A couple travels to a Greek island to “escape” from a past that was bothering them. Taking pictures of everything, they admire the beautiful surroundings and take in the culture. Slowly they find that people who divulge into perverse acts that go against God will on the gorgeous island. Christopher, the husband starts slowly killing anyone that sins, and uses his wife Cilia as a catalyst for murder.
Soon their past catches up to them as an investigator from England tracks them down for crimes of murder they had committed there as well. Christopher and Cilia know they are in trouble, but what is one investigator going to do when there are so many sins being committed.
First of all I will say that I think the case offers false advertisement, as this is definitely not one of the most disturbing movies of all time. Second of all this was a good little movie as it showed the psyche of a man who loathes evil, and comforts love. Earlier in the review I said for the time it is disturbing, and I say this in comparison to such films as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Exorcist”. While both of those are good films, they are not perceived now to be as scary or graphic as they were in their time. “Island of Death”; is in the same boat as those films, but it was more disturbing in that time (1978) and here is why. The film covers topics of homosexuality, homophobia, drugs, bestiality, incest, religion, and rape. To cover the topic of homosexuality in 1978 is a bit ahead of its time as it was very much a taboo, and is still to this day, though it has become more received.
For a film made solely for money, it kind of stuck a nerve with audiences and critics for its audacity to depict such horrible images. The film didn’t strike a nerve with me though, and I did not find it remotely perverse as I have seen all those things before in films like “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Devil’s Experiment”. Personally, out of those films, I found “Devil’s Experiment” to be a horrendous movie that just was unnecessarily graphic. With “Island” I found the gore mediocre, and the things that are called awful just passé as many films I had seen before this copy that same type of violence usage. Except for the bestiality, I found that to be unsettling as a man ass raping a baby goat is just immoral.
Now after lampooning the film for false advertisement, is there anything worthwhile in this film? I say yes because as not only a cultural reference, but it was a good movie as it was innovative and poetic. The film reminded me of “Boondock Saints” because the couple went around killing people who had committed sins against God. The bottom line is this; if you are looking for a film that disturbs you, and makes you want to turn on “I Spit On Your Grave.” If you want a film that is a small piece of exploitation history then this is your film.