Orgasmo Nero (1980)


A man is doing research on an island where a strange tribe lives. The man’s wife gets into a (sexual) relationship with a woman from the tribe and brings her back to the big city where problems begin to occur.

This is an example of small, kind of unofficial genre in 1970’s Italian exploitation films, which might be called the “black sexploitation film” (not to be confused with American “blaxploitation” films). These films generally traded in exotic travel, lots of interracial sexual couplings, and (in their most potentially offensive aspect) the myth of “primitive” black sexuality. Director/cinematographer Joe D’Amato was one of the masters of this “genre”, having been the driving force behind the “Black Emanuelle” series. D’Amato’s most frequent actress in these softcore extravaganzas, Laura Gemser, actually looked a lot more Asian than “black”, but these films also featured plenty of white European women like Karin Schubert, Ely Galeani, and the star of this film, Nieves Navarro, getting down and dirty with the dark-skinned “natives”. This movie is most similar to D’Amato’s “Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals” and “Papaya of the Caribbean”, but while it has plenty of sex, for better or worse, it is nowhere near as violent as either of those movies.

An older woman (Nieves Navarro) visiting her writer husband (Richard Harrison),while he’s staying on a tropical island, meets a young “native” girl (Lucia Ramirez). They have a lesbian affair, and she decides to take the girl back with her to “civilization”. She isn’t adequately alarmed when the girl, in a fit of jealousy, tries to take a machete to a guy she brings home from a bar. The girl also causes some tension between her and her husband (even though she already cheats on him with everything in pants), but as is often the case in these kind of movies this tension is eventually assuaged with a steamy three-way sex scene. But when the couple decide to move away and try to return the girl to her village, they learn too late that her fierce lesbian jealously has caused her to return to her “primitive” bloodlust.

The plot is obviously preposterous, and rather ham-handedly executed to boot. Ramirez is certainly more “black” than Laura Gemser (who really should have been in this), but she looks a lot more like the cosmopolitan, mixed-race fashion model she probably was in real life than any kind of of “primitive local”. It’s weird seeing expatriate actor Richard Harrison in a movie like this–he was usually in more respectable Italian genre films like spaghetti Westerns or crime thrillers (he claimed in an interview I read that he didn’t know that this was actually a sex film!). Only Nieves Navarro seems at home in this genre. It is odd that someone who was once a fairly successful leading genre actress would become a softcore porn star in middle age. But she definitely still had a great body here in her early forties, and just because these sex-soaked roles were really beneath her talent doesn’t mean she wasn’t very good at them.

Share Button
Random Movies