1 and a half stars       Cheese Rating: 75% Fierce Fondue!
"Till death do us part."

directed by: Harry Preston
starring: Paul Iwanski, William F. Pecchi, Cheryl Black, Bob Wagner, Philip Thompson, James Caskey, Jerry Meagher, William Clark, Margi Curry, Mary Lou Witmtan, Kathy Johnson


(back of video blurb):

       " Imagine every newlywed's fantasy- a rustic secluded lover's paradise- Honeymoon Island.

       What starts as a weekend of love, turns into a nightmare of blood and terror for three young innocent couples. What lurks in the shadows of Honeymoon Lodge? Is it the caretaker, or perhaps something more fiendish and deadly?

       Honeymoon Island ... where newlyweds joined in holy matrimony spend their wedding night ... til death do they part!"

choice dialogue:

"This place is beautiful and all that- but it's still spooky!"

slash with panache?

       Burnt cheese on toast anybody? ... Get your teeth into this...

        Elaine (Cheryl Black) has just returned to Lover's island with her new husband, Vic (Bob Wagner) to re-open an isolated holiday complex designed especially for honeymooning couples. A year earlier she had accidentally killed (or did she?) her, then husband Frank (William F. Pecchi), when he walked in on her and Vic as they were about to get down to some adulterous bedroom action. In the prologue we saw her smash a bottle of beer over Frank's head in self-defence and, much like that other crispy slasher from 1981, THE BURNING, a paraffin lamp gets knocked over and Vic's body is engulfed in an inferno. Although there was gossip (like, how come the roots on her outrageously grown out bleach job were still the same length a year later?!) she'd managed to convince all that mattered that Vic's death was a tragic accident and, unable to resist the potential goldmine that was Lover's Island she returns to set up business once again. In this she's assisted by Joe the elderly Handyman who Elaine charmingly refers to, when speaking to one of the guests, as, "…a little retarded"; and Emily the maid (Megan Ready), who sports the most unconvincing cock-e-ney accent ("This place fair gives me the willies!") since Dick Van Dyke last swept a chimney!

       It goes without saying that there's someone else on the island, and judging by the blistered hands that constantly pull back branches to get a better look, it goes without saying who it is. Add to this mix three sorority sisters in tight towelling shorts- Kelly Robin and Jill, and you can well imagine things briefly start a cooking! The girls make the trip from the mainland because they want to decorate the rooms of three of their friends- fellow sorority sisters, who are getting married the next day and are all spending their wedding night on Lover's Island. They get busy hanging streamers around the rooms and tacking up banners with things like- " virgins need no urgin!", but, before long they get an unwelcome visit from Elaine's disgruntled and charred ex-husband who makes short work of the merry pranksters with a large machete.

       Elaine and Vic presume that the girls have left the island- and given Emily a lift to the mainland as well (when in-fact she's been offed too, before she could splutter a "Cor blimey Gov!"). So, none of them are missed until Emily fails to return the next evening and by that time the boatload of newly-weds have arrived on the island. Elaine greets Kay (Margi Curry) and Jeff (Paul Iwanski); Linda (Leslie McKinley) and Dwayne (Philip Thomson); and Sue (Jane Pardue) and Gary (James Caskey), and cheerily tells them how her late departed husband (supposedly) burnt to death only feet away from their romantic cabins. Charming!

       Now, I doubt I have to leave too much up to your imaginations about what happens next, what with three horny newlywed couples behind closed doors- and happen it does. But if you thought things would perk up in the stalking department then you'd be very much mistaken- Frank seems content to go through that well choreographed routine of running past moonlit cabins and throwing shadows (which was very much in vogue amongst fashionable psycho's that year). Pretty much for the next half an hour HONEYMOON HORROR descends into (very) soft-core sweaty embraces and conversations about baked potatoes… Yes, baked potatoes! Seemingly in an effort to pad out the running time Elaine and Vic take it in turns to, first prepare the newly weds evening meal, take it to the three different cabins- and then indulge in idle chit-chat about said baked potato dinner with each of the couples (They certainly know how to live it up!).

       Eventually Frank gets it together to start his bloody reign of terror (pre-empted by POV heavy breathing which borders on the snoring- a sleepwalking slasher?), which, if you're still awake, will provide a whole cavalcade of dime-store hysterics and inept slasher low-jinks. It's a reign of terror that shows that even if you had a ring on your finger the old 'have-sex-and-die' adage still applied.

       Unfortunately, HONEYMOON HORROR pretty much fails to excite on any level. Obviously modelling itself on the shenanigans over at Crystal Lake it doesn't have half the pizazz of those holiday hackings. Now, with a title like that I certainly wasn't expecting anything astounding, but I was kind of hoping for a good healthy dollop of prime cheese- and being from 1981 the vintage was just right. You wouldn't think they could go too far wrong with a scenario that pits a busload of sorority sisters against a horribly disfigured nut with a machete, but go wrong they do. The elements are there- the sorority girls and the newly weds are all wearing appropriately colour dis-co-ordinated 80's threads; there is the requisite fat stupid sheriff (who in this case can eat a burger whilst still puffing on a cigar); a drawling shopkeeper called Marlo (who would make Edith Massey sound refined); a soundtrack seemingly flinched and mixed from some 70's John Holmes epic and THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, and some head slappingly bad dialogue- Elaine to one of the girls- "Something grabbed my foot!" … "Are you sure? Maybe it was a bridge." (Pardon?) … But, at the end of the day, it's cheesiness is seriously undermined by some faltering and woefully lacklustre pacing- enough about those damned baked potatoes already!

       The cheese, naturally, is pleasing when it occurs and there are some surprisingly gory moments to jolt you out of your slumber, but ultimately, when it comes to voting for the best crispy teen pruner of 1981 my vote still goes to old Cropsy, the dab hand with a pair of garden shears over at Camp Blackfoot.

BODYCOUNT 9   bodycount!   female:7 / male:2

       1) Female found slashed to death
       2) Female killed (method unseen)
       3) Female killed (method unseen)
       4) Female dismembered with machete
       5) Female hacked to death with axe
       6) Female hacked to death with axe
       7) Female gets axe in the head
       8) Male shot in the stomach
       9) Male has knife thrown into his back