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Exotic Malice (Sesso nero) 
Written by: on August 16th, 2011

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1980
Director: Joe D’Amato
Writer: George Eastman
Cast: Mark Shannon, Annj Goren, George Eastman, Lola Burdan, Chantal Kubel, Fernando Arcangeli, Lucia Ramirez, Sandy Samuel

DVD released: October 25th, 2011
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: One 7 Movies
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95

Synopsis: Instead of getting the operation that he desperately needs, a man travels to an island where his former lover committed suicide. Still guilt ridden by his lovers’ death, he wanders around the island looking in hope of finding a way to find closure. Shortly after his arrival he catches a glimpse of a woman, who just happens to be a dead ringer for his dead lover and from there he slowly starts to lose grip on reality.

Exotic Malice is one of a handful of tropical island based erotica themed films that Joe D’Amato directed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. His other tropical island based erotica themed films are as follows, Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals, Hard Sensation, Sex and Black Magic (Orgasmo nero), Erotic Nights of the Living Dead and Porno Holocaust.
The score for Exotic Malice was composed by Nico Fidenco (La pretora, Zombie Holocaust), a frequent collaborator of Joe D’Amato’s. Some of their more notable collaborations include Emanuelle in Bangkok, Emanuelle in America, Emanuelle Around the World, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Images in a Convent and Porno Holocaust.

The premise can best be summed up as absurd, even by hardcore sex films standards. And yet there is something oddly engaging about this most unusual sex film. After the initial setup which explains the protagonists predicament, get a operation that involves losing the family jewels or going on a trip in search of your dead lovers ghost. The film starts to hit its stride after the protagonist arrives on the tropical island. And while the narrative is fairly lean at times, it does a good enough job propelling the story at hand forward. Also narrative wise, some of the stronger moments are the flashbacks which fill in the protagonists back-story. While the hardcore sex scenes generally are underwhelming. Of course this film saves its best moment for last with its brutally disturbing finale that no man is soon to forget.

Once again when it comes to the film’s visuals this is an area in which Joe D’Amato often excels. Performance wise on the other hand is an area in which most Joe D’Amato films last consistency. And this film is yet another one of his film’s in which most of the performances are bland. The cast for this film is made up of many faces that those familiar with Joe D’Amato’s other film’s from this era are sure to recognize like Mark Shannon (Erotic Nights of the Living Dead) in the role of the film’s protagonist, Lucia Ramirez as one of Mark’s many sexual conquests and George Eastman (Rabid Dogs, Absurd) cast in the role of mark’s friend, he also wrote the screenplay for this film.

The DVD:

One 7 Movies presents Exotic Malice in an anamorphic widescreen that retains this film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels are at best average and details generally look crisp. There are no problems with compression and there is noticeable edge enhancement that varies in degree throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been include. Background noise is never a issues, it should be noted that the audio at times sounds muffled. Despite this short coming, dialog still comes through clearly enough. Also range wise though this audio mix is rather limited, the film’s score is the one area that benefits most from this audio mix.
Extras are limited to three 3 minutes of deleted footage of female cast members masturbating. This footage is presented in a letterboxed widescreen and it is in pretty rough shape, it look like it came from a VHS source. Overall Exotic Malice gets a audio / video presentation from One 7 Movies that is comparable to their release for Sex and Black Magic.

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