Emanuelle In America
Blue Underground // Unrated // $29.95 // June 24, 2003
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted July 13, 2003
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Graphical Version
CineSchlock-O-Rama
Short Takes

Be advised this film strays beyond the normal bounds of CineSchlock-O-Rama by incorporating, as Blue Underground casually notes, "scenes of a graphic sexual nature." While their commitment to historically-accurate film presentation is admirable, to yours truly, that's much too blase of a warning when said content is hardcore footage of unsimulated fellatio, penetration, ejaculation and unconventional horse husbandry. Although that's only HALF the reason for this flick's notoriety amongst the exploitation pantheon. Laura Gemser stars as Emanuelle (a.k.a. "Black" Emanuelle) who divides her time as a New York City fashion photographer (whose models NEVER wear clothes) and an investigative journalist. This affords her the opportunity to skulk around a zodiac-inspired harem in her birthday suit purring lines like "Don't you think that a hot bath is nice as a lover's caress?" whilst diddling all takers and snapping pictures with a spy cam ingeniously hidden in various pieces of hideous costume jewelry. Yet plotwise, that's all just titillating icing on the cake -- and, guess what, a gal actually pops out of one during a European sidetrip -- until over an hour in when Emanuelle accidentally jiggles upon a ring of snuff flick producers. Hence the OTHER reason for the film's notoriety: a final reel that contains vomit-inducing scenes of women being raped, having boiling oil poured down their gullets and their bloodied breasts filleted like wriggling catfish. Sort of a quickie Skinemax version of Cannibal Holocaust. Lest we merely glory in depravity, Blue Underground provides proper cinematic context via a 13-minute video interview with the late Joe D'Amato who explains that it was the FRENCH who demanded Triple-X cavorting. Also, fellow genre enthusiast David Flint unravels the knots of knockoffs and sequels spawned by the 1974 classic (with two Ms) via an enlightening onscreen essay. 54 breasts. Six corpses. Gratuitous movie-within-a-movie sequence. Intercontinental phone sex. Gratuitous penis cookies. Oral gratification as means for thwarting murder. Advanced lesbian tongue rasslin. Underwater gynecological cam. Mickey slipping. Tony speaks for the moral majority regarding Emanuelle and her liberated ilk, "You are evil! You stimulate the basest, most inhuman instincts in people! Sex! Shame! Hell and damnation!!!" (1976, 100 mins, 1.85:1 anam, DD mono, Director interview, Audio Q&A with Ms. Gemser, Essay.)

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.


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