IMDb > Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals (1978)

Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals (1978) More at IMDbPro »Papaya dei Caraibi (original title)


Meet Papaya (Melissa Chimenti), voodoo priestess, sex siren, eco-activist, blood crazed cannibal and the star of director Joe D’Amato’s sexploitation classic, The Love Goddess Of The Cannibals, coming to DVD in June 2010 is a specially presented ‘Rebuild’ version courtesy of Shameless Screen Entertainment.

When big business geologists threaten her people and their ancestral lands with their plans to build a nuclear reactor, it’s up to Papaya to seduce and then kill those who threaten her ancient way of life.

Enter Sara (played by Finnish sex symbol, Sirpa Lane, star of Walerian Borowczyk’s art-porn classic ‘The Beast’);, a beautiful journalist hungry for a lead, who soon will be sucked into Papaya’s deadly vortex of perverse, violent carnality.
In a riot of bloody mutilation, Sapphic lovemaking and tribal drumming, the Love Goddess of the Cannibals takes her victims on delirious trip into jungle sleaze and violated flesh via an orgy of sex and death.

The Love Goddess Of The Cannibals (cert. 18) will be released on DVD (£15.99) by Shameless Screen Entertainment on 28th June 2010.

Special Features include: Shameless ‘Rebuild’ version; alternate title sequences; theatrical trailers; Shameless trailers; reversible sleeve featuring original artwork; English and Italian audio options with optional English subtitles.


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Roberto Gandus (screenplay)
Renzo Maietto (adaptation)
View company contact information for Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1978 (Italy) See more »
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. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
OK, if you like this sort of thing See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)
Melissa Chimenti ... Papaya (as Melissa)
Sirpa Lane ... Sara
Maurice Poli ... Vincent
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dakar ... Ceremony Leader (uncredited)

Directed by
Joe D'Amato 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Roberto Gandus  screenplay
Renzo Maietto  adaptation

Produced by
Carlo Maietto .... producer
Original Music by
Stelvio Cipriani 
Cinematography by
Joe D'Amato  (as Aristide Massaccesi)
Film Editing by
Vincenzo Tomassi 
Production Design by
Mimmo Scavia 
Costume Design by
Mimmo Scavia 
Makeup Department
Marcello Di Paolo .... makeup artist
Production Management
Alessandro Di Luca .... unit manager
Ugo Valenti .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Donatella Donati .... assistant director
Art Department
Mario Ciccarella .... property master
Sound Department
Pietro Spadoni .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Gino Conversi .... assistant camera
Fernando Massaccesi .... chief electrician
Luciano Micheli .... key grip
Guglielmo Vincioni .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Franco Malvestiti .... assistant editor
Other crew
Aureliano Luppi .... script supervisor
Massimo Zaccariello .... cutting room assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Papaya dei Caraibi" - Italy (original title)
"Caribbean Papaya" - International (English title)
"Die of Pleasure" - Europe (English title)
See more »
86 min
Color (Telecolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Italy:VM18 | UK:18 | USA:Not Rated (Severin films DVD) | West Germany:18

Did You Know?

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


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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
OK, if you like this sort of thing, 2 December 2007
Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile

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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