Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals (1978)

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PLOT– An international energy conglomerate decides to build a nuclear reactor on a tiny Caribbean island nation. They send one of their scientists to oversee the construction. However, he meets the local temptress named Papaya. She takes him to a beach hut, undresses, bites off his man-parts, burns him alive, and gets a job at the local hotel. Not knowing what has become of their scientist, the energy company sends another one named Vincent. He immediately attends a cock-fight (cause that’s what geologists do) and meets up with reporter Sara. After showering together (presumably, because they both feel disgusting after attending a cock-fight), their afternoon filled with copious amounts of copulation is interrupted by the charred corpse of the company’s first scientist stuffed behind the toilet. (why/how/when the crispy corpse got there is never fully explained) Luckily, they both hook up with Papaya… who’s more than eager to provide each of them with some island-style sexy-time. That goes on for a while… a long while… a long, long while. Eventually, they stumble upon a hotel disco, a militant rebel gang commune, and a nudist cannibal party. Someone gets kidnapped, someone mutilates a pig, and someone gets killed after sex. The end.


  1. the castration of geologists
  2. sweaty people watching birds kill each other
  3. long, long rides in a jeep
  4. raw human-heart buffets
  5. child guerilla-warfare

REVIEW– This week, we return to the beloved Grindhouse genre.

After 3 weeks of featuring puff n’ fluff films on, and with a title like Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals, our film this week should feel right at home among the blinking neon lights & bacteria-filled theaters of Times Square in the 70s.

Only, this movie hardly qualifies for “grindhouse”… as with many Italian productions from that sex-fueled decade, “soft-core porn” is a more appropriate category.

I don’t know what was going on in Italy from roughly 1969 through 1982… but what is apparent is countless feet of film stock were used to film men’s nasty-bits. Be they hairy, shriveled, or simply imitating a frightened turtle, Italian directors were obsessed with featuring their star’s sausage & meatballs in far, far too many scenes.

I am sooo thankful that the trend never really gained steam with directors from other countries.

You have no idea how disappointed I would have been had, during the Indianapolis scene onboard the ORCA in Jaws, Richard Dreyfus whipped out his personal “torpedo” to recount the story of how he got circumcised.

Or… in Star Wars, when Luke Skywalker visited Obi-Wan Kenobi’s hut on Tatooine, if Old Ben had whipped out his “Old Ben” instead of Darth’s lightsaber.

Director Joe D’Amato does throw in 1 cock-fight (no pun intended) and 2 gutted pigs (thankfully already dead) to meet his horrible-70s-movie-director animal-cruelty quota, but the “cannibal” elements in Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals are limited to one ceremony of human sacrifice and, if you really stretch the definition, the first scene where a man quickly becomes a woman thanks to the jaws of Papaya.

Needless to say, this film doesn’t really appeal to much of anybody.

TSA searches at the airport were way more detailed that what Dan expected.