Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Eros + Massacre 3: Isle of the Cannibal Nymphs (1982)
Director: Stelvio Moriani
This lewd, badly acted, feebly dubbed exploitation/cannibal film and insult to the film world and world-at-large starts out with the youthful, brash and sexy Rebecca Davenport sunning herself in a bikini upon the rooftop of her Manhattan penthouse, financed no doubt by a combination of her rich daddy and an assortment of male cohorts Rebecca inevitably pounds whenever the mood strikes her. It is the afternoon of her twenty-fifth birthday and Rebecca has just graduated from New York’s finest college of journalism. Eager to make her mark with a grand entrance into the world of journalism, the ambitious, budding reporter visits the county library to do a bit of research before an evening of revelry with her beautiful yuppie friends at her upcoming birthday bash.
While using a microfiche to circulate through slides of old newspaper archives to see what happened in history on the date of her birth, Rebecca comes across a story about an American, David Hill, who traveled to Tahiti’s mysterious Isola del Paradiso and seemingly vanished into thin air. Further digging reveals that Isola del Paradiso is an impenetrable jungle island once populated with young nymphs, a once flourishing matriarchal society ruled by young women of irrepressible bisexual tendencies. The island is thought to have experienced an unknown catastrophic event that forced the natives into cannibalism, some sort of holocaust, although this is all only speculation as no outsider who has ventured to the island has ever managed to return to write its history. It is the common belief that the island is now abandoned. Believing that the island is indeed now deserted, Rebecca is struck with the idea that this is the story she was born to write, and she immediately resolves to pack her things and travel to Tahiti to unravel the events surrounding David Hill’s disappearance.
Despite her photographer boyfriend Mike’s attempts to talk her out of the decision, and against her friends’ and father’s wishes, Rebecca’s father begrudgingly agrees to finance the trip as he can’t say no to his “precious honey doll” (as he is fond of calling her). This ridiculous plot is accompanied by the grade-school level acting of Sunny Fontaine, who plays Rebecca Davenport, and Rusty DeAngelo who plays the strapping, blonde love interest Mike, quite possibly the worst acting pair in the history of film.
Upon landing in the Tahitian capital of Papeete, Rebecca finds her way to the tiki bar where David Hill was last seen 25 years ago. The English ex-pat bar owner, Lawrence, who has run the place since its beginnings, agrees to divulge what he remembers about David Hill, but only if Rebecca consents to accompany him to his boudoir later that evening, which Rebecca does without any apparent moral dilemma. What follows is one of the creepier sex scenes in all of cinema--it was only recently revealed that this love scene was added to the film by the director, Stelvio Moriani, as a favor to the actor who played Lawrence, the 64 year-old Headley Mince.
As agreed, Lawrence arranges a boat and a local Tahitian guide to take Rebecca to Isola de Paradiso despite warning her that David is surely long-gone and that the island is now inhabited by a cult of female cannibals. “No one has returned from that island, ya’ know, honey,” creeps Lawrence through his nicotine stained teeth. “But it’s abandoned now they say…” says Rebecca. “Heh heh, that’s what they say, is it? Heh heh…” retorts Lawrence. “If you go to that island little lassie, I tell ya, there’s no comin’ back. Not a chance your pretty little behind will make it through that thick jungle anyhow.”
Rebecca’s Tahitian guide, Tonga, agrees only to take her as far as Hiva Oa road, where he will drop her and return to Papeete. Tonga is later mangled in a terrifying scene where a bamboo stake trap completely severs his head, his still-screaming head falling into Rebecca’s lap. Rebecca miraculously survives the ordeal although a falling rock from the trap has given her a good knock to the head resulting in double vision that will cause her for the rest of the film to slip in and out of hazy hallucinations, although this device is nothing but an excuse for director Moriani to flash his cinematographic skills, which are laughably amateur to say the least.
Rebecca is left to traverse the jungle alone, with only an old, outdated map as her guide. The rumored impenetrably “thick jungle”, however, is not there, and it seems almost as if a path has been cleared only recently. This gives Rebecca hope that there may be people on the island that can aide her in her search. It is this ignorance displayed by the protagonist that infuriates the viewer to such an extent that it is impossible to buy into this asinine storyline, and we are at this point left rooting for a violent end to come to the Miss Davenport.
