Directed by Barry Gonzalez [as Barry Gonzalez III] (Princess Dayareese; M&M: The Mall The Merrier; Fantastica; Fangirl Fanboy) from a screenplay written by Ays De Guzman [as Ice De Gusman] (Santigwar; Da Possessed), based on a story concept by Erwin Blanco, Barry Gonzalez, Romero Salas Jr., Paul Junzen Al-Fakkas and J.R. Reyes.
The Filipino OctoArts Films-Mavx Productions-ALV Films co-production stars Paolo Contis (Magikland; Scaregivers; Oh My Ghost!), Archie Alemania (Dark is the Night), Beauty Gonzalez (Hellcome Home; Abandoned), Isabelle Daza, Elisse Joson, Sunshine Garcia, Analyn Barro and Aiko Climaco.
Veronica (Isabelle Daza), Valerie (Beauty Gonzales) and Venus (Elisse Joson) are three adventurous and sometimes mischievous sisters with their own vlog channel called V-Sisters.
Together with their friends: mascot Abi (Aiko Climaco), producer Gina (Sunshine Garcia) and researcher Lani (Analyn Barro), they decide to go on vacation in the town of “Kalimliman”. Incidentally, their uncle, Anding (Niño Mulach) is the town Mayor.
Mayor Anding has tour guides assigned to promote tourism in his town. He selects Badong (Paolo Contis) and Entoy (Archie Alemania); his top tour guides; as the official guardians for the visiting girls. Badong and Entoy are getting increasingly frustrated with the meagre amount of money that they are getting from their tour guide work. During their stay, the six young ladies hear about the infamous “Forbidden Island”, located somewhere near the town.
This island is so remote that Mayor Anding has banned all travel to it. The girls ask Badong and Entoy to bring them there so that they can produce a prank video to trick their vlog‘s viewers into thinking that they got lost while on vacation.
Upon reaching Forbidden Island, the group discover that weird and horrific experiments were carried out by Japanese soldiers on the island’s former residents; turning them into bloodthirsty ninja zombies.
The supposedly prank video project has now become a real-life race to escape the deadly island with their lives. Will they be able to outwit, outlast and escape the zombies or will they become new members of the living dead?
The two male lead characters are a pair of useless idiots who constantly quote a grandfather they apparently never knew and the female vloggers are also pretty dim. But, essentially, that’s the point in this low-level Pinoy comedy which Netflix advises is “raunchy”.
So, expect plenty of base humour revolving around cleavage and farts for the first half. Once the zombies turn up mid-way there are at least plenty of them and lots of comedic running around (including a bizarre joke reference to Chariots of Fire!).
If mindless entertainment is all you’re looking for and you don’t mind moronic mugging about then Izla may entertain you. At least it moves fairly swiftly, though a silly song during the first few minutes can certainly be fast-forwarded.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“The few scares all falling embarrassingly flat – to be fair, given the lack of irony pervading the whole production, it’s quite possible that these scenes are actually supposed to be comical, though it’s hard to tell, and by the time the characters encounter the zombies, most viewers will have long since tuned out. Coupled with the weak, wholly generic narrative and paper-thin characters, this leaves Izla without anything to hold the interest…” Eastern Kicks
” …while the plot revolves around the infamous “forbidden island”, you’ll have to wait 30 minutes before anyone actually goes there. With a runtime of just 1 hour and 25 minutes, that’s a long time to wait. The comedy does work pretty well in this movie, so as long as you’re good with that, you should be pleased. I just expected more!” Heaven of Horror
“A few scenes had a good sense of humour, and a couple of scenes were scary. But most scenes were dull and lacked excitement. Izla tries to have some funny scenes, but they are not enough to make the whole movie enjoyable. Izla is not that bad, but it could have been better.” Leisure Byte
Izla is streaming on Netflix from November 25th 2021.
Cast and characters (in credits order):
Paolo Contis … Badong
Archie Alemania … Entoy
Beauty Gonzalez … Valerie (as Beauty Gonzales)
Isabelle Daza … Veronica
Elisse Joson … Venus
Sunshine Garcia … Gina
Analyn Barro … Lani
Aiko Climaco … Abi
Niño Muhlach … Mayor (as Nino Muhlach)
Kara Mitzki … Mayor’s Secretary
Robert Antonio … Lucky (as Robert Rimas Antonio)
Svetlana Jaloslos De Leon … Singer
Ronald Carbonel … Body Guard
Raland Del Rosario … Chairman
Archie Daguinod … Guard Zombie
Jojie Arlanza … Photographer
Beverly Bustria … Lola Zombie
Rey Mark Ruales … Zombie Marathoner
Dapitan, Zamboanga Del Norte, Philippines