Resurrecting and revamping old television shows and movies is de rigueur these days — I mean, did you ever think you’d see Party Of Five again? Do we need four remakes of Black Christmas? The latest on the docket is Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island, a movie based on the late 1970s series of the same name. Some reboots stray pretty far from the original, but the new Fantasy Island movie actually shares many similarities with its source material — it just amps it way, way up. Remember the adage “be careful what you wish for”?
The Aaron Spelling television show Fantasy Island made its serial debut in 1978 starring Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke, who owns a mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean. The gist is this: Anyone can come to the island to live out their fantasies, but, as with most things, a lot of these fantasies came with a price. At the beginning of every episode, the new guests to the island would arrive by plane, and Tattoo, Mr. Roarke’s sidekick, played by Hervé Villechaize, would yell, “The plane, the plane!” Pretty simple. But, again, once the guests’ fantasies were revealed, it’s pretty apparent that they’re not all going to be what they seem — or they’ll come with all kinds of strings for the fantasy seekers. (Don’t they always?)
The reason for the island’s ability to give these fantasies was never really explained — were they all immortal? Was there a man in black like on LOST? Was it, actually, just the same island from LOST and all the inhabitants were stuck in purgatory like on LOST? (I’m still mad, Damon Lindelof.) All, honestly, valid questions.
By the end of every episode, there was some moral lesson to be learned, and the fantasy seekers realized their wrongs. The show Fantasy Island was revived in 1998 with Malcolm McDowell but only survived one season.
The Fantasy Island movie has Michael Peña play Mr. Roarke as he does, well, all the things Mr. Roarke did in the series. Of course, the fates of the fantasy seekers in the film are definitely in greater peril than those of their TV show counterparts, so the real question is whether or not any of them can make it off the island in one piece.