Shelter Island (2003) Poster

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I love watching you hit "balls"
sol-kay15 April 2005
**SPOILERS** Jogging through the streets of NYC well-known motivational speaker and former womens PGA golf champion Louise "Lou" Dalamere,Ally Sheedy, gets attacked by this masked weirdo with a stick-ball bat who almost kills her. After recovering from her injuries Lou and her live-in girlfriend Alex, Patsy Kensit, take a ride out to her country house in far out Shealter Island.

It just happens to be that at the time that Lou & Alex got to the house a major storm hit the island and knocked out all the electricity and telephone lines leaving the two women alone and cut off from the outside world. Just then Lenny, Stephen Baldwin, the local clam digger gets swept up out of the ocean and dropped right into Lou's home.

Agreeing to let Lenny stay over until the storm blows over Lou & Alex soon realize that he's anything but grateful to them for practically saving his life. Lenny imposes himself on the two women with his off-color remarks about their lesbian relationship and makes a total jerk of himself by also trying to hit on to Alex right in front of her startled lover Lou! Thus doing his best to out stay his very brief and unwanted welcome at the Dalamere house.

It's obvious from the start that Lenny was anything but a stranded clam digger or even an Shealter Island resident but was part of some off-the-wall scheme to do in Lou and take off with her money making it look like her death was a drowning accident. It's also obvious that Lenny was the guy who attacked Lou earlier in the film in New York City that left her almost dead and that this time, in secluded Shealter Island, he was going to finish the job that he started back there. What we don't know about Lenny is that he's anything but alone in his attempt to murder Lou and has a lot more help in doing it then we, the audience, and Lou may think.

Stephen Baldwin together with Ally Sheedy and Patsy Kensit are about as odd a trio as you would ever see in a motion picture. In most of their scenes together they came across so absurd that you at first thought that the scenes were badly done out-takes that for some reason or mistake, or maybe even practical joke, ended up getting edited back back into the movie.

There was also the local Shealter Island Sheriff Deluca, Chris Penn, who also got into the act later in the movie that's after you forgot all about him and thought that his brainless actions earlier were just comic relief. Sheriff Deluca is also one of the major players in the plot to do in poor Lou.The ending of the movie was about as anti-climatic as you could make it with the only major actor in the film who, up to then, had nothing to do with the plot to murder and legally steal Lou's money ending up being the "mastermind" of this whole crazy and unbelievable scenario.
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Starring Kensit and Sheedy body doubles
DLibrasnow13 December 2004
Whatever happened to Eighth Wonder singer Patsy Kensit after she appeared in the high voltage, high energy thriller 'Lethal Weapon 2'? Well, she went on to appear in a number of okay pictures (the acclaimed 'Twenty-One' and the sweet romantic comedy 'Does This Mean We're Married') and some truly terrible TV-movie-type fodder such as 'Kill Cruise.' Unfortunately, this crass production falls into the latter camp and, despite some good talent and a serviceable script, the movie is betrayed and let down with an overabundance of (blatently obvious) body-double nudity (that would seem more in place in a soft porn production) and a (supposidly) "surprise twist' that is telegraphed early in the movie. Kensit plays the lesbian girlfriend Alex, to Alley Sheedy's motivational speaker character, who persuades her girlfriend to escape the big city after she is brutally attacked. The two seek the solitude on an island and tension arises with the arrival of an injured man, a violent storm that knocks out the phone lines and ferry services to the mainland and the almost voyeuristic fascination with the girls displayed by the local sheriff. Kensit was the reason why I picked up this movie, that and the promise of an okay suspense thriller, but her talent is once again squandered in a movie that fails to deliver any real tension.
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Perception is the only reality
Rogue-3220 April 2004
Caught this tonight on cable and have to say it surprised me - didn't figure out what was really going on, even though I knew that what was being shown wasn't the entire story, and I have seen so many films like this, where what you see isn't exactly what you get, where you can't take anything at face value, so it shouldn't have fooled me. But it did. It's the sort of movie that leaves you shaking your head at the end, wondering why you didn't see it coming (no pun intended).

