on 30 May 2011
This violent film is about a man and a woman hiding out on a greek island torturing, raping and killing everyone and everything in there way and for no apparent reason. Complete with shock ending! (as though the goat scene wasn't enough.)
Jump in, watch this film and be repulsed, it's worth it!
Great Arrow Films packaging as well as features!
on 26 July 2015
People who come to this sort of film generally know exactly what they're looking for. Island of Death ticks almost every box when it comes to exploitation cinema, featuring scenes of incest, bestiality, rape, murder, water sports, hard drug use and crucifixion. Director Nico Mastorakis admittedly went for broke in making the ultimate exploitation film, yet in spite of this seemingly cash-in inspired motivation, the film rises above its parade of obscenities and exudes a rare charm and likeability palpably missing from other out-and-out 'sick' ventures such as Cannibal Ferox. Somehow, amidst all the chaos, there's something pure about this film. It's beautifully photographed and imaginatively edited for such a low-budget effort, the whitewashed buildings of Mykonos providing a clean palate for the blood-drenched deliverance of main character Christopher's sword. Seeking to purify the island of what he sees as perversion, himself a psychosexual maniac of Biblical proportions, Christopher represents in one man much of the tyranny and hypocrisy of the Catholic establishment. Compare Christopher's actions to those reported in recent times about institutionalised child abuse in the Catholic church and he's doesn't seem as much of a devil as his real-life brethren. And this is the message of Island of Death - beware false prophets, wolves in sheep's clothing (or goat's in Christopher's case, in one of the film's most memorable couplings).
But beyond any message there's much to enjoy on the level of pure exploitation, not least Christopher's demented relationship with his sister and lover, Celia. It's a wonderful thing to witness them in coitus in a Mykonos phone booth while Chris engages in a conversation with their mother, hanging up at the point of orgasm. Celia becomes increasingly unhappy with Christopher's progressively demented behaviour, yet still goes along with it, perhaps a reflection of the audience's reaction of shock and titillation. Perfectly happy, charming people are dispatched in a variety of inventively gruesome ways by the raving Christopher, yet it is Celia's more passive enjoyment of these murders that is more chilling. She's just going along with her dominant brother, at least until the end of the film when she finally realises he doesn't really love her. It's a pleasure to watch them cavort across the Greek countryside as they attempt to escape their pursuers, accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack that has been etched in my mind since first seeing this film when I was about 15. And as another reviewer has noted, it's the peaceful scenes of the pair enjoying 'normal' holiday pastimes between the murders that add an even more sinister element to their character.
Ultimately, Christopher believes he can do whatever he wishes in the 'name of God', giving him carte blanche to torture and murder at will, as has been documented throughout history. But don't let me put you off with all this 'deeper meaning' rhetoric, because this film can be enjoyed purely as an exploitation classic - a succession of wonderfully shameless scenes of rape, murder, torture and incest set against beautiful Greek vistas and soundtracked by some great music.
on 13 July 2015
A bizarre 'nasty' is brought to life with the HD treatment - Arrow have done very well with this and the quality has never looked so good - unusual, sleazy but equally fascinating of a movie that we would never see now. Totally uncut. Beautiful landscapes of greece are combined with the grotesqueness of a dysfunctional couple of murderers . Some of it is laughable but some of it is really rather good. The soundtack deserves a release for sure especially 'get the sword....' and 'can this be love..'. The documentary is fascinating showing Mykonos now and comparing it to 1975. A comprehensive release which gives a decent insight into the making of this. Bit confused as it reports that the male lead Bob belling died in a horrid way shortly after the film was made but then he crops up in Cujo in 1983 - so this is a mystery in itself. Would of loved to have found out what happened to the lead actress and wonder what she is doing now. It's a shame they couldn't get hold of her - if she wants to reminisce about her past. A few don't. Despite her flaws and clearly she is no thesp I feel her innocent uneasiness enhances her portrayal especially where her reaction is so impartial to the horrid treatment of the unfortunate residents of the island. I think this movie doesn't get the full treatment it deserves. I do hope, eventually, all the nasties will be released and with Arrow and 88 filmsand the super treats coming our way 'SS Experiment Camp' and 'Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals' scheduled for future releases by 88 , us collectors of the bizarre are in for a real treat. The only issue is will soem of these get passed our censors who still are hung up on animal cruelty (not nice but still integral to the brutality of the picture - especially cannibal films) . Keep up the good work - these maverick little chunks of sleaze will always need a voice.
on 8 February 2011
Island of death is quite possibly one of the most demented movies ever made featuring a puritanical young couple murduring and raping their way through a greek island in order to save its inhabitants from corrupting influences. Beyond that I feel the other reviewers have successfully managed to convey the sheer unadulterated bad taste of this film that lead to it being classified as a video nasty and removed from britains shelves for decades. A shame really because mostly it all seems somewhat tounge-in-cheek and deliberately over the top, and niko mastorakis certainly knows how to shoot a decent film. (check out edge of terror Edge Of Terror [DVD]  a highly underrated thriller that deserves watching.)
Now it seems Arrow, (doing a supurb job, in spite of what some of its critics on here might say) have not only managed to pull off the major coup of releasing the film totally uncut but it seems like their chucking in a few nice extras too!
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- Collector's booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by critic David Hayles
- Uncut for the first time in the UK!
