Tag Archives: Emmanuelle

‘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…

Good Riddance – Francois Leterrier’s ‘Goodbye Emmanuelle’ (1977)

9 Jun

I have come to the conclusion that I must be some kind of masochist, because I still keep forcing myself to sit down and watch Emmanuelle films knowing full well they are going to be terrible. And guess what? Number three in the original French series, Goodbye Emmanuelle, is no different.

Hedonistic, spoilt brat Emmanuelle (a returning Sylvia Kristel, with an absolutely dire hairstyle) and her husband Jean (an also returning Umberto Orsini) are now living their decadent lifestyle of apparent nothingness in the beautiful Seychelles. It has to be said, terrible and monotonous acting and plot aside, the locations are, without a doubt, stunning and director Leterrier makes use of all the areas within the Seychelles islands. It’s just really sad to see such gorgeous locations with a bunch of ugly people dumped in the middle of them. I digress… Emmanuelle and her husband are continuing to live their indulgent lifestyle with a bunch of friends and fellow expats who like to play games too. For this bunch of sex obsessed, two-dimensional people, regular group orgies, arranging play dates for their other halves and ignoring their emotional well-being in its entirety are just part of the usual every day routine.

Enter film director Gregory who Emmanuelle becomes more than a little obsessed and attracted to. Cue a major problem in that, for the first time ever in their relationship, her attraction to somebody else makes Jean incredibly jealous and angry. Gregory initially treats Emmanuelle like a whore, questioning her motives and her feelings, asking her if she really desires and likes the way she lives. Unlike her, he can only love one woman at a time. However the more time they spend  together, the more Emmanuelle wants to be with him with finally culminates in a bitter fight between Gregory and Jean. Emmanuelle eventually decides that she wants to be with Gregory and give up the emptiness of the life she has been living but Jean in a jealous rage, plots to try to keep Emmanuelle all to himself. It doesn’t work and she leaves him, hence the film’s title and the incredibly annoying title track on the film’s soundtrack by Serge Gainsbourg.

Sadly, this is another vapid and incredibly bland entry in the Emmanuelle franchise which, irritatingly, has no decent sex scenes to compensate with. It’s a shame that nothing a little more serious was done with the script or story considering it involves Emmanuelle rejecting a lifestyle so drastically that she spent two movies hyping up so much. But then again, an empty film just mirrors the emptiness of the characters and the story. Yes, they’re all living this incredibly sexy and indulgent lifestyle but none of them are really happy. If this film teaches you anything, it’s that empty sex doesn’t equal a happy life, whether that be in a committed monogamous relationship (I’m not even sure Emmanuelle knows what that means…) or an open orgyfest. Even better, it’s all one big fucking lie. It’s not a goodbye at all, she bloody returns eventually for four more sequels in this franchise alone…

Heartbeats – John D. Lamond’s ‘Felicity’ (1979)

22 Feb

Everyone, by now, knows that I detest Just Jaeckin’s classic softcore romp Emmanuelle (1974). In my dreams I pretend that the obnoxious titular character doesn’t exist and that a more beautiful, more deserving young woman has a far more interesting journey of self-discovery. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across Australian sexploitation feature Felicity (1979) which is, essentially, a nicer and more bearable retread of Emmanuelle. With a much prettier lead actress. Right up my street then.

Felicity (Glory Annen) is a young Australian girl on the cusp of her sexual awakening. A pupil in a convent school, Felicity dreams and longs for sex, noticing the changes in her and her fellow classmates bodies and exploring her feelings with best friend Jenny. One day Felicity receives a letter from her father telling her she will go to Hong Kong for the summer and suddenly the whole world as Felicity knows it changes…

So why is Felicity more tolerable than its predecessor Emmanuelle? Lead actress Annen is a far more believable and likeable version of a young girl discovering who she is and what she likes. Whereas Emmanuelle appears to have a take-it-and-not-so-sure-if-I-like-it-or-not-but-I-won’t-let-on-either-way approach to her burgeoning sexuality, Felicity’s is more encompassing in its honesty of people having both good and bad sexual experiences. Felicity loses her virginity to an older man in an awkward situation and realises that sex is not what she thought it was, feeling guilty, upset and ashamed after it. Feelings that can be, in reality, associated with sex. After a few more encounters in which she learns more about herself and how to use her body, she begins to realise what she wants. So when she meets Miles and falls for him, we know she wants him badly. What’s also nice for Felicity is that she’s surrounded by a small group of people who want to encourage her developement but don’t force it upon her, giving Emmanuelle’s pestering ex-pat pals a good one finger salute.

