Island of Death
directed by Nico Mastorakis
starring Robert Behling and Jane Lyle
Omega Pictures / Arrow Films
For a Brit, Christopher (Robert Behling) sure sounds American. His girlfriend Celia (Jane Lyle) sounds more British, but either way they are off to Mykonos for a weekend of vengeance and sex. Christopher relies on the word of God to justify the murder; Celia is sort of along for the ride. And the Greek police? Half a dozen dead bodies only produce one lost-looking American detective Foster (Gerard Gonalons) with an Afro and not much hope. Their M.O. is consistent: One or the other has sex with the victim while the other photographs, then they find a brutal yet creative method of torture and death. The artist is crucified, the gays are sliced with broadswords, the older Cougar is drowned in pee, Foster is dropped from a light aircraft; and one thinks it odd a black man is being lynched at 1500 feet.
There’s death and then there’s sex; R rated sex with boobs and butts and no actual genitalia, but the breasts are filmed in a loving slow mo that goes a bit beyond a gratuitous. The murders are straightforward and not that horrific, I’d would compare them to Vincent Price in Theatre of Blood. While Behling maintains an air of quiet menace his invocation of Christin morals justifying the murders jars. He’s not paying much attention to the sixth commandment himself, and when he applies it to others their failing are insufficient to justify breaking the fifth commandment. Ms. Lyle is cute yet equally as brutal, but half way along she starts to have doubts and wants out. It’s a nice touch, but she still keeps up the photo documentation process and I wonder: did they bring an entire dark room along? They produce an awful pile of glossy 8 x 11 incriminating evidence in there tranquil bed and breakfast.
This 1976 film was floating around as a pricey bootleg, and when director Nico Mastorakis found out he did the sensible thing: Rather than invoke the wrath of the MPAA on Bit Torrent he re-released this as a very crisp and sharp looking Blu-ray packed with interviews and features and other fan friendly material. And sold it for a reasonable price. That’s what we all want out here: a reasonable way to get high quality copies of whatever fetish or fantasy film we recall from ages ago or the pages of Fangoria. This is sex and horror, but delivered with a European flare that says: “It’s fine to stare at her tits. And it’s fine to watch him pound nails into the other guy. It’s all for…ART.” Or money.