Sheedy, Baldwin and Kensit turn in clever performances, with enough eroticism to keep you watching and wondering where the heck it's actually going. I don't know if it would be as enjoyable in a movie theater, but seeing it at home from the perspective of my couch was a decent experience.
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A sad film to watch
rosscinema26 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
It would be easy to say that this low budget thriller just doesn't work and then point out the obvious flaws but I think it's incredibly sad to watch any actor that is even remotely well known appearing in something so idiotic. Story is about two lesbians that go to their home on Shelter Island to get away from their hectic lives and spend some time alone. Louise Delamere (Ally Sheedy) is a motivational speaker and former pro golfer and while jogging one day is savagely attacked and beaten by an unknown assailant and her girlfriend Alex (Patsy Kensit) is the one that urged her to take time off and heal.


Once they arrive on Shelter Island they run into Sheriff Deluca (Chris Penn) who warns them of an approaching storm. That night during the storm they find an unknown man on their doorstep unconscious and they take him in. He awakens and tells them his name is Lenny (Stephen Baldwin) and he immediately starts to act weird. Once the storm passes they have a difficult time getting rid of him and then to Louise's horror she discovers that Lenny was the one that attacked her before!

This film is directed by Geoffrey Schaaf who seems tailored made for those late night Skin-amax flicks that usually star Shannon Tweed but somehow he managed to get some well known actors. This horribly made un-thriller is so bad that it doesn't even work as one of those "It's so bad it's good" films and every male character gives new meaning to the word Neanderthal. When Penn is first introduced in the story he starts to meander and mutter about "being good on the eyes" and then starts to really babble like an idiot. Baldwin is always irritating no matter what he's in and he's astonishingly primitive here and after talking with Sheedy's character he asks her to arm wrestle! Even though he must outweigh her by 150lbs she beats him and in more than one scene she gets the best of him. Every nude scene with Sheedy and Kensit is with body doubles that look nothing like either one of them so if you had the idea of maybe viewing any of these two naked your out of luck. Sheedy's career had hit a high note in 1998 with the fascinating "High Art" and I thought she deserved an Oscar nod for her tough performance but ever since then she has slowly slid back down to crap like this. I can't describe how painfully sad it is to watch a good talented actress like Sheedy having to work in an utter abortion like this. This film fails on every single level and isn't worth anyone's time.
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Baffling level of incompetence
willyj516 November 2005
Is there a movie category lower than Straight-to-video? If so, perhaps it's Straight-to-Showtime-at-3 a.m., which is where I caught this little oddity. I won't waste any time on how idiotic the picture is since others have already explained it well--but I did want to comment on a "technique" so badly executed that I had to pinch myself to confirm what I was seeing and hearing. Midway though the film, for what seems like 20-30 minutes, there are passages of dialogue and voice-over narration that are accompanied by the actors talking, or mouthing words since you can't actually hear them--you can only hear the voiceovers. It seems like you've stumbled onto the worst dubbing job of all time. The actors appear to converse, and separate dialogue is heard on the soundtrack. I think the director was trying for artiness, a way of conveying events in a way parallel to the action on screen. Or something. We'd have to dig out THE CREEPING TERROR to find another botch job of this calibre.
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Long Island sound
jotix10022 June 2004
Geoffrey Schaaf probably had no clue where he was taking this story, because ultimately, it makes no sense at all. The credits tell us it's based on a screen play from Paul Corvino; it makes us wonder if the writer must have been under influence when he conceived this pathetic thriller.

The actors are wasted. Poor Ally Sheedy, she gets involved in projects that really don't deserve her talent. One wonders if after High Art a lot of directors have decided to cast her in lesbian roles.

The story is too obvious. We know what's coming just by looking at the first scenes of the dinner party. It goes downhill after that. Stephen Baldwin will be better off by retreating to his native Long Island and start a clam digging business. Chris Penn is just horrible in the film, as are Patsy Kensit and Mimi Longeland.

Surf channels whenever this dud shows on your screen.
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To Be Honest.. Terrible.
ultimate_gamer14 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Okay fine to be honest it is TERRIBLE. Cheap story that you would expect a grade 4 to write better. basically what happens is:

2 Women (Lesbians) go to a island to have a little vacation. they 1 night find a man knocking at the door and he falls in. They keep him for around 2 days, 1 of the women find him to be unsafe. but shes actually the one who works with him. She hired him to kill the other woman to take her money. But he didn't manage she came back to the house to try and rescue the other woman (the evil) because she thought she was being attacked. She beats him up. Then the bad woman kills the one that was supposed to die.

