This is a review I submitted to the IMDb on June 14, 2006 ...
Let's Hear It For Richard Harrison!! :-D,
14 June 2006 3/10
Author: Steven Nyland (Squonkamatic) from Syracuse, NY USA
I actually did check the IMDb's info page for this movie after thinking to myself, "You know, that schlemiel with the bald spot looks damn familiar" -- It's Richard Harrison!! The guy was playing beefanoid Gladiators in Peplum quickies 20 years before this movie was made. LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE HOME TEAM!!
The film also is a sort of strange example of the double standard that men & women face when encountering middle age: Middle aged men are expected to fawn over & paw at any 20 year old strumpet that crosses his path. "It is the pursuit of youth that keeps us young" or something like that. Nothing wrong with a 45 year old guy having a thing for college girls -- even Maureen Dowd has commented on the "biological accommodations" afforded to September/May romances. Forty year old guys with power/money/fame are drawn not to their equals for mates, but to those in what might be called a subservient position -- their caterers, personal assistants, secretaries or maids. Harrison looks perfectly natural (though a bit tired) deflowering his wife's native tribal girl lust-thang, then pulling the wife onto the bed also to menage the trois, so to speak. And after wards he proves a satisfactory lover for the first time in their marriage, endowed with the power of having claimed the young voodoo baby.
Susan Scott as the wife, however, looks too old and pre-occupied to be stirring up forbidden carnal lust with an island cutie half (or less) her age, and absolutely preposterous as a vampish harlot picking up younger guys at a hotel bar for meaningless sex. It's not that she's unattractive -- her bod was still in great shape and she has the whole Hot Mom look down just right when clad in nigh but a wet cotton sun dress. The problem is that the role of a woman that age is not to be a predatory promiscuous harlot. If she had been ten years younger she could have pulled it off, but in terms of the plot in hand her quest for voodoo lust is somewhat absurd. Not that women in their 40s can't be sex mad hussies, it's just that in terms of societal roles it's out of place. That Harrison was probably a few years older than her underscores the dynamic. It may not be fair but it's true: She's too old for the part, and Harrison is able to swing on a vine like Tarzan still, even if his character comes across as a bit of a lout.
Sexual politics aside, the film also has a strange sense of xenophobia to it's message of "Don't mix with the natives or you may get exactly what you want", with a twist ending that is a let down only because it seems to prey on racial sensitivities about Anglos and Caribes interacting. Then again, these quirks hold out what the film actually exists for, which was to entertain & titillate white European males with steamy tropical sex fantasies. Don't be fooled into thinking it's a horror film for sure, but if you're curious about Italian exploitation cinema from the early 1980's this is one of the better examples that doesn't involve overtly graphic violence. And once you get around the fact that Ms. Scott is about 10 years too old for the role it's not a unwatchable romance gone bad drama, even if it is a lousy movie. But it's NOT a horror film.
3/10 for proving Maureen Dowd right.
Another Joe D'Amato classic filmed during his Caribbean series. Orgasmo Nero aka Voodoo Baby. This is one of my personal favorites by D'Amato. I have like 33 of his movies and hope to one day to be able to make films like him.
Does any one have a cover for this movie? All I can find are small ones. B)