If you pay any attention around here you know we
rarely talk much about "foreign" pictures. The reason
is simple, we haven't watched all the 'merican movies yet. But
every now and then, we pop one in that was made somewhere across
the pond. That's what happened with ISLAND OF DEATH. You see,
I was out at this cowboy dancehall bar with BOF Attorney Dick
Cockburn, Cockburn had already been cut-off, why I'm not sure,
it could have been the 11 hour drinking binge he'd been on. Me,
well after 3 oz of Pure Grain Alcohol chasing a half case of Dos
Equs and five Lemon DropsTM, I had been pronounced legally dead
only to be revived by the thought of fat girls dancing to a Travis
Tritt song being covered by a disgruntled 30 nothing rock star
who recently cut his mullet because of an email he had been spammed
that had proclaimed "Mullets are now funny!" As if they
were not always.
Anyhoo, after I had completely thrown-up enough
stomach lining to knit Rosie a pair of drawers I was ready to
Party! And party we did, I guess, all I know is we wound up back
home looking for a movie to watch. ISLAND OF DEATH was elected
only because of the films tagline "The lucky ones had their
brains blown out!" I could sympathize. So we popped the sumbitch
in, fresh off a PAL DVD, it blistered with mid 70s saturation
we watched, mouth agape at the twisted, fucked-up (that's Cockburn's
favorite adjective) shit that was taking place on this long sought
The ISLAND OF DEATH is actually Greece, Mykonos
(one of the film's akas is DEVILS IN MYKONOS) to be exact, with
it's white stucco-style residential housing and semi-tropical
locales, you are lured right into what looks to be a quaint little
story of a couple's getaway for a little hanky-panky. That is
not the case, although there is plenty of that. This cute couple
are on what I surmised was a vacation, but what Iquickly learned
is they get their kicks on holiday by becoming a couple of homicidal
maniacs. The plot is very basic, they seduce folks, then kill
them, the subplot of the male character, Christopher, (handled
ably by never-been Bob Belling) uttering about perverts before
offing them is somewhat "out-there" as is his fascination
with photographing the festivities. His definition of perversion
is slightly askew especially given the scene where he and Celia,
(Jane Ryall, who in the Hell are you besides fantastically hot?!)
bang, completely and thoroughly, in a phone booth while he phones
his mother and lays a little "hey Mom, guess what I'm doing?"
bullshit on her, needless to say his mother is upset. Right off
you know you are in for a bizarre little taboo breaker of a film.
Nothing like pent-up, strange mother/son relationships with a
mix of old time religion to set you right....
ISLAND OF DEATH becomes a weird ride in a rusty
sedan with no shocks, it squeaks and bounces along with the occasional
groan, but it gets you there. The flaws lay not so much in delivery
but premise. The one thing you never quite grasp is a good vs.
evil vibe or any sort of real suspense. Episodic in nature, with
a loose thread of narrative involving a mystery writer Dmitri
Spatos (our director Nico Mastorakis) who kind of happens upon
the couple's wrongdoings. Basically these two, Christopher and
Celia just kill and kill, trying to one up the plot with each
bizarre method of mutilation. You get your crucifixion of a man,
with added paint gargling just for humping Celia. You get a couple
of perverted "queers" catching a sword of a different
nature. You get an elderly lady pissed upon, smacked, raped and
then beheaded by a fucking bulldozer blade. You get the picture
here. Fuck, kill, fuck, kill, fuck goat, kill goat. I almost forgot,
in a strange scene Christopher hops out of bed with Celia (what
a fucking fool) absconds with a little goat, cut to Christopher
and said Billy going at it goat style. Of course the goat's a
fucking pervert so Christopher cuts its throat. Baaaaaaad goat,
baaaaaaaaad, oh fuck you, that was funny. But even with all this,
there's no one really that hot on the trail, there's no good protagonist
(well, there's this black guy private dick, but who cares and
there's a sort of homage to LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT with a couple
of dirt bags who have their way with the lovely Celia) or any
reason to give a shit about any of this really. There is no tension
or melodrama to any of this and although a lot of bad shit goes
down, you are hard pressed to ever feel horrified. That doesn't
mean that it's not good because just one or two of these elements
in any other film might propel that film to masterpiece status,
the all happen in this tight little epic. And director Nico Mastorakis
claims he spent a whopping $30,000!
Mastorakis speaks freely about the film on the DVD's
commentary. He makes no bones about the fact that this film was
made only to make money to help get his career off the ground.