Okay that's basically what happened.

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A failure with an interesting, and perhaps unintentional, subtext
MBunge16 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is a strange little accident of a movie. Shelter Island is a complete and utter failure at being a thriller. Yet it still manages to generate a perverse watchability when it dwells on the sexual politics of lesbianism.

Louise "Lou" Delamere (Ally Sheedy) is a champion pro golfer and motivational speaker living the good life in New York City with her live-in girlfriend Alex (Patsy Kensit). After Lou is attacked by a man in the street, seemingly at random, Alex decides to take her recovering lover out to their new weekend home on the resort community of Shelter Island. After a brief encounter with the cluelessly sleazy local sheriff (Chris Penn), Lou and Alex make it out to their gigantic house just as Alex's friend Carly (Mimi Langeland) finishes getting it ready for them. After a bad storm rolls in and knocks out the power, Lou and Alex find a battered stranger at their door. Lenny (Stephen Baldwin) claims to be a clammer caught up in the storm and becomes an overnight guest who greatly bothers Alex and forges an odd relationship with Lou. It's like a homoerotic vibe, but between a man and a gay woman. When morning comes, it's like the film suddenly remembers it's supposed to be a thriller and bad stuff happens and people are not who we thought they were, leading to an ending that labors mightily in the pursuit of clever but only succeeds in being labored.

Judged as a thriller, Shelter Island is darn near a fiasco. For the first 60 minutes of the movie, there's virtually no tension or suspense or excitement of any kind. It's like some sort of constipated lesbian romance, and I don't mean a romance involving constipated lesbians. Then the violence and threat kick in out of nowhere, ushering in a horde of stupid and nonsensical crap that runs wild through the movie like Mongols after a turkey dinner. There's even a scene that absolutely defies explanation, like a magic trick gone horribly, horribly wrong.

But since the film is only 82 minutes long, all that stuff, as bad as it is, goes by quickly enough that you can't really dwell on it. What you do notice is the interesting dynamic that the film develops, where Lou can't stand the feminine cattiness of Alex's friend Carly but is intrigued by the blunt masculinity of Lenny. Lou is a pro athlete and has a certain machismo. However, she lives in a world that doesn't engage her on that level and when she finds it in Lenny, she can't deny the appeal. Somewhere in the depths of this script is the outline of one of those overly serious indy movies about the fluid nature of modern relationships, bobbing its head above water every so often to cry for help.

There's also some female nudity in Shelter Island, most of it done by body doubles. But someone impersonating someone else's naked body is still naked. Rest assured, though, when you see Stephen Baldwin's ass on screen, it's the real deal.

I can't recommend a film that misfires so badly at what it's trying to do. Nevertheless, I kinda liked it. Take that for all it's worth.
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poor effort
jimbobnick14 July 2006
I might have a partial spoiler here, but maybe not.

What's the matter with Ally Sheedy, taking a role like this? The movie's plot and ending would do well in an 11th grade creative class, but gee, we paid money to see this. It's impossible for anything like this movie to happen. In a crime scene, the same gun was used on every person in the room, which would make forensics people lick their chops.

I've always liked AS, but she must have a lousy agent. She's a pretty good actress, and needs to be tested a bit. The Dancer Upstairs was okay, but another mediocre writer ruled.

I felt duped, and to call this movie a thriller was mislabeled.

2 out of ten.
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Not A Bad Movie
dmaslak14 December 2005
Believe it or not this movie was not bad. Definitely a guy movie. It had the three S's of a good flick: sex, suspense and scenery(nude). It's a good flick to watch at bed time when you need something to fall asleep to. William Penn plays a great cop who's elevator doesn't quite go all the way to the top, if you know what I mean. Hats off to Kensit and Sheedy for playing a couple and not shying away from showing their love for each other, if you know what I mean. The plot takes a little twist so as a result interest level is kept at a minimum in addition to all the nice scenery. I wonder if this willingness to play girl on girl for Ally Sheedy is part of her comeback from nowhere that started back when she did girl on girl in Higher Art?
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This film has gotten a bad shake..
alannasser16 July 2004
Other reviews on IMDb give an accurate enough summary of the plot. But they seem to have been expecting something like The Usual Suspects. Direct-to-video movies are usually inferior, with respect to production values and acting, than theatrical releases (poor as the latter generally are). So we shift into different critical gear when we watch a non-theatrical release. And by these standards, Shelter Island is not bad at all.

