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By Steve Anderson | September 1, 2004

Pinata: Survival Island is the story of college students gone wild, and pinatas gone bad–pinatas with HEARTS, no less.

The story, convoluted as it is, goes something like this. Ancient Mayans or Aztecs or Incans or what have you were getting a little too evil for their own good, and thus the evil in the village was taken out of them and put into a pinata, that remained undisturbed for several hundred or even thousand years. If the pinata ever broke, the evil within it would be unleashed.

And you know that that evil will not want to play canasta when it gets out.

All is going well, too…until the drunken college kids show up for a Cinco de Mayo party and scavenger hunt. Scavenging what, you ask? Why, it’s perfectly obvious when you realize what kind of movie we’re dealing with here. They’re scavenging underwear.

It was, in retrospect, a pretty bad idea to tell these bloated-liver, underwear hunting, future cirrohsis carriers that there was free tequila hidden inside pinatas on an island where a demonic pinata is just waiting to be broken open so it can kill again.

You know the temptation to break open every single pinata they can find, including the evil one that looks like, well, something out of a nasty horror movie, must have been and in fact WAS insurmountable. And of course, the killing begins in spades, with blood spattered on every flat surface around.

I hesitate to yadda-yadda movies, but this is one of them. I can’t BELIEVE how awful a retread this one is. It’s like Deadly Species all over again, except whoever wrote this slop thought that adding an evil pinata would somehow make it all original!

It continues on for an hour and a half or so, along with several murders that redefine the term “overkill”, until we get ourselves to the truly mystifying ending to all this.

Do you want to know just how this awful slop ends? Do you?


The worst part is, I’m not kidding. They really killed the giant, evil, ceramic pinata by setting it on fire. This makes no sense. This follows no rational, reasonable, coherent chain of events. I don’t even know where to begin describing how wrong this is.

But anyway…after that garbage winds down, we have extra features. We have Spanish subtitles, so that Spanish speakers can be TWICE as offended by this nightmare of a film. We also have trailers for Pinata Survival Island, Bark, and Revelation. And as if that weren’t enough, we have audio settings, commentary, cast bios, filmmaker bios, a segment on the Chiodos who made the pinata effects, a trivia game that brings new meaning to the term “trivial pursuit,” because that’s exactly what it is, and production stills.

So all in all, Pinata Survival Island is just one more piece of garbage in the overswelling landfill that is most of the direct to video industry. Shovelreel, anyone?

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