5 user 11 critic

Tropic of Cancer (1972)

Al tropico del cancro (original title)
A couple who vacationing in Haiti happens to stumble upon an old doctor friend. Dr Steffen has cooked up a powerful new hallucinogenic drug and there are quite a few different parties interesting in acquiring the formula.


Giampaolo Lomi, Edoardo Mulargia (as Edward G. Muller)


Edoardo Mulargia (story), Anthony Steffen (story) (as Antonio de Teffè) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview:
Anthony Steffen ... Doctor Williams
Anita Strindberg ... Grace Wright
Gabriele Tinti ... Fred Wright
Umberto Raho ... Philip
Stelio Candelli Stelio Candelli ... Garner
Gordon Felio Gordon Felio ... Mr. Peacock
Kathryn Witt Kathryn Witt ... Robin (as Kathie Witt)
Richard Osborne Richard Osborne ... Crotz
Alfio Nicolosi Alfio Nicolosi ... Peacock
Bob Lemoine Bob Lemoine ... Inspector
Pierre Richard Merceron Pierre Richard Merceron ... Jean-Louis
Fred Ade Fred Ade ... Haitian drug dealer


A couple who vacationing in Haiti happens to stumble upon an old doctor friend. Dr Steffen has cooked up a powerful new hallucinogenic drug and there are quite a few different parties interesting in acquiring the formula.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Italy | Haiti



Release Date:

30 September 1972 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Death in Haiti See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(uncut) | (recut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

The giallo meets the "black sexploitation" film
21 November 2007 | by lazarilloSee 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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