JOE D’AMATO WEEK: Predators of the Antilles (1999)

Predators of the Antilles was released in the U.S. as Sexy Pirates and it’s the last non-adult film that D’Amato would direct. So how strange that this film is a throwback to old school swashbuckling with barely dirty nudity and sex scenes for a man who just spent five years filming Rocco Siffredi’s yam bag up close.

You know how excited Joe was to make a mainstream film? He used the name David Hills, the name he used for Caligula… The Untold Story, Ator the Fighting Eagle, Ator 2, Quest for the Mighty Sword and Frankenstein 2000.

Joe also knows that if you want to make a fun adult-oriented pirate movie, you need a gorgeous leading lady. He ably succeeds with the casting of Anita Rinaldi, who was also in Top Model, and whose adult career took her to producing and directing. She’s Lady Elena Hamilton and her goal is to rescue her husband no matter what it takes.

What it takes means hiring her own crew, as the king won’t negotiate with pirates. So she asks Captain Graham to take her to Tortuga to enlist the legendary gentleman pirate Thomas Butler with the promise of offering herself to him biblically if he helps her rescue her husband. Shockingly — and keep in mind Joe D’Amato directed this — this doesn’t happen in the very next scene.

So with her husband being sold to the evil Don Diego de la Vega, a team of pirates is put together to rescue the nobleman, including Butler’s woman Pilar, an explosives expert, a monstrous protector for Elena, a sharpshooter and even a martial arts expert named Kato played by the astoundingly named Whu Tang Tung.

If this was your first D’Amato film, you may wonder why we did an entire week of his films. For those of us along for a much longer voyage, this elicits a smile, as we’re seeing him tone it down one last time. Sadly, D’Amato died of a heart attack on January 23, 1999. According to Luigi Cozzi, his death happened unexpectedly while he was busy preparing a new film. His last film? So on brand it was an X-rated version of Showgirls called Showgirl, starring Eva Henger and Nacho Vidal.

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