A group of friends and a hitchhiker become stranded on a tourist island where they are stalked by a disfigured cannibalistic killer who is prowling the island after killing its residents.A group of friends and a hitchhiker become stranded on a tourist island where they are stalked by a disfigured cannibalistic killer who is prowling the island after killing its residents.A group of friends and a hitchhiker become stranded on a tourist island where they are stalked by a disfigured cannibalistic killer who is prowling the island after killing its residents.
That's right I said I enjoyed it and judging by low scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, I think I'm in the minority.
The worst thing about this film is the soundtrack. To say it's dreadful would be doing an injustice to the term understatement. There are a couple of scenes where the music sets the mood perfectly... but it is only a couple. The rest of the time the audience is assailed with a manic Wurlitzer pianist - I actually had a vision of an old time theatre (back in the silent movie days) and a man, half-crossed between The Phantom Of The Opera and The Joker, going insane of the ebony and ivories... all it lacked was a maniacal laugh.
Apart from that what the writers Joe D'Amato (Director) and George Eastman (Actor) give the audience is a new take on both the Cannibal and Zombie legends, by giving you Nikos Karamanlis, a man turned beast who is something other than alive and with a penchant for human flesh. He acquired this evil and unnatural taste after he and his family were shipwrecked... when you're miles from anywhere and starving you have to eat.
This is so much better than his follow on movie Absurd, which also fell foul of the dreaded Video Nasty title and banning.
The acting is above average. Tisa Farrow (Mia Farrow's sister) who gave a well-disposed portrayal of Julie, a student on her way to a Greek island and summer job. Along with Saverio Vallone who gives an affable portrayal of Andy, the unheralded leader of the group, these two hold the film together. Even the mostly silent Eastman as The Beast does a decent job of being menacing and actually uses his size and facial features to add power and unease (wish he'd done the same in Absurd)
For the time the effects are more than passable, the only let down is Eastman's "Beast" face as it looks like somebody has spilt cold porridge over him. Most of the dead look nasty enough, with decaying skin and maggots writhing in eye sockets. The scene with the rats would have looked more realistic had they not covered a skeleton in spam... they could have added more blood to disguise the fact - go Herschell-Lewis on them.
One thing that did impress me is most of the scenes are shot in daylight and D'Amato still builds a sense of tension and unease. The scene where Arnold is looking for his pregnant wife Maggie and stumbles into a clearing by a ruinated abbey sent a shiver down my spine. You can actually feel something watching him.
There is more to this film than I originally thought and I would recommend it to all horror fans who haven't seen it yet. And I will be watching this again in the future.
- Apr 7, 2017