They simply don’t make them like this anymore. This unforgettable slice of sleaze hit UK cinema chains in April 1976 under the title A CRAVING FOR LUST with the along with extensive cuts. The film later surfaced as part of the 80s video boom on the AVI label as ISLAND OF DEATH restoring the cuts, and falsely announcing itself as a BBFC “X” version. Following the Attorney General’s statement to the House of Commons in July 1984, ISLAND OF DEATH found itself on the list of 39 videos liable for prosecution under section 2 of the Obscene Publications Act of 1959. The movie was subsequently re-submitted to the BBFC under the title PSYCHIC KILLER 2 and rejected outright. It has remained a relatively obscure title to see in the UK, copies of the original release would fetch upwards of £50 a time at collector’s fairs, or you could pick up a grubby pirated copy for £10. VIPCO in the UK released a BBFC approved version in 2002 with 4 minutes and 9 seconds of cuts, and it is only now that a good quality uncut DVD release has found its way onto the market courtesy of Greek label AllStar Pictures.
Billed with the tagline “The lucky ones had their brains blown out!” ISLAND OF DEATH introduces us to vacationing couple Christopher (Bob Belling) and Celia (Jane Ryall) on the Greek island of Mykonsos it soon becomes apparent that this couple get their kicks from doing the unusual when Christopher makes a phone-call to his mother with the sole intention of allowing her to hear the sounds of the couple making love. It transpires that the couple are wanted for a series of murders, but rather than keep a low profile their twisted antics soon run reads like an outline for a Sadian novel. Victims are raped, spear-gunned, have their brains blown out, crucified and fed white-wash, blow-torched, urinated on, decapitated, and a goat gets raped!
Shot for $30,000, director Nico Mastorakis admits (on the DVD commentary) that the sole reason for making the film was to raise money to kick-start a career in the movies. He wanted to hit the screens with the film in ’76, and have money to finance a better project. Eight years later Mastorakis gave the public THE NEXT ONE (1978), in which Keir Dullea stars as a visitor from outer space passing himself off as Jesus Christ, before improving his filmmaking efforts with the likes of THE ZERO BOYS (1986), and the supernatural thriller THE WIND (1987). More recently Mastorakis returned to the thriller genre with the cyber-tech adventure .COM FOR MURDER (2001) starring Nastassja Kinski, Roger Daltrey, Nicolette Sheridan and featuring cameos by horror scream queens Julie Strain and Mindy Clarke.
Not a great movie by any means – but it really is a trash film fan’s delight. This full-frame transfer does contain some grain but the colours are very punchy and vibrant and represents a splendid chance for UNRATED viewers to finally ditch those fuzzy pirate tapes and catch the film in an uncut form.
Carl T. Ford
Directed by Nico Mastorakis
Greece / 1975 / 102 minutes.
SPECIAL DVD FEATURES
An Allstar Pictures Ltd DVD release
All region. Pal. Dolby Digital Mono.
ISLAND OF DEATH (aka The Devils of Mykonsos)