Oh hey, this was that movie! The one I saw as a kid that gave me nightmares.
I remembered just fragments of it. The forbidden side of the island. The skull. The jungle. The dead sea dog with a crab crawling out of his mouth (I'm pretty sure I'd remembered worms, though).
Of course I remembered the nudity too, and the the more disturbing moments on the road towards adulthood without any adults around to guide the main characters on their way. I'm not sure I knew what all of it meant back when I watched this, which is no doubt one of the reasons the movie left such a profound mark.
And maybe those impressions still linger, because this still feels like so much more than just a love story, about a boy and a girl - shipwrecked, cast onto a deserted island, where they grow up, and learn to live, and love, learn about each other, and eventually uncover a horrible truth about the beautiful desolate island that becomes their home. I think I thought of Creature from the Black Lagoon with regard to the title this time, but it was something different entirely. Happy to finally have stumbled upon this old thing, and to finally see it for what it really was.
It all takes place in the South Pacific, in the Victorian area, starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins as the Lestrange siblings. Leo McKern is with them a while too - but he soon succumbs to a barrel of rum, and drifts off to another life.
Everyone fits their role well, and they seem so tied to the time of the movie they might as well have been from it. They go about their new life, and love, and eventually even family (didn't think that many movies actually tackled that taboo, but lately I'm stumbling upon one after the other) with an often clashing naivety and hormone-beridden anger.
It's interchangeably wonderful and terrible: their exotic prison as mysterious to the viewer as their changes are to the main characters, and we're taken on an adventure as much of the place, as of their self-realization and maturity. It's a majestic, and macabre, and in the end tragic tale, with the natural, sunny scenery and characters in stark contrast to the topics the movie takes up. It really is more than just a love story, I realize; even more so after I've written this.
Supposedly there is a sequel, so I suppose that one's up next...
rated 4/5: fo shizzle