Friday, July 12, 2013

Emanuelle in America (1977)

I remember renting a VHS of Sylvia Kristel's Emmanuelle around the mid to late '90s. I can't recall anything about the movie itself, but I can easily picture what my viewing experience would have been like: Started with a couple of bonghits, fast-forwarded through all the non-nude scenes and ended with me cleaning all my virile teenaged sperm out of my hair and off the wall behind my couch. Fast-forward 15 years and things have changed a lot. I no longer smoke weed, my hair's speckled with grey, the jizzloads only reach mid-chest level at best, and I'm about to have my first fling with the other Emanuelle. Let's hope this one's a bit more memorable.

We're introduced to Laura Gemser's Emanuelle in her day job photographing naked models - pretty much the perfect job for a softcore porn character, allowing tits and vag to appear in copious amounts without any need for explanation. Shortly after, her car is hijacked by one of the models boyfriends, some prudish virgin who holds a gun to her head and accuses her of corrupting his beloved. Fortunately, as Emanuelle's talents go, photography takes a distant 2nd place to being a slut extraordinaire. After sucking his cock for a few seconds, he sees the error of his ways and dashes off to bang his missus. Interestingly, Emanuelle isn't bothered in the slightest and laughs heartily about the whole ordeal. Women are strange like that. I'm guessing that might be why they go to public bathrooms in groups, so they can share hilarious anecdotes about all the gun-wielding psychopaths they've blown recently. Yeah.

"... and then he said he'd blow my brains out if I didn't swallow. LOL!!"

This first scene sums up Emanuelle's escapades for the rest of the movie. It's a simple formula - go somewhere, take photos, fuck some people, repeat. The scenes tend to blur into each other a little, so I'd sometimes find myself thinking, "Where the fuck is she now and who the fuck is that she's fuckin'??" Things are spiced up a little by her second job as a daring investigative photo-journalist, eradicating crime one shag at a time. With two jobs, she's a busy lady indeed, which may partly explain why whenever she meets someone, she just gets straight down to the fuckin'. Too busy for all that finding out the other person's name rubbish.

As in all porn, soft or hard, the devil is in the details and so is all the fun. I mean, we've all seen naked women pleasuring horses before, but it's different here because the horse's name is Pedro. Bwahahahahaha! Pedro!!! If that doesn't have you rolling on the floor with laughter then... well, it's a horseporn thing, you wouldn't understand.

"Hey, I understand!"

And then we come to the movie's most notorious scene, where our intrepid young photographer/reporter/trollop stumbles upon a snuff porn tape. And it's a genuine doozy of a scene. 2 minutes of genuine pseudo-snuff heaven. In 1976, it would have been in the top tier of the most graphically violent, depraved and hardcore pieces of footage ever filmed. Grimier and nastier than anything in Salo. It still packs a punch today. I have no idea what possessed director Joe D'Amato to throw this vile slab of sexual butchery into the middle of a fuckflick for the raincoat brigade, but I'm calling it a stroke of genius on his part.

"Bravo, D'Amato. Bravo."
Having said all that, aside from a handful of scenes, the movie overall is a little boring. "What?", I hear you say. "A Joe D'Amato porn flick, boring? How can this be?!?!" Sadly, it's true. Ultimately, your mileage will vary according to how much you'd like to have Laura Gemser's snatch in your face. My personal tastes lean toward a slightly more rubenesque figure. Don't get me wrong, she's an attractive lady. And my teenage self would have been happy to get stoned, skip through the plot and *ahem* "enjoy" the movie. But it wouldn't have been the kind of enjoyment where you're fearing for your eyesight, ducking and dodging cumbullets like some protein-soaked parody of a soldier on D-day. More like where the enjoyment all pools up in your belly-button and you have to keep your torso roughly horizontal while you go find tissues.

This was the 2nd of 5 Emanuelle collaborations between D'Amato and Gemser. I haven't seen any of the others, but I'm predicting that by the end of the 5th movie, Emanuelle will have succeeded in fucking every single human being on the planet. I look forward to finding out if I'm correct. Please don't spoil it for me.