from some woman as to when and where Spanish ships will be!

Clearly this is a matter that will require some degree of stealth and ingenuity to gather the intelligence to root out the informant and develop a cunning plan to storm the island stronghold so as to defeat Malek with minimal loss of Spanish life!

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Unfortunately, the newly minted Captain Pedro (Rock Stevens using his catalog of unnatural facial expressions to full effect) is all that’s available so the Spanish will have to go with Plan B. Plan B is of course amateurish blundering about and embarrassingly transparent schemes that could only possibly work on a pirate juvenile enough to have an island hideout called Evil Island!

Pedro is drafted to go out to collect information since he’s new in town and no one knows who he is. Naturally, Pedro’s first order of business is to become involved in a very public dispute over a stolen necklace at the local market. A not very intense sword fight follows and Pedro also manages to meet Alma, the rich plantation owner who is the traitor.

Suspicions are undoubtedly aroused since her servants are trying to pass off stolen jewels, but Pedro and the audience alike know that a sword fight in the marketplace is really just a good way to loosen up the joints for the inevitable bar fight that will occur during the second phase of his investigation.

Perhaps even more silly than Pedro maintaining his anonymity in town by brawling in front of the whole town is him doing so by dressing up like Zorro (minus the mask) to hit the local pirate tavern.

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He sashays into this tavern dressed all in black and constantly hides his face with his large gaudy black hat so that you would have to make an effort not to notice him! It all works according to plan though since a fight breaks out and guys have barrels smashed over their heads and crash through railings!

All of this barely matters to the rest of the movie since Malek raids a party being held by the Spanish and steals all of their women, including Bianca who is the Governor’s daughter and is also Pedro’s true love! While Pedro and Bianca only met about a day before the party, they did share a few lines of dialogue and that was enough time for Bianca to become jealous of Alma!

This is where the third part of Pedro’s spectacularly high risk (to others) plan comes into play as he puts Bianca in harm’s way by assigning her the task of yanking Alma’s blouse down to look for the tell-tale brand on her boob! Come on, Pedro! Anyone who’s been to spy school knows that’s man’s work!

Pedro’s secret made-up-on-the-spot plan reaches its lame apex when he pretends to desert the Spanish navy, gets thrown into prison, convinces Alma to break him out so he can fulfill the lifelong dream he’s had for about 3 hours to become a pirate, and sail with him to Evil Island!

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Pedro proves though that he knew what he was doing all along when he causes Alma to make a fool out of Malek while Pedro makes a fool out of Alma!

The action comes fast and furious with Pedro battling all sorts of pirates while helping Bianca escape. (And again putting her life in danger with his latest idea of her running out to the shore where pirates are manning cannons so that she can shoot off a flare as a signal to Spanish forces waiting to invade!)

Malek tries to show what a bad ass pirate he is by attacking Pedro with some special gloves with metal claws attached to them. Despite Pedro demonstrating such questionable fighting strategy as using guns to hit people with instead of shooting them, Malek’s efforts with the claws are unsuccessful.

More impressive (and much longer) is Alma’s embarrassing death scene where she says loves Pedro even though he was just using her all the while Pedro can barely even pretend to be interested!

Viewers though won’t have to do any such pretending due to the film’s emphasis on poorly-executed violence, a story that requires the pirates to be consistently dumber than the lunkheaded Pedro and the little touches the Italians seem to excel in such as the wacky doctor who is more concerned with whether he should be wearing his wig than treating patients.

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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