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Tropic of Cancer (1972)
"Al tropico del cancro" (original title)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Anthony Steffen ...
Doctor Williams (as Antonio De Teffè)
Anita Strindberg ...
Grace Wright
Gabriele Tinti ...
Fred Wright
Umberto Raho ...
Philip
...
Garner
Gordon Felio
Kathryn Witt ...
Robin (as Kathie Witt)
Richard Osborne
Alfio Nicolosi ...
Peacock
Bob Lemoine
Pierre Richard Merceron
Fred Ade
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Plot Keywords:

giallo | sex | female nudity | erotica | See All (4) »

Genres:

Thriller | Horror

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Release Date:

30 September 1972 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Death in Haiti  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

The giallo meets the "black sexploitation" film
21 November 2007 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

This is a combination of an Italian giallo and "black sexploitation" film. The latter is not to be confused with American "blacksploitation" films since these films weren't trying to "exploit" a black urban audience but rather the myth of "primitive" black sexuality for the delectation of white audiences. The giallo locale here is shifted to "primitive" Haiti. The plot is almost a "McGuffin". It involves various grasping characters chasing after a new drug a friend (Gabriel Tinti) of the the two married, vacationing protagonists (Anita Strindberg and Anthony Stefens) has discovered. This drugs and voodoo plot is somewhat similar to the later Wes Craven movie "Serpent and the Rainbow", but this is nowhere near as good.

Atypical for this kind of "black sexploitation" this film doesn't have any real black female characters (other than the ones involved in the typical sub-"National Geographic" topless tribal dancing scenes). The interracial thrills are delivered primarily in couplings of black men and white women. The one featured prominently on the poster is a standing sex scene between Strindberg and a Haitain voodoo priest which is actually the climax of a bizarre dream sequence (right out of "Coffin Joe" movie)that is probably the most visually interesting sequence of the film if you can get by the casual racism. The other, more gratuitous, scenes involve the Haitian police chief and his white mistress, but since this particular character is surprisingly three-dimensional and "civilized", these scenes don't quite fit the usual mold either.

The problem isn't that this movie is especially exploitative or racist as these kind of films go, but that it is not particularly effective as a giallo either. Aside from the exotic locale, there is nothing very interesting here. Whatever her charms, Anita Strindberg was not a great actress, and it doesn't help that she's paired with a stiff like Steffens. Speaking of stiff though, the best performance is turned by Gabriel Tinti, the future "Mr. Laura Gemser", who's most famous for having an obligatory sex scene with that exploitation goddess in practically ever movie she ever made (whether he was otherwise in the movie or not). I'm sure all these actors had a nice Caribbean vacation, but the resulting movie is no great shakes I'm afraid.


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