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The Independent Critic

Robert Behling, Jane Lyle, Jessica Dublin
Nico Mastorakis
Rated R
108 Mins.
Arrow Video
Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative, approved by writer-director-producer Nico Mastorakis;High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations;Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray);Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing;Exploring Island of Death – film historian Stephen Thrower on the making of a cult classic;Return to Island of Death – Mastorakis returns to the original Mykonos locations; Archive interview with Mastorakis;Alternative opening titles;Island Sounds – five original tracks from the Island of Death soundtrack;Original Theatrical Trailer;The Films of Nico Mastorakis – four-part documentary charting the director’s filmmaking career [Blu-ray only];Nico Mastorakis Trailer Reel [Blu-ray only];Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys;Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by academic and film historian Johnny Walker

 "Island of Death" Released on Blu-ray/DVD by Arrow Video  
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U.K.'s Arrow Films is giving the master treatment to Nico Mastorakis's 1976 film Island of Death, a film reportedly made as a response to the success of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a film almost guaranteed to please fans of that type of intense, gory and incredibly brutal cinema.

Truthfully, I just plain didn't enjoy it. At all.

This version is a fully uncut and restored version, one can almost picture writer/director Nico Mastorakis smiling with orgasmic glee, and while there's a plot to be found in the film there's no question that it comes secondary to Mastorakis's desire to fill the film from beginning to end with as much brutality and perversity as possible.

In the film, Christopher (Robert Behling) and Celia (Jane Ryall) are a young couple (kind of/sort of - you'll understand if you make it to the end) who arrive on the Greek island of Mykonos during the off season. Christopher and Celia don't let too long pass before the weirdness sets in such as when a sexually rejected Christopher has sex with a sheep then kills it.

Or wait. How about when Christopher talks Celia into having sex with a painter then, wait for it, kills the painter?

The homosexuals are next.

The list goes on. Eventually, we learn of Christopher's plan to clear the island of its perversity. Of course, he has little insight into the perversity of his own behaviors but, then again, that merely qualifies him to be a politician in the U.S. The killings going on, increasingly creative and brutal in their manifestation, but eventually Celia will grow tired of it all.

Of course, that will also change.

There are films that at least pretend they have a reason for all the gratuitous violence, but Island of Death is for the most part devoid of any sense of purpose or meaning other than capitalizing on Tobe Hooper's vastly superior film for its inspiration. Despite the usual Arrow Films quality packaging, this time I'll have to say "Skip It!" and simply rent Hooper's film instead.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 

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