Terminal Island | Chicago Reader

Terminal Island

A lurid exploitation subject turned into a crafty feminist allegory (1973) by Stephanie Rothman. The setting is a tiny island where the state of California has decided to send all prisoners convicted of first-degree murder to fend for themselves; the more brutal elements quickly erect a fascist dictatorship, while the women they've enslaved plot an escape to join the utopian rebels hiding in the hills. It's difficult now to believe there was a time when such progressive politics could be expressed in a drive-in movie, but yes, Virginia, there was an early 70s. With Phyllis Elizabeth Davis, Don Marshall, Barbara Leigh, Sean Kenney, and (way down in the cast) the future stars of TV's neocon series Magnum P.I.—Tom Selleck and Roger Mosley. 88 min.

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