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Annie Carol Edel
It must be said that, alongside Jess Franco, Joe D'Amato is one of the undisputed kings of exploitation. His films such as Anthropophagous, Beyond the Darkness, Images in a Convent, Caligula: The Untold Story and his sleaze-filled Black Emanuelle sagas are bona fide classicks of the "genre". Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals is one of his lesser known titles which has now been made available fully uncensored for the first time on DVD by the fine folks at Severin Films.
Maurice Poli (Rabid Dogs, Five Dolls for an August Moon) is part of a team of Geologists who, for reasons unexplained, are installing a nuclear reactor on a remote Caribbean island paradise. Before long Maurice unexpectedly bumps into his old reporter friend Sirpa Lane (La Bete) who just happens to be vacationing on the island. (Cue plenty of softcore sex as the old chums get reacquainted). When the couple picks up a hitchhiking native named Papaya, she tells them of an ancient annual ritual happening nearby and they decide to go along and check it out and end up getting much more than they bargained for.
Papaya opens with probably one of the best scenes in the film; island sexpot Papaya seduces a bearded Geologist in his hut by rubbing fruit on his body then castrates him with her teeth. This is the first of two scenes of cannibalism in the film. The rest of it is pretty much held together with an abundance of sex set against a picturesque tropical backdrop and a vague plot which involves the natives protesting against having a nuclear reactor built on their island by having Papaya seduce and kill all the Geologists involved.
The title of the film is very misleading and the name on the actual print is Caribbean Papaya which makes much more sense because as mentioned above there are only two very brief scenes of cannibalism, the aforementioned one and another which is during the cannibal ritual and involves the eating of a sacrificial victims heart and some dead pigs being graphically gutted.
One thing there is no lack of though is sex & nudity - Nordic sleaze princess Sirpa Lane gets her kit off plenty and so does Melissa Chimenti who plays local temptress Papaya and looks a little like transvestite actor/tress Ajita Wilson which can be either a good or bad thing I guess depending on your orientation. The sex can sometimes be pretty graphic for softcore and there's plenty of variety from interracial couplings to threesomes and even a full-blown "cannibal" orgy underscored with some irresistibly funky disco beats.
Ultimately I cant say this is a must-have D'Amato film; it's basically a mediocre softcore fare with some vague cannibalism themes thrown in for added shock value. For Sirpa Lane fan-boys and/or D'Amato completists only.
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