Man from the Deep River, The / Il paese del sesso selvaggio (1972)

2.0 out of 5

A J and B fueled expedition up river conducted by Ivan Rassimov, here in possession of a perfect Bob Downe styled mop, leads to a nicely presented and pedicured tribe who when not slaughtering animals for the camera are taking exceedingly good care of their hair and swimming and spouting impenetrable ooga booga style gibberish for the sake of realism. However probably not involving a perfectly constructed cargo net and weaponry requiring contemporary industrial practices to produce steel would have gone a lot further along the road to lost tribe authenticity than having to needlessly saw the head off a live goat as actually happens in this film.

As the original cannibal movie this beautifully shot and scored Man Called Horse type affair is in essence a love story where Rassimov wins Me Me Lai in a game that involves her being blindfolded and getting her norks kneaded by tribesmen through a glory hole in a straw hut.

With far too much animal cruelty to be dismissed as harmless hokum and lacking any feel of authenticity of later genre entries Il paese del sesso selvaggio is simply a stylised retread of an already established theme with added pointless excess with the conflict between various strands of the movie from love story to exploitation failing to come together into anything that is likely to find an uncritical audience. The result, in it's attempt to be all things to all people, is a movie that is not likely to appeal to anyone in particular. It merely succeeds in making a love story that is no good as a date movie and nasty exploitation fare that is also way too soppy to satisfy.

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