Tropic of Cancer / Al tropico del cancro (1972)

2.0 out of 5

She-of-the-cheekbones Anita Strindberg and Anthony Steffen star in this giallo potboiler also known as Death in Haiti and absolutely nothing at all do with the famous novel by Henry Miller.

When an √©migr√© Doctor, Steffen, invents a new a drug, all manner of slimeballs come out of the woodwork for a piece of the action despite the fact that the side effects – which appear to be instant death and the recipient’s blood turning to water – seem to outweigh any possible medicinal or recreational benefits. One by one, anybody wanting to cash in on Steffen’s drug is despatched in a creative fashion by a black-leather-gloved assailant.

The direction, courtesy of Edoardo Mulargia and Gian Paolo Lomi often verges on incompetence – one would think that two directors could do a better job.

Frequently incoherent and nonsensical, there’s not a great deal to recommend this one aside from some good use of local colour, including some mondo-style original footage of Haitian voodoo rituals, and a great erotic dream sequence which brings to mind the opening of Strindberg-starring Fulci classic Lizard in a Woman’s Skin. There’s also an appropriately tropical-tinged soundtrack from king of lounge Piero Umiliani.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics