Mar 11, 2021

Emanuelle in America (1977)


Another Joe D'Amato-Laura Gemser Emanuelle flick - but this one is different.  Not only is it just relentlessly sleazy, it also contains an infamous "snuff film" which is beyond disturbing - easily the most realistic and unsettling "found footage" moments in film. The snuff film section inspired David Cronenberg to write "Videodrome" (1983), and I have to think Cannibal Holocaust (1980) also owes some inspiration.  It's just a small portion of the film that is just balls-to-the-wall from start to finish - exemplifying what it means to be a seventies exploitation film.

The film begins with three fully nude ladies getting photographed by Emanuelle.  The sleaze is constant and unrelenting until the final frame of this film.

Janet (Stefania Nocilli), on the right, is the magazine's top model.

On the drive home, Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) is held at gunpoint.  The guy says he wants to murder her for the erotic content she puts out there - in particular, the photos of Janet.

He says, "Janet, she's an angel, but she's heading for damnation and it's all your fault. You are evil." Emanuelle is able to save herself by giving the hypocrite a blow job. He runs away in horror afterwards, leaving his gun behind.

At home, she gives the gun Bill (Riccardo Salvino) plays with it like it's a toy. That thing may be loaded, Bill.

Her and Bill have sex in front of the erotic vegetable painting.

Emanuelle isn't just a nude photographer; she's a photo journalist.  Currently she's infiltrating a crime boss' brothel.  Charlie (Salvatore Baccaro) runs the operation and explains, "All the girls here are known just by their birth sign" and she will be called "Virgo".

Emanuelle gets undressed.

Charlie: "The rule of the house is work before pleasure, honey. Up to a certain limit."
Emanuelle: "What limit?"
Charlie: "You just passed it." (throws her on bed)

When Charlie leaves, Emanuelle springs into action.

Emanuelle hides her camera in her Virgo bracelet.

Charlie introduces her to the other Zodiac girls in the crime lord's "harem".

Emanuel meets her fellow concubines (L-R) -Barbara LayUlla JohannsenMaria Renata Franco, and Gemini (Lorraine De Selle).

Koike Mahoco comments on Maria Renata Franco leaving to be with Pedro.  We'll learn who this Pedro is later - and it's quite a surprise.

Emanuelle puts on the required uniform: a bikini bottom with the Zodiac sign.

Emanuelle skinny dips with a short haired blonde (? actress) and a long haired blonde (Karina Verlier).

The bikini bottoms come off.

Some rather explicit views, all put to music.

Gemini and Barbara Lay just watch and smile.

Emanuelle finally meets the crime lord, Eric van Darren (Lars Bloch).

Eric inspects Gemini's boob.

Remember when Maria Renata Franco went running to meet Pedro?  We'll here's  Pedro.

The concubines watch from outside.

I can't fucking believe this.

Maria Renata Franco actually rubs this horse's dick.  How much did this actress get paid to do this?  I hope millions.

Emanuelle is joined in the sauna by Gemini.

Gemini confesses that Eric is playing mind games with her. 

She starts to lose control. Emanuelle knows how to calm her down...

It's Emanuelle's turn to lay with Eric.  Their bedroom chat yields this truly awesome bit of dialog:
Emanuelle: "Poor Eric van Darren.  He's always been forced to buy everything. Power, orgasm, success..."
Eric van Darren: "Shut up, stupid bitch." 

Eric has a guest, Alfredo Elvize (Gabriele Tinti) the Duke of Mount Elba.  Tinti is in all these Emanuelle movies as a different character (and real life husband of Gemser).

Emanuelle goes to Venice with Alfredo and finds he's married to Laura Elvize (Paola Senatore).  I fucking love Senatore; a VZ1 MVP.

Alfredo brings Emanuelle into their bedroom where Laura is putting on a nightgown.  Great full frontal nudity from Paola Senatore.

Emanuelle is laid on the bed, and Laura goes to town on her.

She's barely had that nightgown on for a minute, and it's coming right back off.

Remember good ol' Bill?  He's come out to Venice to be with her.

They have sex outside an orchestra rehearsal.

At Alfredo's fancy banquet, Emanuelle is scolded by a rich lady (Gota Gobert) in a sheer blouse to keep her hands off her man, Gregory.

Check this dude out.  And note the number "5" on his collar.

The lady explains that she purchased Gregory on a secret Caribbean island especially for rich women.  Emanuelle takes a mental note - and we'll be going to that island later.

Alfredo honors their esteemed guest, the senator (Vittorio Ripamonti), with a big cake...

The cake opens up to reveal a nude woman inside.

The senator loves his gift.

Unexpectedly, the cake girl inspires another party guest to take off her clothes too.

This sets into motion a big orgy.

The waiter hilariously eats the cake while everyone fucks all around him.

