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Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals (1978)
"Papaya dei Caraibi" (original title)

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A team of geologists attempt to remove a native cannibal population from an island to perform atomic research, but the cannibals' female leader disposes of them one by one by seduction.



(screenplay), (adaptation)
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Cast overview:
Melissa Chimenti ...
Papaya (as Melissa)
Sirpa Lane ...
Maurice Poli ...


A team of geologists attempt to remove a native cannibal population from an island to perform atomic research, but the cannibals' female leader disposes of them one by one by seduction.

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Release Date:

16 November 1978 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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German Import DVD has a Super-8mm Version (German language only), as a special feature on the disc. See more »

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User Reviews

OK, if you like this sort of thing
2 December 2007 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

Even though Italy was never much of colonial power, Italian exploitation filmmakers of the 60's and 70's seemed to really be trying to make up for lost time in exploiting the Third World; from the Mondo films of the 1960's to the gut-churning cannibal films of the early 80's, you just couldn't keep these guys out of the jungle. Since this was also the period of the rise of the sex film, it was almost inevitable that there would be an Italian genre of "black sexploitation" or "Third World sexploitation' films. These films are kind of erotic travelogues where a white European tourist couple "go native", usually after being seduced by a native woman. They engage in ritualistic dancing, they eat raw meat, they have a lot of interracial and bisexual sex (which is apparently what Italian exploitation filmmakers thought people in the Third World did all day). The most famous of these films is "Black Emanuelle" with Laura Gemser, but the most famous filmmaker is Joe D'Amato who eventually took over the "Black Emanuelle" series and added such wonderfully descriptive titles as "Black Orgasm" and "Porno Holocaust".

D'Amato had two things going for him. He was an excellent cinematographer, so his films always look far better than just about any other porno "product", softcore or hardcore. He also had an appalling lack of good taste. While there is some metaphoric connection between sex and cannibalism (i.e. "devouring one's lover"), there is literally nothing erotic about cannibalism (unless you're some weird bastard living in Wisconsin or a village in Germany). What D'Amato was trying to do was incorporate two kinds of illicit thrills that don't really go together that well. There are some hot sex scenes here, for instance, but it's hard to enjoy them after the very first one culminates VERY unpleasantly in a scene of cannibalism (well, maybe not technically cannibalism since she DOES spit it out). On the other hand though, people watching this as cannibal film will probably be bored stupid with all this gratuitous sex after the opening scene.

The acting is pretty unremarkable. The exotic lead who seduces the European couple is pretty sexy I guess, but looks a lot more Latin than black. The white female is played by a Sirpa Lane who was in the famous Walerian Borzyx cult film "The Beast", and managed to turn in an atrocious performance even though she had no dialogue. She is not even really that attractive until she takes off her clothes (which she fortunately does very regularly). As for the guy, well the guy hardly matters in movies like this, does he? The plot involves the native woman, "Papaya", who as part of some kind of anti-colonial hostility is seducing and murdering every white man she meets. For some reason though when she meets this couple, she decides to take the woman on as a kind of apprentice. The ending is kind of, uh, interesting, but I won't give it away. This is OK I guess if you like this sort of thing.

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