- Brand new transfer of the film
- Original mono audio
- Brand new audio commentary with director Nico Mastorakis and author and critic Calum Waddell
- Q&A with director Nico Mastorakis
- Interview with Nico Mastorakis
- Original Trailer
- The Music of Island of Death
- 2010 Re-recording of `Destination Understanding' from `Island of Death'
Original art by Rick Melton
Presented in original Academy 1.33:1 (4x3) Aspect Ratio with original mono audio on region 0 PAL DVD
This is definately getting my pre-order, if you havent seen the film yet proceed with caution, it really is pretty vile (in a good way.)
on 10 August 2013
Story has it that Greek director Nico Mastorakis saw the Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the cinema and was impressed that such a film could make so much money. So with that in mind Nico decided to make an even more depraved feature than Tobe Hooper and therefore make even more money..! He succeeded in the latter but as for make more money..? well, we can only guess not. I won't bother going into the plot as I assume most people already know about this depraved and sick little flick. All that I will say is that as far as 70s exploitation flicks go this is one of the best. Depravity has never been in so much abundance as is on show here. This will not be in many viewers taste as we are subjected to rape, gay rape, incest, drug abuse, beastiality, torture, urinating on pensioners and even a fart in the face as a downright insult..! The list of depravity doesn't stop there but to list them all would take some time and spoil it for those that want to watch it for the first time... This is a very easy film to dismiss as trash but it's a lot cleverer than you may think, I recommend first time viewers to watch at least once more before proclaiming it as unwatchable sleazy trash ... for it is very watchable sleazy trash..! The gore is kept to a mimimum and the acting is pretty bad, but as the film progresses this is not really an issue. The majority of death scenes are very imaginative (the deaths involving a plane flight and bulldozer being the best..!). Also there is a cracking soundtrack provided by the legendery Nikos Lavranos (Destination Understanding being the obvious favourite of the 'cult elite'). I cannot recommend this film enough, it is superb, but then again maybe I need psychiatric help hahaha ... A MUST SEE..!
on 12 March 2003
Outside of the ranks of fans of hardcore horror movies, this film is not that well known. However, amongst those of us who like this sort of thing, it is something of a minor classic. It became notorious at the time as one of the most depraved films ever made, and to this day, it probably still is. Basically, if you are are sensitive kind of soul, you don't really want to watch this film.
The premise of Island Of Death is that a couple, Christopher and Celia, are on holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos, and they decide to get rid of perversion with a religious kind of zeal. They see this perversion in a gay couple, a heroin-addicted lesbian, a goat, and worst of all, a French painter! Needless to say, this being a Vipco release, bloodshed is plentiful, with such 'treats' as rape, bestiality, incest, crucifixion, face burning, hanging, harpooning, paint drinking, impaling with garden tools, it just goes on and on. Yes, this is one brutal film. Predictably enough, it has suffered at the hands of the BBFC, to the tune of about 4 minutes or so I believe, but it is done with a little more care than, for instance, Cannibal Ferox, so the film doesn't suffer too greatly from it.
Basically, you know what you're getting with a Vipco Vaults Of Horror release, and the huge "Previously Banned" warning on the cover of the DVD case is also a bit of a giveaway. If you like your films bloody and violent from start to finish, this is a treat. If you're easily shocked, this will certainly shock you.
on 17 April 2012
As all good Brit fans of filmic weirdness know "Island of Death" was one of the first movies to be banned by the British Board of Censors - so, of course, I had to check it out! Having watched it a couple of times now I can honestly say that the term 'nasty' really sums up my impressions of it. Set on an idyllic Greek island, the plot revolves around a strange brother/sister duo who go on a killing spree while on holiday there - dispatching a lot of relatively innocuous individuals for no apparent good reason, other than the 'brother' takes exception to their 'way of being' (he is a bit of a 'moralistic' jerk - despite his own amoral incestuous & homicidal tendencies). The 'sister' is portrayed as a somewhat 'un-willing' accomplice to many of the ghastly deeds her brother perpetuates - still, she manages to get naked alot throughout the proceedings, 'pairing' with both men and women, often as a prequel to their imminent demise. The methods of killing employed are all decidedly 'nasty' as well - people are crucified & 'drowned' by being forced to drink 'whitewash', decapitated by a bulldozer, speared with a sickel, and hung from a flying airplane - to name but a few! By the time the ironic & bizarre conclusion arrives the viewer is definitely ready for the perpetrator to get his karmic cum uppance! If ever there was a film which displays little 'redeeming relevance' and, possibly, deserved to be banned as a 'nasty' - this is it! Which is to say - it was pretty enjoyable! The DVD release from Arrow Video is very nice - the transfer quality is fine and there are some good extras on the disc, and a nice little booklet of background info included. And - the box cover art alone is worth the price. This is certainly not a 'great' film, but it is a fun watch - especially if U R feeling particularly 'nasty'.
on 11 October 2015
Totally bonkers but historically interesting since the movies of the same genre many years later wouldn't even make the light of day if the censors had the same values of banning. It's badly acted, badly directed and totally amateur, but for these reasons it's ironically interesting to watch. Be prepared to fast forward sometimes since there is a lot of walking shots, running shots...biking shots etc to fill the time. There is no logic to what is going on and don't even start to find rational in any of it. Just sit back and absorb the ridiculous......
For the 70's this movie is pretty hardcore in the way its totally messed up as hell I cant even list whats in the movie without being too graphic, its sick in everyway, theres incest, beastiality, murder, sex, lesbians, and much more! The story is mad and pretty original I cant see this ever being remade without being banned again!! If you love sleazy exploitation movies from this period then make sure you see it its just insane. Good disc with some interesting extras!
on 4 July 2011
Don't be under any illusions; this film isn't wall to wall gore and visceral bloodshed. On paper it might sound grotesque, but in reality its very tame. What is does offer is 90 minutes of naive, 70s faux-exploitation, from two aesthetically wholesome character as they butcher their way around the beautiful island of Mykonos. The interview with the director shot in 2003 also tells the other story of the film, why, how, how much and the burning question - is he proud of what he made and what it has since become? This is worth purchase alone. 3/5 for film, but 4/5 for extras!