Archive for the 'TV and movies' Category

A Real Shutter Island?

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

In the new movie “Shutter Island,” US marshals go to a precipitous island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate a mystery in a huge, gothic insane asylum.

Shutter Island does not exist; there are no Shutter Islands in the entire United States, nor am I aware of any insane asylums that have ever existed on isolated American islands. There have been a number of prison or detention islands, though none quite resembled the fictional Shutter Island physically.

The last unbridged prison island in the US is McNeil Island, Washington. It houses both a large state prison complex, and a program of civil detention for sexual predators, who are essentially being confined as mentally ill.

Steep-sided, flat-topped, gloomy islands like the one in the movie are relatively rare. For physical similarity, one might go with Anacapa, in the Channel Islands of California:


(Anacapa image courtesy Scubacayman88, Flickr)

Follow on Twitter: @Worldislandinfo

Island off Mauritius on “The Amazing Race”

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

On tonight’s episode of “The Amazing Race” (season 10) the teams went to a small island off the southwest coast of the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

The island is the Ile aux Benitiers.  It could be hard to find something there: the island is low, partially vegetated, and perhaps 300 acres.

The “rusty shack” appears to be in one of these groups of buildings.

Island in “Death Race 2000”?

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

Where is this reservoir island, which appeared near the end of the strange 1970s movie?

Island in Death Race 2000

The reservoir is in hilly country, with a large, almost pyramidal building near it, probably just above the dam. A cast member said, probably referring to this spot, that it was “down in Orange County,” in Southern California.

[movie locations, filming locations]

Supervillainous island-building

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

In the new Superman Returns, evil genius Lex Luthor intends to grow a new island off the East Coast of the United States using Kryptonian crystals, consuming much of the country in the process.

It is not a perfect plan: the resulting terrain is terribly craggy, judging by early results, and would make an uninviting new home. As Cinematical puts it,

He aims to sink all of North America …. and then lease acreage on a massive block of green stalagmites and puddle-strewn crystal caves. …. I’m sure the worlds’ surviving masses will be thrilled to hand you 10 million bucks for a spot on a green rock that cannot support vegetation and offers nothing in the way of shelter.

And, being a supervillain, Luthor does not know when to stop, and plans to grow his island to full continent size.

Double island in “Pride and Prejudice”

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

A double island — a lake island on the island of Great Britain — has several minutes on screen in the new “Pride and Prejudice”.

It is in the background while Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are arguing in a pillared pavillion, one hour and eight minutes in on the DVD.

The real island is part of the gardens of Stourhead Estate; the pavillion seems to be the Temple of Apollo.