The movie is by no means a "lesbian skin flick," and the scenes of (partial) nudity are few and brief in duration. The story line is entirely coherent, and the twists -some maybe predictable, some not- are quite entertaining. The acting is far above average for the kind of film we are talking about. Ally Sheedy puts more into her character than the writing would suggest, and in fact all the actors acquit themselves more than competently.

Shelter Island moves along at a brisk pace, is snappily photographed and offers a few fun twists. This is what you'd call "a good popcorn movie." The movie gets 8 out of 10.
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The film is just a part of a long tradition to kill the lesbian in the movies
box128 December 2006
Up to 1970 lesbians almost always died in the movies. The modern movie maker does not want to blame lesbians, but they have to die. By the way, in Nazifilm there also were a lot of strong women, who had to die at the end. It does not give meaning, why the blonde woman kills her lover just to find another woman, who will make her laundry. When she is killing her girlfriend, you get the impression, that she is heterosexual, but she has to be a lesbian at the end - because the film wants to tell you, that lesbians are mean, stupid and, in a way, helpless. They can get rich, but they have a poor live. That it is dangerous to be a lesbian - very dangerous. In one thing the film is right: it's all about perception. The film is bullshit.
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A pointless film
dcsbebe20 July 2003
I saw the opening of this film at a film festival on long island, and i was disgusted. The movie has absolutely no plot... doesn't make any sense... and uses nudity very distastefully. I think the director just needed to shoot the film out of his sexual fantasies. I will say the acting isn't half bad, but the movie itself is a waste of time. I wouldn't recommend anyone to see this film unless you're a teenage boy looking for a sleazy girl-on-girl kinda movie.
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pretty terrible
laurierenee9 November 2006
this movie is pretty awful. it lacks suspense and is all around boring and worthless. i connected with none of the characters and now as i think back, i can't even remember how it ends. don't waste your time w/ it. actually i think why i don't remember the end is because i fast forwarded to the end, i do that sometimes, so i can say i've seen a film but i don't have to actually sit and watch the whole thing, i usually get the gist though. it's a bad habit really, if it's getting too long or i'm just feeling too fidgety or it's boring i'll fast forward. i always feel a little guilty when i do it though. like i'm disrespecting the director, and i am, but i've got other things to do than watch a crappy film. now mind you i've only done this a few times and this film happens to be on my 'sucky' film list.
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Glad It Was Free
jpftlfl1 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I caught this movie free on Showtime On Demand last night. I'm glad it was free because I'd have to "demand" my money back.

I know a movie's in trouble when I can sit there watching it and say to my partner, "So, when do the lights go out?" and "BAM!" the lights go out. Or when Patsy Kensit goes to use the phone and I say, "The phone is out," and Patsy comes back and says, "The phone's dead." Close enough, right? So the word for this movie is "predictable". Okay, lame, too.

Re: the use of body doubles people have commented on.

If both Ally and Patsy are in as bad shape as Stephen Baldwin, it's a good thing they had body doubles. Baldwin should have considered using one, too.
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No Sanctuary Here
vjuhoh25 April 2004
This movie is an elementary school production. Everything about it exudes an immaturity and lack of sophistication that can be overwhelming if you aren't expecting it. Still, I suspect some people can enjoy this freshman effort. It all depends on which part of the audience you belong.

Are you one of the people obligated to like it, like parents watching their child up on the stage? Are you an Ally Sheedy fan filled with false hope that she's finally making a return to decent film like High Art? Are you a lesbian sexploitation fan anticipatory that maybe this bad sex scene isn't the only one in the film? Or are you that diehard thriller fan who, during the end credits, is still looking for a redeemable moment of tension? If you could potentially be any of the above. stay away.

I suspect most of you will be the bored sibling in the crowd who was forced into watching this crummy play by a loved one. If this happens to be you, try your best to endure it, and maybe later seek sweet revenge by subjecting this loved one to a bad film you enjoy.

