DVD region 2. Arrow Video.
absolutely amazing 1975 exploitation masterpiece has always been
difficult to see, as one release after another (under varying
titles such as Island of Perversion,
Devils in Mykonos and A Craving for
Lust) has been subjected to censorship. Banned outright
in Britain during the mid-Eighties, several attempts have since
been made to get this catalogue of perversity released in cut-down
versions, but even then it was not enough to appease our moral
guardians; every frame of this film is drenched in the stink of
corruption. It is fundamentally, irredeemably rotten to the core.
An instant cult classic in other words!
Previously only available on a hard-to-find director's release
it is now available completely uncut on DVD, brought to you by
Arrow in a top quality transfer sourced from the film's original
negative. The film is presented in a full screen version (one
assumes the film was shot in academy ratio, and there is no evidence
on screen to suggest otherwise) with mono sound.
a twenty three minute interview, Mastorakis reveals that he was
inspired to make Island of Death by seeing
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He describes Island
of Death as a "recipe" movie, and reveals that the script
was written formulaically, with the simple aim of producing a
movie with "disgusting, perverse and violent content". All in
the name of profit. The director rejects outright the idea that
his film has any sort of subtext, and goes on to ridicule the
attempts at deconstruction written by well-meaning but misguided
critics. He also talks about special effects, censors ("a
medieval paramilitary authority!"), bestiality ("it happens!"),
and assures us that the outrageous goat-fucking/killing episode
was humanely faked and that the animal went on to frolic in the
Greek sunshine for many years to come.
plot synopsis is neither necessary nor desirable, as for ultimate
effect the viewer should not be forewarned of the jaw-dropping
catalogue of abuse heaped upon every incidental character on screen.
Oh, how I envy those of you reading this who have yet to sample
the delights this film breathlessly throws up from the first minute
to the last - and what a last line there is waiting for you! This
film has one of the greatest punch-lines in exploitation movie
As if you needed warning... this film has a rare capacity to offend.
Much of the action is prompted by dubious sexual politics, both
explicit ("God punishes perversion, and I am his angel with
the flaming sword sent to kill dirty worms!", our anti-hero
wails before hacking an old queen to death) and implicit (the
"bloody lesbian" victim whines about her sexuality and
her drug habit, the implication being that her chemical dependency
and her lesbianism are both born of a pathological hatred of men).
The violence is very strong and very nasty, there is plenty of
simulated sexual abuse (2M/1F, 1M/1F, 1M/1M to use porno language)
in the sordid proceedings, and of course there's the infamous
moment of bestiality (the goat can't say "no", so does that also
count as rape?...)
Island of Death is about as clear-cut an example
of "love it or loathe it" as I can imagine, so by now you're either
going to want to forget you even read this review, or you'll want
to order the DVD, which you can do right now if you so wish, by
clicking the link below.
luck and happy viewing. You pervert.
addition: As with most of Arrow's cult movies, this comes with
plenty of extras, and as ever, they are a mixed bag. Extras include
the aforementioned informative interview with director Nico Mastorakis
and the three songs from the film's soundtrack. There is also
a commentary and on-stage Q&A, and a couple of remarkably
shoddy, badly filmed and amateurish documentaries, including a
pointless effort where bands you've never heard of (and never
will again) cover the song Destination Understanding.
These really, really terrible featurettes mar an otherwise essential
slice of sleaze.
IT NOW (UK)
IT NOW (USA)