Tag Archives: Emanuelle

‘Carry On Emmannuelle’ (1978)

22 Jan

As one of the most well-known and successful cinematic institutions of Britain, it probably wasn’t surprising that the Carry On… films would eventually turn their attention to euro-softcore hit Emmanuelle. Released in 1978, Carry on Emmannuelle (note the two m’s and n’s) parodied the hugely successful French film, turning Emmanuelle from shy and sexually inquisitive into Emmannuelle (here played by Suzanne Danielle), confident and sexually predatory. More openly sexual than its predecessors, the feature effectively, and very obviously in terms of logical inversions, mocks the film that would also go on to have its own long running series. Full of some great double entendre that prehaps loses a bit of its bite in such a setting, Carry On Emmannuelle is a welcome, and occasionally much needed, break from the original film and its many successors…

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…

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.

Baby Likes To Bang – Joe D’Amato’s ‘Emanuelle in Bangkok’ (1976)

28 Jan

In Emanuelle in Bangkok (1976), director Joe D’Amato and lead actress Laura Gemser continue their quest to take the intrepid reporter Emanuelle worldwide. On another journalism assignment, Emanuelle finds herself in Thailand where she does little professional work but learns a lot about herself personally… And takes the odd photograph or two.

So what can you expect from this entry into the Black Emanuelle film series? Pretty much the same as the rest of them. Opening with a Suspiria inspired shot of an incredibly bored looking Emanuelle trying to develop her photographs whilst her suitor tries to seduce her (she has a face like a slapped arse that screams ‘Fuck off‘), D’Amato instantly sets the tone for the rest of the film. Yes this is Emanuelle but it has none of the eroticism that Bitto Albertini and Gemser displayed in Black Emanuelle which was only released the year before. The sex scenes feel like neither party can really be bothered, wanting to get it done and out-of-the-way quickly because they both have work the next day. An orgy scene in particular finishes as quickly as it started and feel’s as wooden as your friend with erectile dysfunction’s penis. Exactly what you want to pay for when you go and see a sexploitation/softcore porno… Gemser even struggles to try to look like she’s interested, let alone enjoying, the full body massages she gets, as if fed up of their monotony. As much as I don’t like it, credit must be given to Just Jaeckin who at least managed to get his Emannuelle (Sylvia Kristel) seduced not only by her love interests but by the city of Bangkok itself and the culture. Here it just feels like Emanuelle the character and D’Amato couldn’t give a shit about anything.

It’s a real shame because Laura Gemser shines as the Black Emanuelle, her beauty and natural sensuality making her far more superior than the original Emmanuelle Kristel from which the Black Emanuelle series stemmed from. Whilst Gemser looks gorgeous here as she usually does, she’s absolutely wasted acting wise with scenes that are lack lustre and a plot so threadbare (something about a lost passport… I think…?) it makes other sexploitation films with no plot look like The Godfather. Gemser is far better in Black Emanuelle and Emanuelle In Prison, whilst a more competent Gemser/D’Amato collaboration would be Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, a fantastic film released the year after Emanuelle in Bangkok. If this is Emanuelle trying to sell me Bangkok, I’d rather go to Skegness.

Geek to Geek Chic – My Top 10 Christmas Lust-Haves

30 Dec

One of my favourite things about Christmas is the twin fun of giving and receiving. And for all those regular readers of my blog, I’m not just talking innuendo… I’m talking presents! This year I got to watch my boyfriend’s niece and nephew open their parcels from Santa and it got me thinking about all the presents I’d had as a kid and the excitement about waking up on Christmas Day and finding out which ones were under my tree. So while you all do your Top 10 best and worst films of the year, I bring you my all time, most lusted after Christmas presents…

LUST-HAVE #10 – Sony Playstation.
Oh Sony Playstation, how I longed for you and loved you from afar. You see, I was seven when my four-year old cousin got the original Playstation console for Christmas the year it came out. Now, I love my cousin, but he was a right little shit about it and he never let me have a go on it until a few years later. So for a very long time, I used to sit there and watch him play Crash Bandicoot and Porsche Challenge whilst I sat there hoping he’d give me a chance. Eventually he did and years later we used to gang up on his younger brother and beat him all the time at multiplayer Crash Team Racing. After four years of not getting the hint, my parents finally gave in and bought me one which I never thought would happen as I wasn’t (and still aren’t) very good at gaming. My cousin rang me to tell me there was a Playstation-shaped box under the tree for me. I cried because he had to be lying. My Grandparents bought me Star Wars Dark Forces and I got even more upset because I didn’t have my own console to play it on. In reality, my cousin was right, my Grandparents thought I’d already opened the damn thing and I was just incredibly stupid for not getting the hints myself. Was loved for years and is now lost, along with the annoying dance mat which isn’t a bad thing…

