GenreAction, Drama, Thriller Duration CountryUnited States
WriterStephanie Rothman, Charles S. Swartz Release dateJune 1973 (1973-06) GenresAction Film, Thriller, Drama, Science Fiction CastDon Marshall (A.J.), Phyllis Davis (Joy), Ena Hartman (Carmen), Marta Kristen (Lee Phillips), Barbara Leigh (Bunny), Randy Boone (Easy) Similar moviesJurassic World, The Maze Runner, Mad Max: Fury Road, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Shawshank Redemption, Barbed Wire Dolls
TaglineMen and Women Condemned to Devil's Island, U.S.A....Where Living is Worse Than Dying!
Terminal island 1973 trailer
Terminal Island, released theatrically in the UK as Knuckle Men, is a 1973 American action–drama thriller film directed by Stephanie Rothman. It features early screen performances by Tom Selleck and Roger E. Mosley . Although an exploitation film, it has been treated with much serious discussion by critics and academics over the years. It is regarded as a cult film.
A TV news program does a segment on Terminal Island, an off-shore island established after the abolition of the death penalty. First degree murderers are shipped off to spend the rest of their days fending for themselves.
Carmen is dropped off at Terminal Island. The first prisoner she meets is a former doctor. She comes to realise there are two main factions on the island. A civil war breaks out.
Phyllis Davis - Joy
Ena Hartman - Carmen
Don Marshall - A.J.
Marta Kristen - Lee Phillips
Barbara Leigh - Bunny
Randy Boone - Easy
Sean Kenney - Bobby
Tom Selleck - Dr. Milford
Roger E. Mosley - Monk
Geoffrey Deuel - Chino
Rothman later said that she was asked to have a rape scene in the film but could not bring herself to shoot it. "I would not want to be responsible in any way for showing how it could be done," said Rothman.
in a film like Terminal Island , practically the whole film involves violence because the subject matter is violent people. I accepted that. I recognized that if I was going to make films, and I was going to make them for the market, I was making them for it. I wanted to make films very much and that's what I needed to do. What I needed to do was try to refine that and give it some meaning beyond the violence itself, or beyond the nudity itself. In that sense, I tried very hard to not make it exploitative.
The film was originally more violent but scenes had to be cut out. Rothman was uncomfortable with the violence that she did show. "I was unhappy with the movie and still continue to feel so," she said in 1981.
Film critic Roger Ebert rates Terminal Island with one star out of four, dismissing it as "the kind of movie that can almost be reviewed by watching the trailer."