Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 3rd, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1976/1977
Directors: Joe D’Amato(Emanuelle In Bangkok/Emanuelle Around The World), Giuseppe Vari (Sister Emanuelle)
Cast: Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Maria Luigia, Stefania Pecce, Monica Zanchi, Ivan Rassimov, Marino Mase, Ely Galleani
DVD released: April 3rd, 2007
Approximate running time: 281 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Italian
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $69.95
Emanuelle In Bangkok: Emanuelle is sent on assignment to Bangkok to get an exclusive with the king and his family. Her passport and belongings are stolen which forces her to take drastic measures to get out of Bangkok. After Emanuelle manages to get out of Bangkok she continues her pursuit for pleasure in India and Casablanca.
Emanuelle in Bangkok would mark the first time director Joe D’Amato and actress Laura Gemsar would work together. Gemsar had previously played the role of Emanuelle in the Bitto Albertini film titled Black Emanuelle. Emanuelle in Bangkok is not as sleazy as the other entries that would follow. The sex scenes are all beautifully shot and framed. There is never anything vulgar or graphic about them.
Emanuelle in Bangkok shows the brilliance of Joe D’Amato as a director of soft core erotica and even though his films would get more graphic as his career progressed into full blown hardcore this Emanuelle film showcases his genius more then most of his films. D’Amato more then any other filmmaker making erotica had a knack for not overstepping the boundaries that separate soft core and hard core sex films.
His use of juxta-positioning shots is inspired like when he uses footage of a steam boats engine room working overtime and mixes that with footage of Emaneulle having sex. The scene also ends with an appropriate and yet symbolic release of steam from a shaft like air vent on top of the boat. The story and the sex scenes are well balanced and D’Amato takes full advantaged of al the locations. Another interesting scene of note takes place in a night club where there is a dancer who can do interesting tricks with her vagina using ping pong balls.
The cast of Emanuelle in Bangkok features the talents of Euro cult regulars such as Giacomo Rossi-Stuart most known for his role in Mario Bava’s Kill Baby Kill and Ivan Rassimov who would star in Emanuelle around the World albeit as a different character. Actor Gabriele Tinti who was married at the time to the films star Laura Gemsar would make an appearance in the film. Then there is Laura Gemsar as the enchanting Emanuelle the character for which she will be forever linked with. Gemsar is one of the most beautiful seductress’s to ever grace the silver screen and whether she is clothed, naked or making love it is impossible to take your eyes off of her. Nico Fidenco’s lush and exotic score for Emanuelle in Bangkok perfectly captures the East Asian settings and culture that the film takes place in.
Emanuelle Around The World: Emanuelle meets a man named Dr. Malcolm Robertson (Ivan Rassimov) who opens her eyes to more then just sex. Reluctantly she accepts an assignment to go to India to interview a guru named Shanti (George Eastman) who claims he has perfected the ultimate orgasm. While in India Emanuelle meets a woman who reveals a white slave trade organization that is kidnapping and selling women. When this job proves to be too much for just one lady Emanuelle enlists the help of her reporter friend Cora Norman (Karin Schubert). The two women then globe trot around the world exposing these sex slave operations.
After the success of Emanuelle in Bangkok is only made sense to reunite most of its talent from that film including director Joe D’Amato and actress Laura Gemsar as Emaneulle and actor Ivan Rassimov as Emaneulles main love interest. In fact the cast is a virtual whose who of 1970’s exploitation which includes Craig Hill as a disfigured man and porn director/icon Paul Thomas as a truck driver. Other notable performances include that of George Eastman as a sex addicted capitalist who disguises himself as a cult leader and the lovely Karin Schubert getting equal time as Emanuelle’s sidekick. Overall the whole cast even down to the littlest bit player does a fantastic job.
Out of all the Black Emanuelle films that Joe D’Amato directed Emanuelle around the World is without a doubt the most ambitious of the lot. Even though there is plenty of graphic bits and moments of Degradation this film still doesn’t get the title as the most notorious of the series. That honor shall be bestowed to Emanuelle in America. Once again many beautiful locations are used and lots of naked women are on display.
