Snake God, The / Il dio serpente (1970)

3.0 out of 5

The Snake God is a slice of exotica erotica that plays to sexual fantasies of the primitive. As such, it seems to occupy the same area of film as so much of the work of Joe D'amato, especially films starring Laura Gemser. Much earlier than the likes of Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals and its ilk, the film seems to take I Walked With a Zombie as its starting point.

The strikingly beautiful black Jamaican actress and model Beryl Cunningham, who we learn is not a primitive but a teacher, provides the exotica angle and in this instance gets a bit more to do than her earlier roles of exotic dancer, maid, slave or stripper.

The cinematography is fine enough and sometimes gives the feature a feel like that of Jess Franco film of the era, albeit sans wild zoominess. This is provided by Mondo cane's Benito Frattari. Nevertheless, the film may be a little pedestrian at times in the plotting department and comes across a little like a good idea that is seeking a story. However, this would have been a good practice run for writers Ottavio Alessi and Piero Vivarelli who would continue to work in similar territory with the Black Emanuelle series.

It's not awful though. The score is wild, though overpowering, the locations great, and it is all far from being the worst example of this sort of film.

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