Mark (Mark Shannon) has a problem. He has advanced prostate cancer and has been told by his doctor that he needs an operation urgently. When he asks how long he can go without the op, Mark is told that he has a fortnight at the most.

So, armed with a bottle full of painkillers, Mark delays his life-saving treatment by a couple of weeks and flies out to a tropical island (briefly taking in New York en route) where he once lived and met his true love, Majra (Annj Goren).

Upon arrival on the island, Mark is understandably exhausted and takes a siesta in his hotel room. He’s woken a short while later by a horny maid who’s entered his room and then taken a shine to his naked torso laid spread-eagled on the bed. When he stirs, she’s busy wanking over his body – and he wastes no time in rising to the challenge of satisfying them both (although the extent of her pleasure is debatable, judging by the indifferent glances she gives to the camera mid-humping).

The plot advances when Mark calls in on his old pal, island local Jacques. Over dinner, we learn that Mark lived on the island for a time and fell for beautiful native girl Majra. She disappeared shortly after he left to start a new life on the mainland, and is presumed dead by those who knew her.

But as the evening progresses, Mark tells his host how he’s certain he’s seen Majra on the island since he came back to it. Jacques is sure this cannot be the case, but resolves to help his friend find out for certain anyway.

I wonder though, would Jacques be so willing to assist if he knew that his girlfriend Lucia (Lucia Ramirez) was smoking their guest’s dick behind his back?

However, Mark is convinced that it’s Majra that he keeps catching glimpses of, and becomes increasingly obsessed with the notion that she may still be alive.

Is he hallucinating from the pain he’s in (he’s frequently doubling over and grabbing his balls in bouts of agony) or is his first love truly communicating with him again? And, if the latter turns out to be the case, what will come of their reunion?

Billed as Italy’s first hardcore porn film, EXOTIC MALICE comes from the hugely prolific Aristide Massaccesi, directing under his popular pseudonym Joe D’Amato. In keeping with other erotic films that he made around the time – EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD, PORNO HOLOCAUST etc – it’s very low budget and rather crudely shot, but gets mileage from its exotic beach locations (it was filmed in the Dominican Republic).

The screenplay – by Luigi Montefiore, a.k.a. George Eastman – is unusually grim for this type of fare, focusing on a terminally ill protagonist who openly admits to being a "bastard" when it comes to the women. There is little joy in Shannon’s unexpectedly committed performance. Nor is there much in the way of eroticism here, as we get to once more endure the sight of the lead actor’s wart-infested knackers swinging like deformed coconuts through each sex scene.

Still, the lighting and editing are better than average on these occasions, and for once Massaccesi gets some decent money shots to cap off his rather unimaginative fuck sequences.

The pace flags throughout and the lack of likeable characters doesn’t help. But stick with it because, aside from the irregular bouts of hardcore action, there is a shock climax that almost makes up for the slow unfurling and ugly cast.

Overall though, this is a competent albeit unremarkable curiosity piece that will best suit D’Amato completists.

One Seven’s disc is region-free, uncut and presents the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

The transfer is largely clean and grain-free, aside from very minor instances of specks. It’s also enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Colours are good and any softness in the image appears to be true of the source materials.

Italian mono audio is mostly healthy with only a couple of instances of very brief drop-out. Optional English subtitles are proficient throughout.

A static main menu page leads into an animated scene-selection menu allowing access to the film via 12 chapters.

The only extras on the disc are deleted scenes totalling 3 minutes. These appear to have been sourced from an alternate VHS print and include more fun of the female masturbation variety.

Recommended for D’Amato completists and dirty old men who don’t mind if their porn carries oppressive undertones.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by One 7 Movies
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review