LUST HAVE #9 – Hungry Hungry Hippos
CURRENT STATUS – Wanted aged 5, got aged 19…
Like many a child in the 1990s, I was drawn into the lie that a game about obese Hippopotami would fulfill my life. Ever since I saw the advert aged five, I’d always wanted my own game. I played it at nursery. I played it at my friend’s houses. I never got one. Fourteen years later and I receive one for my nineteenth birthday and, in all honesty, it wasn’t really the same. If a future me had visited my five-year old self and told me I’d spend my nineteenth birthday playing Hungry Hungry Hippos whilst being pissed out of my mind, I would have stopped asking for it. Currently collecting dust in the attic and not making a reappearance at parties any time soon…

LUST HAVE #8 – Chemistry Set.
CURRENT STATUS – Got one Christmas, binned the following week
Ok, so this isn’t something I lusted after but remains a very memorable present because the whole kit was in Ukrainian. Which no one in the family speaks. The week after Christmas it was binned for safety reasons and because I hated Chemistry. Best. Christmas. Ever.

LUST HAVE #7 – Anything related to The Lion King
CURRENT STATUS – All gone except the slippers I still have even though they haven’t fit me for the last 15 years…
I loved The Lion King so much as a child and was lucky enough to have a lot of stuff. Figures, leggings, cuddly toys, playsets, CDs, pyjamas, sweatshirts, t-shirts, beakers, towels, I had the lot. The memory that sticks with me the most is not getting the VHS the Christmas when everyone else got the VHS because ‘Santa had forgotten to deliver it’. In reality, it had fallen down the back of my Grandparent’s wardrobe and they couldn’t find it. This problem was rectified a few weeks later when ‘Santa delivered it with an apology’, i.e. when my Nana had found it. Everything has gone except the slippers that have Simba’s head on them which I plan on making my own children wear should I be blessed with any of the little buggers. My Nana got me the Blu-Ray this Christmas because she wouldn’t buy me an Emanuelle/Emmanuelle DVD…

LUST HAVE #6 – Bass guitars.
CURRENT STATUS – Got. Played. Now gathering dust.
When I was a teen, I wanted to be in a punk rock band. Brody Dalle, nee Armstrong (in the video above), was my idol and I was determined to be like her (and after I’d been to a gig and smoked a couple of packets of fags I sounded like her which pleased me greatly). I desperately wanted to learn bass guitar because it was just a hell of a lot cooler then playing the guitar and I pestered my Mum for years before she gave in. I was sorted. I had my music. I dressed like a crack-addicted prostitute. I was sure I was going to find love with a gorgeous, older punk and live happily ever after. I was going to be in a band. Except that it never happened. A few years later I stopped playing, grew out of the scene and realised my heart belonged to film. Now my beloved bass beauties are gathering dust and looking for a new home, whilst my Mother breathes sighs of relief that I no longer dress like a teenage Lolita…

LUST HAVE #5 – Anything related to Jurassic Park.
CURRENT STATUS – Bring it on!!
As a kid, I loved dinosaurs and Jurassic Park is one of my all time favourite films. I was four when it came out and had a few toys but not all the ones I’d wanted… So for my sixteenth birthday I asked my Mum for some raptors. Didn’t get any. Asked for my seventeenth and eighteenth, nothing. Nineteenth came and went with no dinosaurs. Enter my ex who bought me something Jurassic Park related every Christmas for the last three years and cue this summer when I went all Envy Adams on his arse and we broke up. Which now means I have to buy dinosaurs myself. Or ask my Mum again. Think I’ll have more luck going alone on this one…

LUST HAVE #4 – Anything sex/Sexploitation related.
CURRENT STATUS – I ask nicely but end up buying myself.
Who knew that asking for presents the older you get would be so bloody problematic. Now that I’m older, and also incredibly fussy at times, my family ask me what I’d like. Except that when I tell them what I’d really like, they tell me no. No porn, no sexploitation posters, no softcore DVDs, no sex books, nothing. Before I’d even been asked what I wanted this year, my Aunt rang my Mum and said that Emmanuelle or anything sex related was out of the question. So I got The Lion King instead. I’ve been asking my Father for the same academic book on sexuality for the past six years and somehow it never seems to be wrapped and delivered by Santa. He promptly suggested that he buy me a coat when I suggested he buy me a vintage quad poster for Sex Dens of Bangkok that would have only cost him £3.99!! God bless my boyfriend who spoils me endlessly by entertaining my interests. Next year I’ve threatened to decorate the tree next year with topless pin-ups if there’s no porn under the tree. Watch this space.

