Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Incontro nell'ultimo paradiso

Here's the pitch: An Umberto Lenzi movie with contributions from some of his other Cannibal Ferox collaborators including John Morghen (co-script) and Budy-Maglione (music). It sees two students holidaying in the Third World run afoul of gangsters, head into the wilderness, have their boat overturn at some rapids, and thus become lost in the jungle and at the mercy of the natives.

It sounds like something a gorehound / sicko would want to watch, particularly if they get off on – or don't mind – some real life animal snuff amongst the faked human on human stuff.

But, as it turns out, there is absolutely no real violence of either a human or animal nature, with the closest we get being a chimpanzee throwing coconuts at the bad guys.

What we get is a film that plays much like a self-conscious spoof of a cannibal film crossed with a female version of Tarzan of the Apes, not an original concept in itself, considering the likes of 1968's Samoa Queen of the Jungle, with none less than Edwige Fenech in the title role.

The scenes for the former are certainly there, but they just don't play out that way: There's stock footage of animals, but none of nature red in tooth and claw (or being set up to act that way by the filmmaker). There are threatening natives but they are never wronged enough to start extracting revenge, nor real cannibals.

Accordingly it is the latter aspect that dominates, with Sabrina Siana playing the jungle-raised young woman and providing the film's main attraction in (and out of) her skimpy costumes.

As a Lenzi film this is almost up there with the same year's Cicciabomba in terms of anonymity and lack of engagement.

Unlike that film there are at least some nice in jokes, like the students offering the natives a credit card which, of course, means nothing to them, in apparent reference to Cannibal Ferox.

And , again, there is Siani, rather than Rettore in a fat suit...

Still, this film can only be recommended to those who have already seen Lenzi's cannibal films and his gialli and poliziotteschi and war movies and Kriminal and Sandokan entries.

You get the idea and undoubtedly know who you are, if this is for you or (more likely) not...

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