I once had a friend who collected "nasties", he lent me his "top 4" including "Island of Death", totally unaffected by them i decided to end my quest for the video nasty, deciding that censorship either perceived or real had stopped directors from living upto the advertising hype.
A decade later i bought this, a film quite literally in a league of it's own. Nothing i've ever seen touches this little number, it sucks you in and blends your senses. This "Grindhouse" edition is the 96min uncut version.
Other reviews cover the excellent directing, clever use of added footage/music and the weaving of the story line around the differant viewings of the "reels of footage". I'm just here to make a couple of additional points...
Without doubt this is the top rung of the video nasty genre, if you want to be shocked this is it. If you even ask yourself whether or not you can deal with the animal cruelty you are in for a huge, upsetting surprize. Watching the animal cruelty free version would be like taking the butter out of a bacon sandwhich for a vegan.
Although i haven't studied the anthropological info's accuracy on tribal customs of cannibals i get the feeling that the punishments in the film aren't miles away from reality, and it was this thought that ultimately made the film really gut wrenching. The animal killings are of course part of the picture of life in a jungle, except that it's done by actors not hunters for film rather than food...thats definately NOT how to kill a turtle (unless it's really offended you)and therefore one questions it's validity, however it's certainly contextually appropriate.
The light relief comes in the removal of the american media crews (note that viewers generally only mind the brutality to the animals), by inventive means. I was firmly backing the cannibals all the way.
This is not a horror film, this is a horrific film to be viewed by the jaded.