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Review: Emanuelle in America (1977)

100 Min. / Directed by Joe D’Amato

Just Jaeckin’s original sexual excursion Emmanuelle gave birth to a glut of psuedo-sequels and retitled flms which went on to rival the entire Django debacle. The undisputed King of the rip-off Emmanuelles (spelled with one or two m’s, depending on what country or distributor it may be) had to be Joe D’Amato with his Queen being the indonesian beauty Laura Gemser. Beginning with Black Emanuelle, Gemser went on to star in a long series of sordid sex odysseys helmed by veteran Italian exploitation Director D’Amato. Most of them follow a simple formula with ample opportunity for exotic locations, nudity and the occaisional hardcore insert. While all of these films feature open moral attitudes and a tendency to mix sexuality with violence, D’amato/Gemser’s cruelist entry into the series was 1979’s notorious Emanuelle in America.

America finds the Gemser yet again as a trendy fashion photographer working in New York and looking for the big scoop. After a close encounter with a mugger (Gemser gives him oral sex), Emanuelle infiltrates the lavish estate of a private pleasuredome full off rich sickos. 

After traveling around the world and becoming a spetactor of some wild events (like a naked woman flagellating a horse) as well as participating in a series of wild orgies and swinging pool parties to the swirlingly psychedelic sounds of Nico Fidenco, Emanuelle stumbles onto a room where a super-8 projector is unspooling a violent snuff film. This film, probably the most controversial element of the film, is a work of cinema verite genius unto itself and much of the film’s reputation is based solely on these fleeting moments. Gianetto De Rossi’s expert effects combined with D’Amato’s authentically-aged grainy footage pop off the screen to create a masterwork which would be too potent even for some of the stronger mondo films. Supposedly this film also served as a primary inspiration of David Cronenberg for creating his own film about televised torture Videodrome.

After witnessing this brutal sight which jars even her own sensibilties, Gemser does a bit of snooping and gets into the confidence of a certain influential Colonel who feeds her a bit of LSD and takes her on a plane to some remote South American country where “moviemaking” is a prime industry among various rebel military outfits. Fun things ensue.

When German company initially attempted to release the first DVD edition of America, the pressing plant supposedly refused to deal with such adult material. Whether that was hype or not we’ll never know, but Astro eventually did succecede in getting out the dvd, which is apparently a numbered limited edition of 3,000. That release was totally uncut, featuring both the full orgy and horse scenes, but suffered from being a composite of multiple sources and only having German audio. Blue Underground later rectified the situation with a fully-uncut US DVD which was the gold stand for this film for some time until Mondo Macabro gave the film an HD update in a beautiful new Blu-Ray release. The Screenshots in this review are from this new remastered release.

Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) is a fashion photographer and fearless photo journalist who travels the world in search of the exotic, the erotic, and the downright deadly. Never averse to shedding her clothes in pursuit of a good story, Emanuelle sets her sights on America, with a mission to expose the sizzling inner secrets of the jet set at play.

Now for the first time ever on Blu-ray, this notorious and truly shocking film can truly be seen in all it’s high definition glory, totally uncut. Infamous director Joe D’Amato pulls out all the stops in this epic of sleaze and depravity. It’s Emanuelle … but as you’ve never seen her before.

Region free 1080p presentation 
4k restoration from the original negative 
English and Italian language options 
Newly translated optional English subtitles 
Archival Documentary “Joe D’Amato Totally Uncut: The Erotic Experience” 
Brand new audio commentary by Eurotrash aficionados Bruce Holecheck and Nathaniel Thompson  
Brand new interview with author David Flint

More Blu-Ray Screenshots (NSFW)

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