Friday, 29 May 2015

"Island of Death" - UK DVD/BD review

“Island of Death”, a film with something guaranteed to offend everybody, is out now on a special BD/DVD combo pack from Arrow films, who were kind enough to send a copy over for me to take a look at.
Religious fanatics Celia and Christopher arrive at the Greek island of Mykonos and proceed to go around raping and murdering all the sexual deviants they find on the island (not that they’re anyone to talk).
Having phoned Christopher’s mother from a payphone, whilst they’re busy having sex in it, Christopher then goes on to have his wicked way with a goat. Before they decide to kill a stereotypical Frenchman (complete with beret and bottle of red wine), after Celia disliked the way he looked at her, by crucifying him to the floor of an old church and pouring whitewash down his throat.
Other highlights of their rampage include Christopher seducing some middle aged woman, then urinating on her (which she seems to enjoy) before killing her and decapitating the body with a bulldozer (yes seriously). Then invading a gay couple’s house and chasing the occupants around the town with a sword.
With the bodies piling up, the police begin to take notice and they are forced to flee into the countryside. But has Christopher met his match in the form of a flatulent sheep farmer?
Featuring, rape, incest, sodomy, beastiality, urolagnia, homophobia, racism and even a farting farmer, its small wonder this infamous 1976 title found its way onto the governments Video Nasties list when released onto video in the early 80s and was heavily censored upon its initial DVD release back in 2002.
Fortunately, in these slightly more ‘enlightened’ times, the film is now available to own fully uncut here in the UK. Arrow had previously released the film to DVD, but is now available to view in all its hi-def glory in a new BD and DVD combo pack.
Extras on the discs include….
Exploring Island of Death (38mins) – Film historian Stephen Thrower on the making of a cult classic
Return to Island of Death (17mins) – Niko Mastorakis gives a film location tour of the original Mykonos locations
Archive interview with Mastorakis (23mins) – originally filmed for the US DVD release back in 2001, the director discusses the making of this andhis earlier films.
Alternative opening titles – alternate title sequences for the film under the titles “Island of Peversion” and “Devils of Mykonos”.
Island Sounds – five original tracks from the Island of Death soundtrack
Original Theatrical Trailer – a trailer for the film, under one of its alternate titles “Cruel Destination”.
These can be found on both the BD and DVD. However the following 2 features are on the BD ONLY…
The Films of Nico Mastorakis (2hrs:40m) – A four-part documentary, narrated by Masterakis himself, charting the his filmmaking career. Looking at the making of all his films, including my favourite “Nightmare at Noon”, featuring clips and behind the scenes footage from his movies, including on set interviews wirth the cast and crew.
Nico Mastorakis Trailer Reel (38mins) –  12 trailers of the directors other movies.
The case also contains a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and a fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by academic and film historian Johnny Walker.
It is worth noting that this release unfortunately does NOT include the directors commentary track that was on Arrow’s previous DVD release, which had also featured on the old US disc.
The film is presented in its original 4:3 filmed aspect ratio and features its original UK “Island of Death” title sequence, complete with clicking camera shutter sounds. Unlike previous releases, which had newly generated titles playing over one of the songs from the soundtrack.
This is one of those films that tries to be shocking, but ultimately comes across as hilariously bad. Indeed, I’ve always found it to be hysterically funny and I’m sure cult movie fans will agree. This latest BD/DVD release from Arrow is arguably worth purchasing just for the 4-part documentary about Mastorakis films alone. The only minor downside being lack of audio commentary track. But aside from that, if you’re looking at picking this up, then this version is very much worthwhile.
Buy the UK DVD from

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