LUST HAVE #3 – Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow
CURRENT STATUS – Pokemon Master! Games AWOL…
Remember earlier when I said that my cousin wouldn’t let me have a go on his Playstation for years? Well, I got my own back. The year I got a Gameboy and the three Pokemon games, he didn’t and he really wanted to have a go at playing them. So I went all sadistic eleven year old and didn’t let him play once, mwhahahahahahahahahhaahhahaha! For someone who was absolutely terrible at gaming, Pokemon was my chance to shine, and shine I bloody well did. The only girl in school who knew how to play the game and be better at it then the boys who proclaimed they were amazing at it. I ruled, and it helped when you owned all 150 species and had trained them all to Level 100. No one I knew could beat me. Looking back, it just sounds really, really lame. Still, I’d give anything to have a real life Pikachu or Squirtle of my own…

LUST HAVE #2 – A footrub from the master himself.
CURRENT STATUS – Dream on you absolute weirdo.
It’s ok, I already know. I’m weird. It’s weird. But I can’t help it. Ever since the age of sixteen I have been keeping my feet beautiful and soft in the hope that one day, Tarantino himself will walk up to me and go ‘give me your feet’ and I’d give him my feet and he’d play with them and kiss my toes and it would be amazing aldskhf;akjbwvm sncxpojihkjfmdvxc… Ahem. For those who follow my Twitter feed, this isn’t exactly new news and I know it lumps me in the category of strange or perverted but I know it would be amazing. So, if anyone knows QT and knows he wouldn’t be put off by my Death Proof tattoo, tell him there’s some girl in London that would let him have his wicked way with her feet. That said, nothing compares to when my boyfriend slips off my shoes and massages my feet in the cinema. Word of warning, if the cinema is fairly empty and we’re sitting near the back alone, probably a good idea to join us later…

LUST HAVE #1 – Mr Frosty.
CURRENT STATUS – Owned, now disowned.
I’ll say this once, and I’ll say it over and over again. Mr Frosty is a paedophile. When I were a wee kid I saw the advert above and longed for a Mr Frosty. He looked so cool, so fun and had the promise of being able to make Slush Puppie-esque drinks at home. I never got a Mr Frosty… Until I turned nineteen. Yes, fifteen years after I first asked for one, I finally got one and realised they were pretty bloody boring. Flash forward to the following summer and cue me, incredibly pissed after downing around fourteen shots of vodka, telling a group of four to eight year olds that Mr Frosty is actually a paedophile and has spent the majority of his career grooming and abusing Penguin (the little juice squirter (See, it gets worse!!!) that comes with Mr Frosty (quite literally…) that is a small snowman in the advert above) into being his lover. This rant went on, and on, and on until my friend physically dragged me away. And it was done in front of their parents. All I remember are horrified faces and not a lot else. Mr Frosty hasn’t been seen since.

‘Emanuelle in Prison’ (1983) review

14 Dec

God bless Laura Gemser’s intrepid investigative reporter Emanuelle, for it is her adventures in the Black Emanuelle spin-off films that provide the most entertainment out of the entire Emmanuelle/Emanuelle film series. Emanuelle in Prison (aka Emanuelle fuga dall’inferno, Emanuelle Escpaes From Hell) is the 1983 picture that see’s Gemser’s iconic portrayal transported to the realm of Women in Prison films.

After being sent to a Female prison and witnessing her fellow inmates being abused by the Guards, Emanuelle tries to blow the whistle on what really happened, only to be at the hands of the same wardens herself. She also has to deal with ‘Top Dog’ inmate Albina who is determined to put Emanuelle in her place. Eventually our protagonist begins to suspect that someone is trying to beat her down, someone possibly linked to the corrupt official she was trying to expose before being framed. Life in the prison is, however, interrupted when four male death row inmates break into the prison…

Cue violence, and plenty of it. No Women in Prison would be complete without a few bloody scenes and Emanuelle in Prison delivers throats being bitten out, torture, Russian roulette and razorblades being hidden inside inmate’s vaginas. Add to that a hefty dose of rape, sex being used by sex-starved prisoners as a prelude to murder, sadistic wardens, cat fights and lesbian sex, not to mention a large amount of cheesy dialogue to match, and you have your typical Women in Prison exploitation flick. Expect anything less?

