Flavour Of The Week – Ilias Mylonakos’s ‘Emanuelle’s Sweet Revenge’ (1980)

30 May

Whilst the term ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is a pretty solid and correct statement, sometimes I feel that it should really be ‘Don’t always judge a book by its cover but there may be one or two that you really should’. In this case, the latter statement can be quite easily applied to Ilias Mylonakos’s 1980 release Emanuelle’s Sweet Revenge aka Emanuelle’s Daughter (its actually Emanuelle’s step-daughter) aka Emanuelle, Queen Bitch (relatively accurate) aka Sexy Moon (just go straight to trading standards on this one, there is no moon…). What sounds like a sexy thriller is actually a wet blanket of a sexploitation film and one of the worst entries in the Black Emanuelle film franchise.

In fact, it’s slightly debatable whether or not it can be considered a Black Emanuelle film. Whilst it stars the always present Laura Gemser in the lead role, on a few occasions during the picture she is referred to as Emanuella and is married which seems completely out of character considering we all know what Emanuelle likes to get up to… Still, the film finds Emanuelle married to a really horrible, abusive older man who owns an orange factory. After being brutally assaulted by her husband and his co-workers, she persuades a stranger (through sex, obviously) to kill him and she eventually inherits his estate and becomes legal guardian to his moody teenage daughter Livia (Livia Russo).

Simple story which played out well could be full of erotic tension but instead plays out like a bloated village idiot trying to be sexy when everyone else is watching uncomfortably. The stranger Emanuelle hired to kill her husband follows her around and becomes interested in Livia, except that he has sex with pretty much every woman he meets. Not much tension going on there. Emanuelle gets it on with one of her late husbands friends in a rather predictable and very obvious piece of story development and everyone else wanders around trying to work out whether they signed up for a sleazy thriller or a piece of pure sleaze. Even the idea of Emanuelle trying to screw over her husband by selling off and changing his established business seems a bit silly, there’s not much punishment a dead man can get through that. There does, however, appear to be some potential audience tension in the fact that Russo looks incredibly young (we’re talking pre-pubescent) and her character appears topless, has a sex scene and gets raped. The version I have appears to be cut as none of this was present in the feature I watched but be warned if you buy this under a different title or uncut. The idea of watching what sounds like a young teenager getting exploited isn’t one that appeals much and one that I had hoped the Emanuelle series wouldn’t have stooped down to (then again, we do have the horse masturbation scene inEmanuelle in America…).

Extended sex scenes are great (and if its one thing this film has, it’s longer sex scenes than some others had at the time) but they ain’t so hot when you end up seeing some blokes squashed scrotum. The best revenge for that is avoiding this crap installment and seeking out the better Emanuellefilms instead.

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