The Hell Of It – Bitto Albertini’s ‘Black Emanuelle 2’ (1976)

3 Jan

Quite aptly for me, Black Emanuelle 2 (aka The New Black Emanuelle) opens with a statement by Freud that best describes my experiences in watching the Emanuelle/Emmanuelle films; ‘The sickness that disturbs me most is myself’. As someone who pretty much can’t stand the plethora of Emanuelle/Emmanuelle films that have been made, I sure as hell make sure I watch a lot of them. And, in this instance, I have some positive motive to. Bitto Albertini’s 1975 release Black Emanuelle, a semi-blaxsploitation spin on the original French Emmanuelle feature, is the only Emanuelle related film to date that I like. In this picture, actress Laura Gemser brings a sensual and human quality to the character that Sylvia Kristel’s version lacked in buckets. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that director Albertini had done a sequel the following year…

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A sequel that lacks Gemser’s appearance. In Black Emanuelle 2, our titular lead is played by Israeli actress Shulamith Lasri (under the rather Western name of Sharon Lesley) with the story finding supermodel Emanuelle stuck in a Manhattan psychiatric clinic with a bad case of amnesia. Amnesia that can only be cured through Freudian disciplines that evoke a tonne of sexual flashbacks. Only Emanuelle’s version of events seem to differ greatly from the version expressed by the other person involved. Did her friend really take advantage of her? Is her father really an alcoholic molester? Quite frankly, I don’t care. A softcore porno with a lead that is clearly suffering from some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or a Schizoid-type of mental illness doesn’t really get my rocks off. Even if the film does include a bizarre scene with a male character using his erection to bench press a twelve pound weight (Am I impressed? No. Put some bloody clothes on).

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Unsurprisingly enough, Black Emanuelle 2 is Lasri’s only film credit and this her only entry in the Black Emanuelle films. There’s no denying she is a stunner, with a wonderfully curvaceous body to die for, she just isn’t Laura Gemser who really makes the role her own. When you think of Black Emanuelle, you think of Gemser, and whilst Lasri certainly tries her best, Gemser never really had to. She just had it. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

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