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  Love Goddess of the Cannibals Typically Tropical
Year: 1978
Director: Joe D'Amato
Stars: Melissa Chimenti, Sirpa Lane, Maurice Poli
Genre: Sex, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Papaya (Melissa Chimenti) walks in from swimming in the sea on her island home and does a spot of sunbathing before retiring to her beach hut where the man who thinks he is her lover is waiting, exhausted but glad to see her. He calls out to her and she disrobes, but he doesn't know there are two of Papaya's associates hanging around outside, so when he and the young woman make love he is not aware of his eventual fate. For him, he was simply an executive as part of the project to bring a nuclear power plant to the island, but he might as well forget about that as Papaya bites off his manhood and leaves the two men outside to burn down the hut...

Well, that's an arresting way to start off your film, but we shouldn't have been too surprised after seeing the name Joe D'Amato show up in the opening credits. Still a name to reckon with amongst sleaze aficionados, he would often include horror elements along with his softcore porn (and hardcore porn, for that matter), and so it is with Love Goddess of the Cannibals, which also went under the less descriptive name Caribbean Papaya (or Papaya dei Caraibi in its original Italian). But if you've heard this is a horror movie, then you may well be disappointed, because it appeared as if the shocking side of things was not so much on Joe's mind here.

Though a lot of wandering about was. There's so much of the actors walking around the rather impoverished-looking island in this that you wonder if D'Amato would have preferred making a hiking documentary instead of the mix of thriller and sex that he ostensibly conjured up here. Our main character is not Papaya, but Sarah (lower division European sexpot Sirpa Lane, who met a sad end when she died of AIDS in the late nineties), who is a journalist there to report on the new nuclear power plant which has been planned for this location. Trouble is, there are locals unhappy with the potentially polluting idea.

Sarah doesn't latch onto this aspect until the film is nearly over, leaving her doing that wandering along with one of those power company officials, her friend Vincent (Maurice Poli). He seems to want to get to know her better, but his hopes for the evening when he meets up with her after a spot of cockfighting (which Sarah is very enthusiastic about) are foiled when the body of the bloke we saw killed at the beginning shows up in his beach house. Nothing like the discovery of a dead body to put a damper on that night of passion you were aspiring to. Anyway, the police are called, Vincent is baffled, and to make up for the shock the couple head off to the fiesta the next day.

On the way they meet Papaya, who Sarah recognises as her maid at the hotel, and they give her a lift after an introduction which has Sarah observe "Papaya, what a funny name!" to which Papaya returns the compliment by pointing out "Sarah, what a funny name!" You might have to stop watching the film at this point to recover from the fits of hysterical laughter you find yourself in. Anyhoo, one thing leads to another, Sarah and Vince witness a native cermony which includes one instance of cannibalism but not really enough to make you think you're seeing an all-out people eating flick, and Vince ends up falling in love with the exotic island girl. Well, you can see where that is heading, although there is an understanding reached between Sarah and Papaya which translates into a lengthy and climactic lesbian sex sequence including sunkissed frolicking on the beach. At least someone was happy - the moral being, don't go nuclear on unspoilt island paradises. Music by Stelvio Cipriani.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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