And the few of you who might genuinely have a blast with this film, are the teenagers who sneak into the back of the auditorium to make fun of the little kids on-stage. For you guys, this movie is great riffing fodder. A true treat to the MST3K crowd, and only for you can I recommended Shelter Island.
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thank you, Shelter Island! I hadn't realised sex and murder were supposed to be boring! you've enlightened us all
magenta_timewarp5 September 2003
this movie is hideously and unredemably awful. if you want to see softcore lesbian porn with Ally Sheedy (not BreakfastClub!Ally Sheedy, when she was kinda cute in a weird way, but AgingAndReallyCreepilyOver-Aerobicised! Ally Sheedy, no less) and some bitchface blond Brit, and then have a whole movie's worth of lame nonsensical plot crammed into the last 10 minutes, then you'll end up building a little shrine to this movie somewhere in your humble abode. the rest of the human race, and several other organisms who possess more than one cell will absolutely loathe it.

don't go see it just for the girl-on-girl sex, either. it's not particularly sexy, and even if any girl-on-girl stuff will get you off, you will at some point see a partially nude Baldwin. check out the photo of Stephen Baldwin on his page here, and you'll understand why you'll have to schedule a trip to your nearest cutlery store in order to purchase a knife to gouge your eyes out. he's got the fug big-time.
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What were they thinking?
fhenry4413 September 2004
By 'they' I mean the people who told the young lady at the video store when I asked her "Do you know anything about this?" and she replied that she hadn't seen it but had heard good things from people. Geesh, I wonder what their standard is? This was pitifully terrible. I very rarely turn off a movie (or put down a book) but my partner and I just could not endure it to care enough about what happened to whom. Actually, "Who cares?" really does hit the nail on the head. Who cares what happened to any of the characters; perhaps it would have been better if they all expired within the first 5 minutes and thus spared the viewer for lame dialog and a tremendously boring story.
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its a total waste of time
RubenMalayan1 August 2004
I am sorry I wasted my time watching this film, with all due respect, there is NOT one positive thing I can say about it. Acting is terrible, plot is as equally lousy, there is no cinematography involved in the production of this "film". You better off watching TV. I don't know who is the "director" but I think world would be a better place if the money spent on the production of this "thing" would go to someone with bit of talent and innovative thinking, because this film provides ZERO entertainment. All that "corporate" brands we are being preached about, have nothing to do with plot, I really failed to find a concept behind the storyline, moreover, don't have a slightest clue what the director was suppose to achieve with this so-called "movie". Its so painful to see such a waste of money...
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This sucks
bloodsunday3525 August 2005
This movie was absolutely horrible. i know nothing of the actors previous credits but i do have to comment on this movie. if you can even call it a movie. first of all, i live in a town a stones throw from the ferry to shelter island. i have been there many many times and i know what it looks like. The two women in the movie are supposedly moving to shelter island. this is one of the flaws. the shots that were supposedly Shelter Island are not. they are shots that were filmed in the Hampton's somewhere. that disappointed me. also the whole movie was a flop. the acting was bad, the story was stupid. the only reason i would rent this movie again would be for the lesbian scenes. although those weren't that good either. Anyway. all in all this movie was absolutely horrible. don't waste your 5 bucks on it or whatever it costs to rent a movie at your local video store.
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I have seen this crap for Patsy only; so,other Patsy 'completists might follow my example …
Cristi_Ciopron10 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The hypothesis: I was looking for a fair B erotic thriller,in the vein of 'Possessed by the Night'--a funny,nice pastime .In fact,this is the purest and simplest form of thriller:no "action" is involved,and the subject is the simplest possible—with few characters and relatively fast-paced—a group of people is isolated from the world, etc..Cape Fear is the hallmark of this sub-genre (save the eroticism's, of course,though there was a rich content of implicit eroticism there …).

The facts:the movie has nothing of FO Ray's insane verve.Patsy shows almost nothing;though,she is extremely sexy in this film as well.The scene where her lover touches Patsy's 'passerine parts is the most erotic that this crap gets. The movie is very ugly looking. Everything is patently bad and insipid. The (let's call it …) 'script' offered the opportunity of showcasing Patsy as a sexual object,as an erotic toy;well,this does not happen.This director-wanna-be has absolutely no sense of the genre's interest; he had a humble task,and he failed. All the more frustrating as I missed a PA Miller movie that was shown on another TV channel meantime.
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