One can’t help but fall in love with the score composed by Nico Fidenco for this or any of his Emanuelle score. He once again manages to capture the essence and mood of every moment. This is also another solid job from director Joe D’Amato who fills every moment of the film with picturesque imagery. The story is never dull and the journey we are taken on is often engaging and always entertaining.
Sister Emanuelle: Emanuelle’s latest assignment is as a nun at a school for trouble girls. The arrival of a promiscuous new girl named Monica (Mónica Zanchi) brings back memories of Emanuelle’s sordid past. Will Emanuelle be able to fight temptation or will she return to her sinful old ways?
This film is the only one included in this collection that was not directed by Joe D’Amato. It was directed by Giuseppe Vari and style wise it is in direct contrast to the D’Amato films. Being that this Emanuelle entry is also part nunsploitation it is only fitting that the look of the film looks more like the soft lit look nunsploitation films are known for and not the flamboyant style the is evident in every D’Amato Emanuelle film. The films plot will it starts off start forward enough tends to drift off into dream like territories which at times make it hard to discern what is real and what is not.
Even though this is titled as an Emanuelle film the real star of this film is the character named Monica who is played by an actress named Mónica Zanchi who would later also star in the film Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals. The most interesting part of the film is how Emanuelle is the sexually repressed one while Monica is the free spirited sex nymph. Gabriele Tinti has a brief role as a murdered on the run and just his luck he has found a horny teenage girl to provide him with shelter and love.
Laura Gemsar does a wonderful job playing the other side of the coin and even though she spends a great deal of time clothed in her nun outfit that doesn’t stop her sexuality form oozing forth. Gemsar is like a force of nature and no matter if she is clothed or naked she always has the ability to ignite the screen with desire. Stelvio Cipriani’s score sound like Mozart meets progressive rock with its spaced out arrangements and motifs. Overall while there is some interesting moments Sister Emanuelle is the weakest of the three films include in the Black Emanuelle box set.
All three films included in the Black Emanuelle box set are presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves their original aspect ratios. Colors look faithfully reproduced and lucid. Black levels are strong and details are sharp in the background and foreground. Emanuelle in Bangkok is the best looking of the three transfers, Sister Emanuelle has some very minor print damage and Emanuelle around the World is in the worst sharp of the three with noticeable nicks and scratches throughout. Overall this is the best these three films have looked ever on home video.
All three films come with two audio options English and Italian and these audio choices are all presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The Italian language tracks all sound cleaner then their English counter parts. The three English audio mixes have some minor issues with hiss and distortion, still nothing that ever becomes that distracting. Overall all six audio choices (two for each film) are more then adequate as dialog is clear and easy to follow. All three films come with removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and understand.
Extras for this release an English language trailer for each film included in the Black Emanuelle box set and each trailer is include on the DVD for the film it matches with. The Sister Emanuelle DVD comes with four deleted scenes which are mostly just extensions of preexisting scene with added hardcore inserts and this material looks like it was sourced from VHS. The Emanuelle in Bangkok DVD comes with a twelve minute segment with Joe D’Amato at Eurofest in 1995. D’Amato speaks in English and his comments as well as those who are interviewing him are subtitled in English since the sound is in poor shape. Emanuelle around the World’s main extra is a thirteen minute interview titled “Black Emanuelle’s Groove “with composer Nico Fidenco he discusses his work on the four Emanuelle films that he worked on.
Also included with this release are six mini poster reproductions two for each film included with this set. Cult music fans are also in for a real treat as a bonus CD which includes the complete scores for Nico Fidenco’s Black Emanuelle, Emanuelle In Bangkok and Emanuelle Around The World have been included for this release. This release is also marketed as a limited edition which is limited to only 4,000 copies so pick one up before they disappear forever.
Severin Films Black Emanuelle box set is one of the most impressive collections of soft core erotica to find its way to a legit DVD release and this release is obviously a labor of love as the amount of restoration and extra content collected for this release for exceeded my expectations. Fans of sex goddess Laura Gemasr can now finally retire their worn out grey market versions of these films and replace them with Severin Films stunning box set.