Laura Gemser is, as always when playing Emanuelle, fantastic. It’s refreshing to see an Emanuelle film in which the Emanuelle character spends a lot of time off screen, not that this diminishes her impact or the character itself in any way. This was the last Emanuelle related film Gemser would do and it’s nice to see her play the role with a hardened and tougher exterior than in previous entries. Gabriele Tinti, another veteran of the Black Emanuelle film series and Gemser’s real life husband, is also memorable as the leader of the gang of male prisoners. Other notable’s are the other female inmates played by Maria Romano, Antonella Giacomini and Ursula Flores as Albina, who in one hilarious cat fight, gets her wig pulled off.

Italian director Bruno Mattei worked across many exploitation genres and his experience shows in Emanuelle in Prison. Known for working with and occasionally filling in for other Italian directors such as Lucio Fulci and Joe D’Amato (who directed many of the films in the Black Emanuelle film series), Mattei has directed one of the better Emanuelle films that were released in the 1970’s and 80s. Whilst certainly heavy on Women in Prison qualities, the film has a narrative and structure that makes the picture feel a little more than just another exploitation flick, and provides the character of Emanuelle with a perfect last outing.

Grip Like A Vice – Bitto Albertini’s ‘Black Emanuelle’ (1975)

16 Nov

God bless Laura Gemser. If there’s one person that’s going to save the Emmanuelle/Emanuelle franchise for me, it’s her. Where Sylvia Kristel wasn’t naturally beautiful, Gemser is a bona-fide beauty and one that exudes sexuality by the buckets. Bitto Albertini’s Black Emanuelle aka Emanuelle Nera (note how the original franchise has two ‘m’s and the spin-off franchise has one) is where it all began, introducing Gemser for the first time as the hedonistic, globe-trotting investigative journalist Emanuelle.

The film opens with a nice allude to the original film, with Emanuelle on a plane observing a couple getting frisky in the aisle next to her. On her way to Africa for a photographic assignment, she meets hosts, husband and wife Ann and Gianni, and through various encounters with the two she begins to question their relationship and her own sexuality. After watching Ann having sex with an African gas attendant, Emanuelle begins to pursue Gianni who initially rejects  and belittles her advances. It doesn’t take long for him to cave in and eventually the two begin an affair. At the same time, his wife becomes closer to Emanuelle and the two also begin a relationship. When hearing Gianni talk down about her to his friend Gloria, she decides to have sex with her and, in time, another of his friends Richard. This is certainly one little community that knows the in’s and out’s of each other…

Compared to Just Jaeckin’s original Emmanuelle picture (1974), Black Emanuelle contains some more explicit scenes that would start a trend which continued throughout the rest of the Black Emanuelle spinoff films. Where Jaeckin’s softcore predominantly alludes, Albertini included shots of an erection and had Emanuelle engaging in explicit sex scenes. These were hardcore inserts using a body double and not Gemser herself, who wasn’t even aware a body double would be used. She would never perform explicit sex acts on film throughout the entire Black Emanulle spinoff series. It’s not just there that Emmanuelle and Black Emanuelle differ. Emanuelle is very aware of her sexuality and what she wants, her journey through the film reaffirming her independence through her sexuality. Unlike Emmanuelle who needed teaching, guidance and was on a journey of sexual discovery and awakening, Emannuelle is all-knowing.

Released the year after Emmanuelle, Black Emanuelle spawned its own spinoff series. Whilst Gemser didn’t return for the immediate sequel, she returned for the series of sequels directed by Joe D’Amato that included Emanuelle in Bangkok (1976), Emanuelle in America (1977) and Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977). Black Emanuelle would make the Indonesian born model an icon of 1970s erotica and it’s very easy to see why. She’s incredibly beautiful, photographs well and has a natural air to her acting that makes her work in the Emanuelle series more engaging and believable. And where Emmanuelle often felt incredibly fluffy and, at times, weighed down by its attempts at veiling itself with art based arguments and philosophical ideas, Black Emanuelle is a breath of fresh air, a sex film that sometimes feels very sexy. Pretty much all you could hope for from a film like this.