Nico Mastorakis’ The Wind

It’s a working holiday for best-selling writer Sian Anderson as she isolates herself in “a two-thousand-year-old town” on the Greek island of Monemvasia, leaving her boyfriend John in Los Angeles and taking her electronic typewriter to work on her latest thriller in undistracted seclusion.

“The wind can be very dangerous at this time of the year” warns her eccentric host, elderly English ex-patriot Elias Appleby, who shows her around the island and to the apartment before returning to the comfort of the city, leaving Sian to her develop her plot and characters with the help of handyman Phil should she need him.

With no mains electricity, few locals around in off-season and no grasp of the native language, Sian should be able to immerse herself, but her mind accustomed to murder and plots she is naturally suspicious when she sees Phil digging in the grounds late at night, burying what seems to be the body of Mr Appleby.

Released straight to video in 1986 under various titles, including The Edge of Terror and Terror’s Edge, for its Blu-ray debut The Wind has been restored for Arrow from a 4K scan of the original negative approved by writer/director Nico Mastorakis who also provides a commentary, but aside from the rapturous setting of Mastorakis’ homeland it is a sub-par thriller whose cast are far superior to the script they are given.

As Sian, The Lords of Salem‘s Meg Foster spends a great deal of time talking to herself, wasted in a film which is a lame one-trick pony, although Rubber‘s Wings Hauser is convincing as the not-particularly competent psychopath attempting to gain access to the house, a game of cat and mouse in a single setting where the greatest threat seems to be the wind machine blowing dust in their eyes.

With Theatre of Blood’s Robert Morley barely more than a cameo as Appleby and LifeForce’s Steve Railsback acting like he is part of an entirely different film as Kesner, the stranded American fisherman who comes to Sian’s aid, The Watcher in the Woods‘ David McCallum quite literally phones in his performance, sitting on the side of the pool in Los Angeles and periodically checking in on what is happening in the Mediterranean.

Even as an airport paperback hack, Sian (oddly named Sean Anderson on both a magazine cover and a publicity poster in the opening scene) needs to be interesting and innovative to convince as a hit thriller writer, yet while other films of the same period featuring writers such as Deathtrap and House of Long Shadows are built around the twists and reversals The Wind is disappointingly linear.

Best seen as a showcase for the unspoiled beauty of the ancient Greek islands, their harsh geology and traditional architecture, even if filtered through the gaze of a rock video, all smoke machines and floodlights, about the best that can be said about The Wind is that it is more restrained than Mastorakis’ deranged debut Island of Death, though that is not always to its advantage.

The Wind is available on Blu-ray from Arrow from Monday 13th April

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