Tanya's Island - Lilith Likes to Watch Monster Lover May

Title: Tanya's Island
Starring: Vanity, Richard Sargent, Don McLeod
Director: Alfred Sole
Synopsis: Tanya is a female model who lives with her boyfriend Lobo, a surrealist painter who is extremely violent. Subjected to Lobo’s constant abuse, Tanya dreams of escaping to a desert island, which comes true. The only other being on her island is an enormous blue-eyed man-ape who was born from one of Lobo’s paintings. - Via Letterboxd.com
Lilith's Notes: What if Harry and the Hendersons, but sexy?

"You're lonely, aren't you? I understand."

Canada, sit down. We need to have a little talk. What are we doing? We've made some truly great works of adult entertainment. We were instrumental in bringing Heavy Metal into the world.

Just recently Mindgeek, the company who owns Pornhub and a slew of other porn sites, was purchased by a Canadian company. Then, we passed a law to ensure more Canadian content in porn.

All sound like good things, don't they?

So I have to ask, what exactly were we thinking when we made Tanya's Island?

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Tanya's Island tries to tell the story of a beautiful woman named Tanya (Played by Vanity) and her painter boyfriend, who, despite their tumultuous relationship, decide to go to a remote island to get away from it all. Or it’s all a dream. I am unclear.

There, Tanya meets an ape-like beast she names Blue. Her abusive boyfriend gets jealous, and thus begins a war for Tanya's body and heart.

I can see what the creators were going for. The idea of an abandoned island, where you're free of responsibilities, and then desired by two strong males is a romantic fantasy for a lot of people. I'm not here to snark on that. There is a reason bodice rippers sell well.

Even the movie trailer flirts with the idea of fantasy, specifically the fantasy of forbidden passion.

That's really at the core of every Beauty and the Beast story, a desire for the taboo.

And why shouldn't she? Her boyfriend Lobo, (played by Richard Sargent) is a tortured artist or something that pushes Tanya around, so when she meets Blue (played by Don McLeod and Donny Burns) on the island, I immediately wanted her to end up with the monkey.

Tanya and Blue have way more chemistry than Tanya and Lobo do.

Unfortunately, even in her own fantasies Tanya is seen as nothing more than an object, a trophy. Machismo ruins everything and the two testosterone-laden jungle boys go to war for the right to mate with Tanya.

The movie devolves into an unpleasant cacophony of screaming and roaring and howling and bashing sticks together in sequences that go on and on.

Finally, Blue bests Lobo and claims the prize. There are four minutes left to the movie and I was strapping in for four minutes of beauty and beast loving.

Tanya rebuffs Blue, declaring she doesn't want either one of them. Furious, Blue chases her, beats his fist on her back in a way I was convinced was meant to break her spine, and has his way with her.

Aw man. What's a monster lover gotta do to get some enthusiastic consent around here?

The makeup and effects to bring Blue to life were commendable. And it should be. Blue was concieved by creature effect God Rick Baker, the talent behind Gremlins, Harry and the Hendersons, and the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes. If a man knows fake apes, it's him. The face was articulate and expressive, for the limits of the time. Vanity is beautiful to look at and we see a lot of her beauty.

But, the movie isn’t great. It’s loud, confusing, and rather dour. There’s not much for a monster lover here I’m afraid. Maybe one day, someone will fantasize a remake, and go where this one never dared, into a paradise of willful monster mashing and where women are treated like deserving jungle queens.

Until then, I would probably skip this one.

Best Moment: Blue looks good for the time. There's a scene where Blue and Tanya are touching hands and it's nice and gentle.

Worst Moment: It's needlessly confusing. I'm not sure if it was a fantasy or not.


Until next time, my voracious voyeurs. I’m Lilith, and I’m always watching.

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