Greece’s film industry has had its ups and downs. Several times during wars and regime changes, the industry has had to flee and work in other countries. The golden years of the industry (1950s to the 1960s) saw a ton of film noir like crime films flood the market. The horror genre didn’t really start until the 1970’s. There were already several thrillers being made but filmmaker Nico Mastorakis tried to outdo the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Island of Death, a film about a man and a woman terrorizing a small Greek island. More recently in 2005 Greece finally had their first zombie movie, Evil, hit the screens. It’s pretty mediocre but it was successful enough to produce a sequel in 2009.
Today’s pick is one of the many giallo like thrillers that Greece produced in the 1970’s. Death Kiss from 1976 is a twisted story about a husband who wants to kill his wife so he can inherit her fortune and then run off with his mistress. To accomplish this he enlists his friend who just happens to be a serial rapist / killer. The killer has other twisted plans and suspects his buddy of double-crossing him. What entails is a complicated twisted thriller.
Director Kostas Karagiannis followed up the film with another horror movie but this one isn’t nearly as good. In fact it’s pretty bad. Land of the Minotaur somehow managed to star Donald Pleasence and Peter Cushing but clearly they made the film for the paycheck.The plot revolves around a cult that is sacrificing young people to their minotaur god. It’s not just bad, even worse it’s dull. Still there are some decent thrillers out there, it’s just a little difficult to find them.