Hedonistic photojournalist Emanuelle goes undercover to expose the seedy lives of rich and powerful sex cultists and snuff film peddlers in America and Europe.Hedonistic photojournalist Emanuelle goes undercover to expose the seedy lives of rich and powerful sex cultists and snuff film peddlers in America and Europe.Hedonistic photojournalist Emanuelle goes undercover to expose the seedy lives of rich and powerful sex cultists and snuff film peddlers in America and Europe.
The Personification of Joe D'Amato's Work
There are basically two kinds people in this world: those who like smut and those who don't. Those who like it should revel in the work of Aristede Massaccesi, a.k.a. Joe D'Amato. Those who don't should stay as far away from it as humanly possible. However, I see myself as that rare someone who is able to walk the line that divides them. I can watch a D'Amato film from beginning to end but will have a storm of mixed feelings afterwards. The first Joe D'Amato film I saw was either "Emmanuelle Around the World," "Emmanuelle in Bangkok" or "Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals." I saw them on Showtime and/or the Movie Channel (now called Starz) back in late '92 and early '93. I was not familiar with D'Amato at the time; I was intrigued by the star, Laura Gemser. I had seen her in another Emmanuelle film called "Emmanuelle, Queen of Sados" (not directed by D'Amato) and was struck by her exotic beauty. I had always been a fan of 70s movies and many of the Gemser and D'Amato films had the texture of kung fu movies, exploitation movies and other genres of that time. Unfortunately, the cable stations stopped showing them and the only ones I could find at the local video stores were the aforementioned "Emmanuelle, Queen of Sados" and "Black Cobra," a soft-core film directed by D'Amato, with Gemser and Jack Palance. But finally in 1995 I jumped on the information superhighway, and thanks to many cult films sites on the net, I was able to find many if not all of these films and purchase them. Upon receiving the videos, I soon realized that I wasn't as seasoned a Joe D'Amato fan as I thought. I watched "Black Emmanuelle," Gemser's first outing in the title role, and "Erotic Nights of the Living Dead I was shocked in find her in a hard core scene in the former with Angelo Infanti, the same guy who blew up Michael Corleone's wife in "The Godfather!" I'm not going to say I've never watched pornography but it wasn't what I was looking for. In fact, I would find out later, and much to my relief, that a body double was used to substitute Gemser in the scene. I was still however shocked to find these films I had seen late on Friday and Saturday nights contained graphic, often violent scenes of hardcore sex. It took some adjusting but I found that I was still curious. I tried to find "Emmanuelle in America," the unofficial grand daddy of 'em all, on the net but tracking it would prove not to be so simple. The online store that was supplying it appeared to have ran out of copies. So I went on to buy other D'Amato films like "Caligula, the Untold Story." Though I was taken aback by the graphic scenes, I wasn't surprised by them. Finally I found another site that carried it. Though I was anxious, I must admit I was eager to see it, especially the infamous "snuff" film (at this point, I feel obligated to point out that it is well documented that the snuff footage seen in the movie was staged, so please don't go awry trying to contact the FBI to confiscate the film). I finally saw `Emmanuelle in America,' and its most famous seen. I found I wasn't as jaded as I thought, as I found myself quite disturbed by the footage. Emmanuelle thought she saw it in a dream, but when her boss at the paper shows her photos of the crime, she replies (much to my shock), "Amazing." I burst out laughing at her quip, but when the film reached its anti-climactic end, I was surprised to find that Emmanuelle did not further investigate the sadistic crime, then I thought to myself, "It's a Joe D'Amato flick. What do you expect?" And I burst out in laughter again.
- Nov 26, 2000
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