Refreshing to hear that really, he didn't give a shit about making
some sort of memorable film, he wanted to hit screens with it
in 1976 and get his dough to do another project. Mastorakis did
just that but it was almost 8 years before we saw his next one,
appropriately titled THE NEXT ONE, another Greek production, this
time Nico exploited Christ and the second coming
is still at it folks, last year .COM FOR MURDER teamed Huey Lewis,
Nastassja Kinski, Roger Daltrey, Julie Strain and Prof. Tread
jerk fodder Nicole Sheridan in this video nightmare about internet
porn and chat rooms, that you have to track down.
Mastorakis cites TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE as a big
influence and that film's ability to shock an audience. I have
to admire a man who embraces shock value whole-heartedly as much
as Mastorakis does with ISLAND OF DEATH. Hell, the poor bastard,
wrote, directed, produced and even co-wrote the music for the
film. Impresario, I say, of sleaze. His camera tricks are on par
with any gore-infected 17 year old. Gruesome shot, juxtaposed
everyday item, brutal killing, silhouetted couple talking on the
beach. You get my point ISLAND OF DEATH is one of the best examples
of a film that unrelentingly goes for the cheap thrill, much like
our crazed couple. We've all seen films travel on these same subject
lines but none with as much zeal for leaving the viewer awestruck
as ISLAND OF DEATH.
Attorney Dick Cockburn stopped trying to tally the
carnage about 30 minutes in, but the body count, as well as the
outright sadism involved, will not disappoint the even the sickest
of chunk-addicted spew viewers, but if you like a drama and suspense
you might find your self fast-forwarding to the good parts. If
you rewatch one sequence over and over make sure it's the one
with the black private dick hanging on the airplane's strut, I
think I know where $6.00 of the $30,000 budget went, to fashion
the wrap-around dummy that is zooming around Mykonos on the plane's
wing. All in all, highly recommended both as a fun, Grecian formula
for post party depression and something you can watch with your
legal counsel. ISLAND OF DEATH is fucking exploitation for exploitation
sake. Lawyers are scum; they'll be able to empathize.
|Christoper nad a
goat... I told you this is a sick film!
goat, take that...
|and that...and that....
|If you find yourself
looking at a Bulldozer from this angle...you might be totally
|Poor lady, I bet
she never saw Killdozer!
Gestapo Black Exploitation?
From Tobacco Row It's Good!
Squad Join Today!
Meateater Do Not Touch!
Stranger Run Run Opie!
House On Hwy 5 Sheesh!
Locked Doors It's Dirty!
Massacre Some Like It.
Pussy It had to be done
Alley It is Rock.
Woman Truck. Woman.
Freak A Classic for You!
Geek Bigfoot Porn
School Ghosthustlers Wow!
Island You Must See!
Not that kinda Cock!
Alienator Feeling Alienated?
Island Vanity and the Beast
Spree Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Prof. Tread still can't sleep.
Tramp She is sumpin' else.
Footmen Tire You...? Heavy religiosity!
Knievel Evel of Course!
Killing Of A Chinese Bookie! Smart Guy.
Pink Angels Gayness, and Bikes
Burning The 80's, ahhh the 80's.
- The Winged Serpant! Larry Cohen rules!
For Your Life! WARNING Racist content
Tall Buford Pusser in the Hizouse!
Camp Internet Geeks Unite!
Losers Ya Loser!
of the Mutilated Bro. George gets busy.
Me An Angel Gal Biker and more.
Grim Reaper Reap on.
One of William Girdler's triumphs.
At Dawn A Modern Classic.
Boy Carradine, Dress, Dourif!
Hollywood Rape-Slaughter Rare expose'.
Savage Weekend. Take
Dead and Buried.
A Should-be Classic.
Summer In Barefoot County. PeeUww!
Night Train To
Terror Choo Choo!
Drink Your Blood Glug, glug!
Russ Meyer and breasts!
Stop Women Honnnk HonnnnK!
Deadly Darling! Pigs!
the Germ Fighter! Clean up!
Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast? Why?!
County Express! Glug, Glug!
The Night God Screamed!
White Dog Racists
City Slickers get offed!
Times Five Sean MacGregor's Titantic!
at the Red Wolf Inn Burp!
Eyes See It
Greatest Sinner One of the best!
Baby! Goo Goo!
Camp Nightmare Viva the Revolution!
of the Beast Creatures Booga!
Play Dead Incest craziness!
of Death Vacation madness!
Come, Evil Go! Bye, Bye Sinners!
Strutters Get Black Sucker!
Pretty Eddie Deep South Craziness!
Golem Jewish Folklore or what?
NYC Apartment Blues
To Kill A Clown
Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
Spook Who Sat Next To The Door Booya!
Woke Up Early The Day I Died Mr. Ed Wood.
Mutilation Man Andy Copp goes arty on us!
People Across The Lake Good TV!
Woman Hunt Load Up Gents.
Devil At You Heels Daring Devil.
Are The Damned Dammit!
Farm TV movie Classic!