The rich lady (Gota Gobert) and Gregory have sex as well.

This chick just chills and masturbates.

Alfredo and Laura join the crowd.

Emanuelle traves back from Venice to NY to photograph Janet (Stefania Nocilli) again.

Bill calls Emanuelle and she rubs herself in front of bizarre wall art.

Emanuelle travels to that secret Caribbean island full of numbered male sex workers who pleasure the rich ladies.  Emanuelle goes around with her secret camera taking pictures of the various guests.

Marina Hedman gets with her gigolo. 

I guess she likes it rough. The gigolo rips off her clothes and they have sex. A bit surprised to see Marina Hedman doing some hardcore work here. I guess it's not her first time, but the first I think I've seen from her.

Cristina Minutelli also provides hardcore - getting it and giving it to two guys.

Another woman just rubs herself while looking at a masked man in his underwear.  She's played by Renate Kasché who was in a ton of German films covered on VZ1.

And now things take a dark turn as Emanuelle spies on a woman (Matilde Dall'Aglio) having sex with a guy while a movie projector displays on a small screen.

She sees a series of ghastly images including a woman getting blow torched.  It appears to be a snuff film.  The music, the vibe... this scene rocked my world. And it's by no means the last we'll see of the snuff.

Emanuelle wants to leave the island, but Diana Smith (Maria Piera Regoli), the director, won't let her leave.  She knows she's been snooping around with her camera - and she wants the film.

Emanuelle refuses.  To quote internet click-bait - what comes next may shock you....

Emanuelle throws Diana onto the ground and rips her clothes off. That escalated quickly!

She forces alcohol down Diana's throat.

Then she basically rapes her while she's barely conscious. WTF?

Emanuelle leaves her there and escapes.

She takes the story to Freddy her editor.  She also brings the snuff film scoop to his attention.

She swears she saw this missing girl in the snuff film.

This was hilarious.  Freddy recommends she talk to Ronnie who works on the docks.  He is said to know everything going on underground in the city.  This so reminded me of the shoe shine guy on The Naked Gun.

Following Ronnie's information, she works her way in with a US Senator (Roger Browne).

They have sex, and she's able to get out of him that he has access to snuff film productions.

They fly to a remote island where armed soldiers open small windows in an unassuming hut.

Emanuelle can't believe what she's seeing.

What she sees is some of the most horrific shit ever put to film.  It's not just the content, but the way it's presented - grainy and without a background score - it is just plain chilling.  I have to think Cannibal Holocaust found some inspiration from this nightmare.

Fucking hell.

Emanuelle takes her photographs back to Freddy who tells her she can keep them. He's been told by someone high up that this story can't see the light of day.

The film does a 180 and gets light and fun.  Emanuelle goes with Bill to a tropical paradise where they are taken in by the natives.

But they find that this is actually just a movie set (?) - and so they run off together for fear of being recruited to be an extra in the production. THE END

Out of over two thousand movies covered so far on VZ1, we've only given a 10/10 to seven films. Well, add this to the list. It had everything: a zodiac themed brothel, sauna sex, nude photography, blowjobs at gunpoint, skinny dipping, bestiality, a sex island for rich women, an orgy, a woman covered in cake, Paola Senatore, lesbianism, phone sex, Emanuelle straight-up raping a woman, a snuff film, it goes on and on.  

But this isn't just a case of "kitchen sink" exploitation, where D'Amato just threw every sexploitation element into the mix.  Well, he did, but he did it skillfully and with style. The score fits perfectly - with corny crooning where it fits, and stark notes eliciting true dread during the snuff sequences.  This movie goes from whacky orgies to the heart of darkness in minutes; it's bursting at the seams with a sleazy creative gusto that hurtles from one trashy and insane moment to the next. The one downside you might add is that it's not going to be a crowd pleaser; like the aforementioned Cannibal Holocaust, it has moments of real horror that could be uncomfortable viewed with a crowd.  And then there's Pedro the horse... yeah, maybe the less said about that the better.  

One day I'm going to right a long overly-wordy treatise on what it takes to make a great exploitation film.  I feel like, after a few thousand reviews on VZ1, I'm as qualified as anyone.  And when I do - this film will be a textbook illustration of how it's done.

[see list of Emmanuelle Movies]



  1. Wow I wasn't expecting a 10/10 would love to knwo what other 7 films are talking about
    Please write their names if possible

    1. Yeah, I've wanted to have a thing in the sidebar where you can click to see the movies that received 10,9,8,7,etc stars, but can't figure out how. You can't search by stars, so it's a little frustrating.

      Just off the top of my head, the tens are: Werewolf Woman, Blood Games, Dracula vs Frankenstein, La Pretora, Satan's Blood, Prom Night 2, and Horror from the Tomb

  2. Thank you and I would advice to have a folder with your favorite top 10 nude scene or sex scenes