The Legend of "Island" Continues
One-man Greek exploitation factory Nico Mastorakis was still a newcomer at the height of the golden era of cinematic Island of Deathsex and violence when he made this oddball shocker, which still confounds most viewers and remains difficult to assess. ... [more...]
"... a mix of extreme elements that catapult it beyond its humble intentions into the realm of timeless cult classics.."
Although Greek filmmaker, producer, director, writer and all round B movie mogul Nico Mastorakis’s crazy cult film “Island of Death” definitely has a valid claim to the title of the most gloriously insane exploitation movie ever made... [more...]
"....it's almost like a comic book on film, in its satirical approach towards moral guardians and moral watchdogs..."
Given the prevalence of zealotry and intolerance in today’s world, Island of Death still feels remarkably ‘fresh’, if one can look past the garish 1970s fashions and recognise the rich vein of black humour that runs throughout the picture... [more...]
Absolutely nuts; often damn funny in dark, ridiculous, and terribly inappropriate ways --Film School Rejects one of the movies that sat proudly atop the UK s infamous Video Nasties banned list --Dread Central Highly recommended --Horror View... [more...]
The term “cult” is rarely (if ever) invoked in English-speaking film criticism in reference to Greek cinema. Nico Mastorakis’s boundary-pushing exploitation masterwork Island of Death (1976), is therefore somewhat of an anomaly. Heavily censored in all of the territories...[more...]
Island of Death was the second film in the prolific career of its writer-producer-director, Nico Mastorakis, who was inspired to make the picture after the commercial success... [more]
A cause célèbre of
the video nasty age
Film censorship in England is a study in changing tastes and morals, and a litmus test of political correctness. Sparking a moral panic in the eighties, when horror movies were making killers of our kids, the ‘video nasty’ list soon became the go-to guide for the discerning gore fan. Nico Mastorakis’ infamous Greek exploitation flick Island of Death has had an especially fraught history with the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification).
Like Mastorakis himself has said, the story behind a film is often more interesting than the movie itself.
Director Mastorakis, who was a major
player in Greek TV, became inspired to make
Island of Death after noticing the financial
success of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain
Saw Massacre. Given the film’s gritty
nastiness and hazy intensity, it’s logical
to assume that upping the violence and
perversity would rake in more cash, and
that’s just what Mastorakis did. The proto-
slasher was not only one of the earliest
attempts to mimic The Texas Chain Saw
Massacre, but one of the principal titles in
Greek exploitation cinema, and certainly the
After listing the most depraved sexual acts he could conceive, Mastorakis wrote the script in a week. The $35,000 budgetwas so low that he even had to take on therole of the novelist because the originalactor wanted more than the budget allowed.
Mastorakis has often gone on record to say that there was no artistic intention behind Island of Death and that it was a labour of financial lust, to afford him a prosperous filmmaking career. To that end, his feature debut was a roaring success; the controversial screen matter ensured its place on the video nasty list, courting notoriety and cementing its place in the cinematic pantheon.