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An American journalist travels throughout the world in search of a good story by joining a modern-day harem and traveling to Venice to see what really goes on at diplomatic parties. While trying to expose a corrupt government official, Emanuelle stumbles upon a group that uses kidnapped girls to make and sell snuff films. A brush with death leaves Emanuelle wondering if it is perhaps time to hang up her camera for good. Written by
Jonathan Ruskin <JonRuskin@aol.com>
Ah, that Joe D'Amato...you can't help but watch his films no matter how curiously interesting or just plain bad they are. If it weren't for the explicit versions, I think most folks would forget about them soon after viewing, unless just gawking at naked gals here and there in the guise of a "legitimate film" is your kind of thing. The BIG problem with Emanuelle In America is that it can't make up its mind if it wants to be mere exploitation or hardcore, as it bounces back and forth but never really completes those goals.
Li'l Miss Sexpot herself Laura Gemser is "Miss Emanuelle" who will travel anywhere and subject herself to any danger in order to get an ultimate story to further her journalistic endeavors (her sneaking around and snapping pics reminded me a lot of later Charlie's Angels adventures). She joins a harem of sorts and fondles women and watches bestiality, mingles with horny aristocrats, gets an expose of a women's pleasure resort (ah, finally a bunch of naked men in a movie), and shmoozes with bad men behind a snuff film ring. Yes, a film like this DOES need lots of sex to keep it going, but it's strange how much of it doesn't show up until much later.
When sex scenes start, they end abruptly like a bad tease. During the sex, lots of jumpcuts jar the viewer so that it's not easy to get any pleasure out of viewing it. When hardcore footage appears, it usually never "finishes" (okay, there's a lack of money shots). When there ARE money shots, the scene has zipped by so fast you wonder if you were supposed to get excited or think that folks finish sexual encounters within one minute or less. Sex scenes in films like this are usually intended to arouse, and these leave you somewhat confused.
Here is where I DEFEND something about this film: Those people who are only turned on by shaved, squeaky-looking pretty people in porn should not be so harsh to those of us who actually like a bit of body hair on men, or if women aren't so artistically trimmed. I have a feeling that most are bitching about the "hairy men" because of the bearded guy in the hut (in the Tarzan fantasy sequence). If anything, his hirsute appearance enhanced the energy of the too-brief scene, and I'm sure there are plenty of folks that appreciated a natural-looking man instead of plastic pretty boys. As for the women, it's funny how so many "reviewers" are calling the actresses unattractive -- seems there are too many men out there that have ridiculously high standards for women. I didn't find these women unattractive; if anything they seemed real and still even out of the league that most of the drooling heterosexual viewers would ever get in real life. You know the kind, guys with beer guts who wear hats and t-shirts that say "No Fat Chicks" and think that all women are inherently bisexual. I say HOORAY for '70s hairy porn, let's have more of it!
For me, instead of being creeped out by physically follicle-blessed men, I was creeped out by the sordid footage of the snuff films. Instead of a glimpse of one, we are subjected to several scenes of it, and it reminds me of those harsh slasher films that get women naked before they are dismembered. Are we supposed to be aroused by the nudity AND the physical violence at the same time? Otherwise, why so much of it in this film? I say fill out the other basic hardcore sex scenes more, and less of the poles and hooks being used as sexual torture. And to think David Cronenberg got his inspiration for "Videodrome" from this film.....eek!
So, take a look at Emanuelle In America so you can say you saw it, and if you got a kick out it, then it's actually okay. I saw it as a curiosity that had to be done and over with. It just really felt like a longgggg tease to me, so that I had to dig into my stash of hairy '70s porn afterwards to feel satiated!
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