Many of the titles on the UK video nasty list – a rundown of random sleaze and horror titles, collated in the UK in the mid-80s, that was for the censorious a collection of beyond the pale pornography that the general population needed protection from but which then became a shopping list for freedom loving cult movie fans – contains many titles that, viewed through a contemporary filter, seem laughably tame by todays standards.
It’s certainly hard to fathom why many of the amateurish US slashers that made the cut (pun intended) deserved a place, unless it was to protect the innocent from blurred, badly edited timewasting.
Certain titles, it could be argued, deserved their place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating censorship, I’m just saying that, if you were of the mindset that thinks censorship is a social good, then it would be a whole lot easier to be offended by Cannibal Ferox as opposed to The Werewolf and the Yeti. Island of Death is a film that falls firmly in the former camp (See lasts weeks post: AN EXPLOITATION WEAPON) containing as it does, a checklist of rape, homosexual stereotypes, bestiality, murder, water sports and sleaze.
Arrow Video now bring this strange and unique Greek take on 70s exploitation to the UK in it’s full uncut version and when it’s viewed in full, the audacity of the producers vision is laid bare. Other exploitation hacks produced films to an offensive formula but few did so with such verve and deliberate malice aforethought. For those old enough to be touched by the controversy surrounding video violence in the 80s, being able to buy this film legally is something to celebrate. For horror and grindhouse fans everywhere, the new edition resurrects a film that, like so many other films of it’s type and era, couldn’t be made now, except by a director wearing special irony glasses.