Dir: Nico Mastorakis, 1976
A true sleazy exploitation pic by Greek filmmaker Nico Mastorakis set on the Greek island of Mykonos, that has just one intention which is to shock and appal.
Honeymooners Christopher and Celia ( Robert Behling and Jane Lyle), rent a place on Mykonos after fleeing London and subject the island to barbaric murders and sexual deviancy.
In fact, Robert and Celia are brother and sister who like to indulge in incestual relations.
Among Christopher’s hobbies are goat fucking (yeah, really!), setting the faces of lesbians on fire, urolagnia and crucifixion.
What a catch!
Celia just tends to go along with everything and anyone as long as she’s getting cock from somebody.
This film has it all; homophobia, bestiality, watersports (and I don’t mean swimming), graphic murders, you name it.
A very amateur film, the acting is poor, the script unspeakable and the plot is senseless.
I never understood why Christopher is American and Celia is English, when they both come from London and their mother is English as we can hear on the telephone.
To be honest, that’s just me being picky.
This is a film that just wants to push limits and break taboos.
But, the trouble is, it had already been done before. John Waters broke more rules with his underground movies.
Bodil Joensen (aka The Boar Girl) had already starred in the notorious documentary A Summerday where she performed unsimulated acts of zoophilia. Seeing a man acting out making love to a goat isn’t shocking, it’s just comical.
The close ups of his face in ecstasy and pleasure will only make you smirk with embarrassment.
Underscored by a lacklustre and, ultimately, forgettable soundtrack, special note must be given to the rather catchy, yet irritating, theme song.
It’s one of those songs that, once you hear it, will be going round your head all day and you’ll find yourself singing It, annoying yourself.
Island Of Death could easily fall into the “so bad, it’s good” category.
Unintentionally funny, the film has no shock factor and very little interest.
Surprisingly, the film DID get a BBFC certificate on its release, under the title A Craving For Lust but only after over thirteen minutes worth of cuts were implemented. A movie like this was sure to be problematic for the censors and lesser films than this have been unable to scrape through, so it is a wonder what the board saw in it to offer a rating.
As videos were becoming more common in the early eighties, Island Of Death was released in its uncut form using its original name but soon became part of what was known as the DPP 39, a list of videos deemed to be obscene and in breach of the law.
Successfully prosecuted in a court of law, the video met the same fate as others of its ilk, such as The House On The Edge Of The Park and Absurd.
In 1987, the film was resubmitted in an edited version under the title Psychic Killer II, an odd title when there is no psychic element in it or bears any relation to the first one.
The BBFC rejected the video outright.
After that, the movie languished in obscurity known only to collectors of video nasties and those lucky enough to have seen it on its initial video release.
But times change and the internet is a wonderful tool for refreshing memories.
Aided by the advent of DVD, interest in the film was renewed and a fresh legion of fans suddenly became interested.
Submitted to the board once again in 2002, the censorship body agreed to pass it but only four minutes of footage had been removed. The distributors, VIPCO, agreed and Island Of Death received its first ever officially approved home video release. This would be the standard version available to British purveyors.
In 2010, Arrow Video submitted the film with the aim of obtaining an uncut certificate for a forthcoming re-release.
Shockingly, it sailed through with the board waiving all of the cuts they’d previously insisted on.
The film was passed in the September of that year with an uncut ’18’ certificate.
Definitely not a masterpiece, or even a good film, it holds a certain level of interest and will keep you amused for the duration but don’t expect anything special.