But it is here, however, deep in the jungles of Isola del Paradiso, where the story takes a dramatic and, dare I say, fascinating turn. Rebecca passes through the dense jungle via “her path”, one of the few thought provoking plot devices that renders the film at least marginally viewable. It is once through the brush and into the clearing that Miss Davenport sees objects unimaginable. Giant totems of cocks reaching up to 100 feet with girth the size of California Redwood tree trunks accompanied by huge, round boulders on each side, the left boulder always curiously slightly larger than the right. Such masterpieces of design rivaled those of the Colossus at Rhodes and must’ve taken decades to create by master builders she thought, while many of the carvings appeared quite fresh.
Passing the penis totems, Rebecca comes upon a serene, crystal clear sparkling pond with a gentle waterfall. She hears what she thinks is the sweet humming of female voices serenading the scene. Behind the pond is a large temple atop the mountain. It is with all of this that Rebecca has failed to notice that she’s since been surrounded by hundreds of stunning young nymphs, wearing only tiny fig leaves to cover their female genitalia (though parts of the genitalia are still visible). Rebecca is immediately taken prisoner and led to a chamber in the basement of the temple. She is yet unharmed and after a few hours, a young woman enters the chamber with a bowl of hot green soup. Not having eaten all day, Rebecca ravages the tasty meal, is soon overcome with fatigue and falls into a deep psychedelic sleep. When she awakes hours later, she finds her chamber filled with dozens of beautiful nymphs making love to one another. Rebecca is surprised to find several nymphs sucking from her breasts and another conducting some sort of research between her legs. But still overcome with such fatigue and a combination of hazy hallucinations from the falling rock and the green soup, Rebecca hardly notices, nor minds, given the appearance of the lovely nymphs.
Rebecca is given more and more soup and the lesbian bacchanalia continues unabated for several days with only 8 hours given for rest and meals in between. The orgy alternates between sweet, gentle kissing and caressing of breasts, to full-on pounding with massive plaster-casted dildos made from an silicon-like element native only to the island. Rebecca has never experienced such ecstasy, not even with her photographer boyfriend Mike. At last count she’d had 944 orgasms in the last three days. Rebecca found that the only way to keep her sanity and remain rooted in reality was to keep count of her climaxes.
Then, without warning, the orgy is called off with the sound of a flugelhorn. Two fresh nymphs lead Rebecca, who was mid-climax, to the throne of Princess Matahina, the daughter of Queen Matahina, who overthrew her own mother in a bloody coup. As cruel and merciless as Queen Matahina was, there was never a more bloodthirsty, perverted, warped and depraved human-being in all of history than Princess Matahina. Rebecca, exhausted, shackled and kneeling before the Princess demands to know what they want with her. Ever mindful of her journalistic intentions, she also wants to know what became of David Hill and whose penises all those plaster-casted dildos were made from. Princess Matahina is only too proud to relate the tale to Rebecca. “Well, perhaps we shall give you a little tour,” says the princess.
From there Rebecca is led to a stable where hundreds of men are being kept in bondage, force-fed leaves and green soup and being pounded furiously by the nymphs. “What is the meaning of this?” asks Rebecca, horrified.
“You wanted to know about David Hill? These are his children,” replies one of the nymphs.
“All of them?” asks Rebecca.
“Yes, all of them.”
“But where is David? Is he still alive?” Rebecca’s question is met with a hasty turning away as the young and voluptuous nymph seems highly annoyed by the question.
“What is the meaning of this? Why are these men being pounded so furiously?” asks Rebecca.
“Breeding”, replies the nymph.
“Breeding? Breeding for what? What will become of all these men after they have satisfied their breeding purpose?”
“For the answer to that, you must visit the the dwelling.”
“The dwelling? What’s in the dwelling?”
The final 30 minutes of the film is the reason for Eros+Massacre 3 receiving a XXX rating and why it has been banned in 239 countries. The carnage associated with the final segment of the film is what has made it legendary and vaulted it into cult status in the cannibal film genre. In sum, Rebecca is taken to ‘the dwelling’ where she is shown horrific scenes of torture, like bloodletting, decapitation and the frenzied eating of human flesh and genitalia. The rumors of cannibalism on the island are indeed fact, and no one, not even Rebecca Davenport, will ever leave Isola del Paradiso to tell the tale.
Though the film as a whole barely holds together as a coherent plot, and much of its 129 minute run time is devoted to gratuitous lesbian sex and cannibalistic feeding frenzies, the picture is saved by an unparalleled soundtrack that masterfully carries the viewer though the mood changes and shifting narrative. A D- film with an A+ soundtrack.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Currently doing my '100 Spaghettis Project', that is, the watching of 100 Italian Westerns over a few-month span (I'm at #54--a top 100 list will be published here of course).
All the while I've been voraciously digging into the soundtracks of the respective films seen, and these mixes reflect that endeavor.