4 March 2018



'Our lives hang by a delicate thread, but sometimes we can pull on that thread. It's exciting, isn't it?'

'Change your face and look like you're at a party.'

'You are so fucked-up.'

'New York ate them up...'

The title of this one is somewhat misleading as there are no islands whatsoever, beautiful or otherwise, in it. But the title is explained in the film as being a harmless and sad little bit of escapism and wishful thinking on the part of the lead character, who surely needs it if anyone does, God help her.

Luciana is the name of the protagonist. Extraordinarily, she's played by the lady director and writer of the film and, as she's exceptionally beautiful as well with razor-sharp cheekbones to die for, it's hard not to be a teensy-weensy bit jealous of her, lol. You wouldn't envy Luciana her difficult and traumatic existence, however.

Luciana is an Eastern European immigrant who has come to New York to escape her tragic past and to try and make a new start for herself. There's no harm in dreaming big, indeed it's recommended, but the Big Apple is a notoriously hard city for a woman on her own to make it in. Luciana seems to be dirt-poor, as well, which doesn't help.

She doesn't have the money for the rent on her shitty apartment-share with a compassion-less bitch of another woman. How do I know that the unseen other tenant is a woman? Because no man ever had the mental or physical energy-slash-pettiness for labelling every single item of food in the refrigerator with post-it notes saying 'NOT YOURS!!!,' that's why. What a proper bitch.

The apartment is no great shakes, either. There's this truly memorable but horrific scene of Luciana in the bath when something happens that would curdle most peoples' blood. Luciana's reaction is strangely numbed, however. 

Me, I'd have been out of there screaming blue bloody murder, lol. I'm very queasy about things like that. And you're very vulnerable when you're wet and naked in your bathroom, if Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO (1960) has taught us anything.

Luciana does the shitty jobs in life that no-one else wants to do. She babysits or au pairs for some truly horrible over-privileged American kids who treat her like the shit on their shoe, so no doubt the parents aren't exactly nice to her either.

She also works as a promotions girl, dressed demeaningly as a slutty chicken in a short dress and high heels, out on the streets and telling passers-by that this chicken she's promoting is 'the best chicken in the Big Apple.' She does this with another beautiful Eastern woman called Olga.

When they've clocked off for the day, Olga tells Luciana that she can make a whopping two thousand dollars by acting as a sort of party escort for the night at an address across town. All she'll need is a little black dress, a pair of high heels and her own natural beauty.

Luciana is a little sceptical at the seeming easiness of the job but she can't afford to turn down the chance of such big money. She might be made homeless now at any time. Suitably attired, she takes a cab to the address she's been given.

There, an angry Chinese man gives her a locked- yes, locked, it's got a padlock on it!- purse and sends her to a second address, a seemingly abandoned warehouse across town.

Luciana pushes on the door of this deserted-looking building and it opens. Though she doesn't realise it yet, the terrifying game in which her conniving friend Olga has involved her has just begun. She'll literally be lucky to escape this place of torment with her life, never mind her two thousand smackeroos...

Aha, so you're intrigued, are you? Lol. You can think about this as much as you like, you can think of the worst thing you can think of that might happen to a beautiful but friendless and impoverished Eastern European immigrant woman at the hands of super-rich and perverted-as-f**k businessmen (and women!), but you still won't have figured it out. Unless you've got the mind of a real Marquis de Sade-type, lol.

The bouncer looks like Jack Nicholson a bit and I was absolutely convinced that the Madam was played by Catherine Zeta Jones, fresh from her recent stint as the still-living Olivia De Havilland in FEUD. It wasn't her, anyway, but it looked a lot like her.

MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND conveys its sad and infinitely disturbing message perfectly adequately in eighty minutes. It gets in, does the job and gets out again. Unlike most tradesmen I know, haha. And boyfriends. Sigh. If only they were that efficient.

It's a fantastic and chillingly effective watch and I confess that I cannot wait to see what this lady, the gorgeously-named- and gorgeous- Ana Asensio does next. She'll have trouble topping this one, though. Place your bets now, ladies and gentlemen, please. Place your bets...

MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND is available to buy now on Digital HD, Blu-Ray and DVD from BULLDOG FILM DISTRIBUTION.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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