While I knew the late great Joe D’Amato was a prolific purveyor of exploitation filth, what I didn’t know that he would use his powers of exploitation to push the occasional cause here and there. Joe was an environmentalist even before environmentalism was cool. At least that’s what I’m going to take from one his lesser known exploitation joints ‘Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals’ because the truth of the matter is there isn’t much more than that to take from this flick.
This movie breaks the previous record, one probably set by D’Amato himself, for the time the movie starts to the time you see a titty in that it takes zero seconds for this to happen. Before the credits even roll Papaya (Melissa Chimenti) is walking out from the sea naked on her way to visit some drugged out dude in a shack. It seems that Papaya has a mystical magical cooch that puts men in a dazed Papaya needy stupor as this guy is completely out of it just begging Papaya to show him some love. First Papaya rubs mango all over his crotch, which is damned messy, but considering the next thing she did was chomp his dick off… the messy mango didn’t seem so bad anymore.
Why did Papaya bite this cat’s dick off? Well for no reason really because her co-horts went to the hut and burned it to the ground afterwards which they could’ve done without Papaya biting this guys dick off but there you go.
Turns out this guy was a geologist working with our male lead Vincent (Maurice Poli) to build a nuclear reactor on this pristine tropical island. Vincent would run into super voluptuous reporter Sara (Sirpa Lane) and once Vincent informs Sara that his wife is out town it’s time for sex. At least it was time for sex until Sara finds that guy with the bit off dick all burnt up in Vincent’s chateau.
Now it seems we have a mystery on our hands as Vincent has lost a few geologists by suspicious means in the last few months. Hmmmm…. Eventually Papaya makes the acquaintance of Vincent and Sara and invites them to some annual pagan ritual her
people do every year, which of course they shouldn’t go to, but they do anyway. This ritual features these idiots drinking some odd beverage they were given, watching a bunch of natives dance naked and then watching some poor white guy get his heart eaten. What this has to do with nuclear reactors I can’t really tell you, but we do see that Vincent has now been infected by Papaya’s mystical cooch. Sara tries to warn Vincent that something is up, but for the first time in Vincent’s life he’s happy. And dead. Sorry, that’s a spoiler but he’s totally dead. Done in by the cooch.
Sara for her part has started having sex on the beach with some black guy who is the leader of this nuclear reactor resistance who also happens to be Papaya’s man which doesn’t make Papaya happy. Sara, as it turns out, is in possession of a very flexible moral code. Then Papaya and Sara have sex which doesn’t make the leader dude happy for some reason. Sara doesn’t care who gets mad as long as somebody somewhere is doing her. Can’t be mad at that. Sara is now part of the mystical cooch power plant resistance. It’s complicated.
First let’s talk about the title ‘Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals’. The original title, more or less, was ‘Caribbean Papaya’ which makes a lot more sense because there wasn’t an awful lot of cannibalism going on in this movie but I imagine based on the ‘success’ of D’Amato’s ‘Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals’ they decided the cannibal angle was the best route of action for this one. For the most part this movie consisted of a lot of us watching people walking around. Seriously, while Vincent and Sara were looking for this pagan orgy they had to be walking around this dusty town for a good twenty minutes or so. Then we had to watch Sara walk around town while running from some crazed Dominican children for what seemed like forever, in addition to watching people drive or walk or talk about nothing, this one was a pretty boring D’Amato feature. Even the sleaze was fairly light, at least considering the director’s pedigree. I mean it was still pretty sleazy, but not as sleazy as say D’Amato’s ‘Caligula the Untold Story’ for instance.
Then there was our star Melissa Chimenti. She’s tall, has an amazing slender figure, perfect bronzed skin and long black curly hair… but yet… There’s something about that girl that I can’t quite put my finger on that kind of spoiled the whole magical cooch angle. But then that’s just me.
D’Amato has made way worst movies than this one and we do appreciate that this one did try to have some semblance of a narrative, no matter how sketchy it might’ve been, but if my man wanted to substitute more crazy orgy dancing for people walking around dusty towns I wouldn’t have been mad at him for doing it.