Maybe the beauty in Felicity is it’s simplicty, which lets face it most sexploitation films have, and its ability to be relatable in a nice way. We’ve all had bad sexual experiences, we all know the excitement and wandering thoughts that come with a developing body and sexuality. We’ve all had one night stands or fumbles in dark corners and have all met someone we just can’t keep our hands off and want to be around all the time. It’s part of everyone’s sexual history. Or maybe it’s just the stunning creature that is Glory Annen, whose body you can’t take your eyes off for the whole duration of the film. Even I fell in love with her, wanting to pick her up and show her a good time. Her innocence and believable want to learn is what drives the film and makes her summer of sexual discovery a more enjoyable one. If that’s no good for you, I defy you to not want to eat a KitKat Chunky by the end of the film. The publicity photo of Annen eating a chocolate bar even makes me want to practice my blowjob skills on one…

I Wanna Make It Wit Chu – David Hughes’ ‘Emmanuelle in Soho’ (1981)

15 Feb

Does it make you horny baby? No? Me neither. Executively produced by David Sullivan, London’s premier men’s magazine publisher, Emmanuelle in Soho (1981) was one of the last British sex films to be made and released at the end of a successful five years for British sexploitation films. Originally intended as a vehicle for Sullivan’s girlfriend and muse Mary Millington, the film went into pre-production in 1978 after the success of an earlier collaborations of theirs Come Play With Me (1977). Sadly, Millington killed herself in 1979 and what was meant to be her first shot at some serious acting never came to fruition.

Instead the lead role went to model Julie Lee, who had some pretty looks but no real talent or ability to act. In the nicest way possible, watching her feels incredibly awkward, something you don’t really want to feel when you’re trying to watch a sex film. She’s as wooden as an impotent’s erection and this was unsurprisingly her only film role. Instead Lee’s role was swapped somewhat with that of another character and new star Mandy Miller, nicknamed ‘Randy Mandy’ was bought in. Billed on posters as’The NEW Mary Millington’, Miller just doesn’t have the charm that Millington had, even though her acting fares slightly better. Slightly.

The film saw Lee playing wife Kate to Kevin Fraser’s Paul. Paul is a struggling photographer on the sleazy London sex scene and can’t stop taking pictures of his lodger Emmanuelle, played by Miller (there, folks, is your link to the Emmanuelle/Emanuelle franchises and a poor link at that, only needing the name to generate money). Paul’s photographs are bought cheaply with the view to be sold on again for greater profit and soon he finds himself involved in a blackmailing scheme. And an orgy.

As with all of Sullivan’s films, publicity had Emmanuelle in Soho being advertised as ‘the hardest film ever released in Britain’. It wasn’t and further hardcore scenes were shot for overseas sales. The movie was still successful, opening at the Eros Cinema in Piccadilly Circus  (the porno theatre featured in John Landis’ 1981 horror feature An American Werewolf in London) and running for a substantial number of weeks before transferring to the Moulin in Great Windmill Street. Sadly for Lee, she never got the acting career she desired and passed away after a horrific car accident two years later in 1983.

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.

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.

Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon – Francis Giacobetti’s ‘Emmanuelle 2’ (1975)

23 Sep

Emmanuelle. One word that sends shivers down my spine, and not the orgasmic kind… Friends of mine and readers of this blog will already know that I hated Emmanuelle when I finally watched it. The French film, directed by Just Jaeckin, was a hit when released in 1974 and made European softcore porno-chic the next big thing, capitalizing on the success and popularity of Gerard Damiano’s Deep Throat, released in 1972. The pastel colouring, Victoriana interiors and soft lighting all present in the film became clichés that continue to influence softcore pornography even now and Emmanuelle’s personal quest of sexual discovery has continued to remain popular over the years. Much to everyone’s surprise, I couldn’t stand Jaeckin’s feature. I found Emmanuelle, as played by lead actress Sylvia Kristel, to be incredibly immature and unlikable, her sexual adventures to be embarrassing more than erotic and the whole film to be one long narrative on how you shouldn’t be having sex if you’re not ready for it. And yet, I kept thinking, there must be one Emmanuelle film out there I might like considering the first film spawned countless sequels and spinoffs…

Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) and her husband Jean (Umberto Orsini)

Enter Emmanuelle 2. Released a year after the original film and directed by Francis Giacobetti, Emmanuelle 2 is essentially Emmanuelle all over again. Emmanuelle (Kristel) is traveling back to Hong Kong by ship to be with her husband Jean (Orsini) and on the way there has sex with a female stranger. When eventually in Hong Kong and reunited with Jean, she slips back into the expat lifestyle she enjoyed in the first film, which basically involves sleeping with her husband and with anyone else she fancies. Emmanuelle recounts various sexual experiences she has had throughout the film before seducing a young girl Anna Maria (Catherine Rivet) and getting her husband to take her virginity.

Emmanuelle and Anna Maria (Catherine Rivet)

Well, where do I begin? If you guessed that I hated it, then you guessed correctly. Emmanuelle 2 is just as boring and drawn out as the original. Kristel couldn’t act in the first one and she can’t act in this either. Whilst Emmanuelle doesn’t feel like an emotionally immature young girl in this one, she instead comes across as a selfish spoilt brat. I find Sylvia Kristel unattractive anyway but this characterisation makes watching her in the film unbearable. Umberto Orsini is somewhat more believable, and handsome, in the role of Jean but points go to Rivet. Her role as the inquisitive, shy virgin feels like the only genuine performance! Plus she’s also rather pretty to look at. The rest of the film just seems very bloated with some ridiculous scenes (Emmanuelle having a random orgasm whilst doing acupuncture on herself and a man watches her awkwardly) and terrible acting (the facial expressions of Kristel and Orsini are hilariously wooden, are you jealous of each other or getting off on what you’re doing, it feels like the former).

I dread, with all my heart, watching the third one.