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Allstar Pictures presents
Island of Death (The Devils of Mykonos, Island of Perversion) (1975)

"God punishes perversion, and I am his angel with the flaming sword sent to kill dirty worms!"
- Christopher (Bob Belling)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: May 02, 2002

Stars: Bob Belling, Jane Ryall
Other Stars: Jessica Dublin, Gerarld Gonalons, Janice McConnel, Ray Zuk, Mario Tatras, Efi Banny, Nikos Tsachiridis, Nikos Mastorakis
Director: Niko Mastorakis

Manufacturer: Imagina
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, sex, bestiality, violence, gore, torture, animal cruelty, language, drug use, golden showers)
Run Time: 01h:42m:39s
Release Date: October 26, 2001
Genre: cult


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ CB+C- C

DVD Review

There are some movies that push the boundaries in the name of art. Then there are some that push the boundaries just to push the boundaries, and pile one outrageous sequence on top of another. Such is the case with Island of Death, a 1975 Greek exploitation picture that pulls out all of the stops. There's genuinely something to offend everyone here.

As is the case with so many horror movies, the story begins with a young, attractive couple in love in an isolated area. Christopher (Bob Belling), a photographer, and Celia (Jane Ryall) are tourists on the Greek island of Mykonos. Since it's a horror/exploitation film, things inevitably turn bad....but Christopher and Celia aren't the victims, they're the perpetrators! Christopher has a peculiar religious mania that drives him to involve others in perverse sex acts (while photographing them), and then he tortures and kills them in disgust. The story, such as it is, is rather episodic, with a few continuing threads about a black man from America who is after Christopher for some reason, and Dmitri Spatos (director Mastorakis), a mystery novelist who stumbles onto their activities.

The picture has some minor notoriety as one of the British "Video Nasties" due to its gore and sexual violence, not to mention a sequence involving the rape of a young goat and its simulated slaughter. Crucifixions, drug overdose and bloody executions are the order of the day throughout. It's still pretty strong even today, and certainly would never be permitted to have the close association of sex and violence in today's more restrictive climate. Nudity is copious, though the sexuality is mostly soft-core.

As is to be expected from this type of picture, the cast is fairly marginal. Ryall is appealing as the female half of this sick duo, with a charmingly vacant blonde expression and only occasional flashes of conscience. Belling is way over the top, alternately sex-crazed and delusional. There's a small part of a mute shepherd played by Nikos Tsachiridis, who apparently is well-known in Greece. He does a fine job with a particularly loathsome part. The stunt work ranges from poor to downright awful; when a character is clutching to a strut of a plane being flown by Christopher, it's obviously a dummy when the plane's in the air, and when you see the actor on the strut the plan's clearly on the ground. The gore effects, however, are well done.

The disc is available directly from the director, through his website, although a few DVD importers do carry the disc, which is Region 0 PAL. Those with DVD players that will convert PAL to NTSC will be able to use it, though most off-the-shelf players in the US can't. DVD-ROM players should be able to play the disc since it is region-free.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The disc is presented full frame only. Since it was shot on the cheap, that may well be the original aspect ratio. The framing seems to be appropriate. There tends to be quite a lot of grain and a somewhat dated appearance, but colors are strong and vibrant and the picture generally looks terrific. For those who have suffered through this movie in low quality dubs in the past, this DVD will be a revelation. The source print looks quite nice, with only rare speckles.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The audio is a very hissy and noisy 2.0 mono English. Apparently shot in English, the voices mostly sound natural though occasionally echoey, but at times the music is highly distorted. There are also periodic ruffling noises on the soundtrack. Again, this is a very low budget picture (the director claims $30,000) so one shouldn't expect much in terms of quality audio.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 13 cues
1 Documentaries
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Music videosMusic videos
Extras Review: The primary extra is a chatty 24m:59s interview with the director. Mastorakis frankly acknowledges, "We're gonna stuff in that movie every perversion and every violent act imaginable." He has a few anecdotes about the making of the picture and the stars, as well as taking on the role of the novelist since he didn't have the $80 to pay the actor who was supposed to play the part. It's a worthwhile little piece, though I'd like to hear more about the film's reception. There are also three music videos set to the insipid songs from the track; one is simply frame blowups from the film, another is slow motion versions of sequences in the picture, and the third is just straight bits from the picture. They're fairly worthless unless you really like bland Europop.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

An exercise in bad taste that continually pushes the envelope of grossness, this picture manages to pack a few surprises and succeeds quite admirably in its stated intent to make the ultimate exploitation movie. About the only thing missing is cannibalism. The main entertainment value lies in waiting to see what abomination will hit the screen next, but there's also plenty of black humor and dark comedy amidst the bloodshed.

 


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