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Mondo Cannibale

White Cannibal Queen
Cannibals / Mondo Cannibale 3. Teil - Die Blonde Göttin / Mondo Kannibalen / Une Fille pour les Cannibales / Barbarian Goddess / Inferno der Kannibalen

Spain/France/West Germany 1980
produced by
Marius Lesoeur for Eurociné
directed by Jess Franco
starring Al Cliver, Sabrina Siani, Lina Romay (as Candy Coster), Shirley Knight, Olivier Mathot, Antonio Mayans (as Robert Foster), Raymond Hardy, Jérôme Foulon, Anouchka, Pamela Stanford, Jess Franco, Anne Marie Rosier
written by Jess Franco, music by Roberto Pregadio

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On a yachting trip to Malavi, professor Taylor (Al Cliver) & family are attacked by cannibals. & while Taylor has to watch his wife (Pamela Stanford) being eaten up alive, their daughter Lena (Anouchka) disappears. Taylor himself is taken captive by the cannibals, & hacked off an arm, but somehow he can disappear to civilisation.

But he has not only lost his arm, his memory is also gone ...

Back in New York, it is only thanks to the loving care of his doctor Ana (Lina Romay), who soon becomes his new girlfriend, that Taylor's memory eventually comes back (his arm remains gone, though), & soon enough the two of them decide to mount an expedition to Malavi, to retrieve his daughter, if she is at all alive ...

Somehow though they fail to get any experienced men to jon them on their safari, so they have to fall back on Barbara (Shirley Knight) & Charles (Oliver Mathot) & their group of adventure-hungry tourists to accompany them. Need I say it, soon the cannibals attack, & soon they have massacred the whole group (except for Charles, who dies from a heart attack) but Taylor & Johnny (Raymond Hardy), whom they take prisoner.

But when the young chieftain of the cannibals wants to execute them too, the cannibals' white Goddess (Sabrina Siani) intervenes, & in Taylor, she recognizes her father (yes, the Goddess is Lena grown up). At night, she even helps Taylor & Johnny to escape, but refuses to come with them, because she sees herself as one of the tribe ...

Once in a safe distance to the cannibal village, Taylor & Johnny decide what to do - & come up with the worst possible idea: sneak back into the village & kidnap Lena/the Goddess ... the cannibals will just love it !

& indeed, while for the first several hundred meters, Taylor, Johnny & Lena do not stumble into a single cannibal, their escape is cut short when the cannibals already await them at a river they have to cross.

The chieftain, who's also Lena's hubby, challenges them to a fight for Lena. Johnny is the first to agree ... & after a short fight, the chieftain stabs him to death. Then it's Taylor's turn, & despite having to relie on only one arm, Taylor somehow manages to overcome the chieftain, & he would even have drowned him, wouldn't Lena have pleaded for his life, even agreeing to come with Taylor if he lets her hubby live.

& reluctantly the chieftain lets them go ...

 

White Cannibal Queen is one of Jess franco's lesser films. Franco was always good when he was given a subject he could improvise on, & include surreal & old-fashioned pulp-elements into the mix. The cannibal genre however is rather rigid & very formulaic, so there's little room to digress - & actually it seems that Eurociné, the production company, was looking for a craftsman rather than an artist, to cash in on the then current cannibal movie trend. With this in mind, Franco may very well have made the most of this grossly underbudgeted film: a pulpy tale about a topless jungle girl/goddess (though his later jungle girl films Diamonds of the Kilimandjaro and Golden Temple Amazons are by far funnier), some tongue-in-cheek humour (the tourist group accompanying Taylor is actually quite a hoot) & some weird camera work (as would be Franco's trademark), all held together (well ...) by some weak gore effects and some second-rate B-actors.

I have to admit, despite my better judgement, I somehow enjoyed the film.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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