Island of Death (1978)


I have a growing respect for Jess Franco. Some of his stuff is rather clever. But to my mind, this is much better. It doesn’t suffer from that Spanish notion of the scowling bigbreasted vamp. And it has some moody photography when it is not busy “shocking” us.

How this is put together is very much in the vein of the general reflexiveness that swept the entire film world in the early 70’s. This is an exploitation picture that features a pair that take exploitation pictures. Edits in this film often have the “click” of the photo so you can get the fold. The quality of the photography (of the film anyway) is quite good.

The pair represent the deepest of sexual taboos while judging those of other taboos. The undoing of the story is a story in a book, central to the plot. The killings are as incidental as effects in your typical summer movie.

The filmmaker/writer (who is on the island making a crime story) appears in the film as a novelist doing a story about crime. He’s the one who tells. The book makes an appearance at the end as the final curse.

Posted in 2004

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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