BLACK EMMANUELLE, WHITE EMMANUELLE
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
Some weird cougar and her slutty daughters do nasty things with nasty men. Presumably. Softcore, and all.
Is it good movie?
I’ll admit my ignorance on the subject of the Emmanuelle movies. I mean, I know they are all soft-light, soft-core spank movies. Lord knows I would click the two buttons on either side of HBO, roll the squelch wheel until I got a decent negative of some fumbling lesbian action from one of the entries, it hardly mattered which one, and then run pell-mell for the bathroom for a furtive and furious donkey-flogging (What? Overshare?). But as far as anthropology goes, a historical narrative of what constitutes an Emmanuelle film, I am in the dark. I know that they were originally based on the novels of Emmanuelle Arsan (who also occasionally directed and even acted in some of the entries), but there seem to be a good many films that were simply slapped with the Emmanuelle label because they were “erotic” films, and would make more money overseas with the revamped title.
I would be tempted to think that was what happened to this film, originally titled Velluto Nero (Black Velvet), except that Laura Gemser, veteran of many Emmanuelle films, co-stars as, you guessed it, Emmanuelle. In this entry, set in Egypt, we have Emmanuelle and her douchebag boyfriend Carlos (who needs his camera shoved up his ass), cougar Crystal and her damaged daughters Magda and Laure, a zoned-out “Holy Man” and Crystal’s boytoy Antonio, and actor and geriatric pederast Hal. Why they are all thrown together in the same situation is hardly the point, and the plot is as sheer and tenuous as a negligee. Basically, every single character has some deep fissure in their psyche that keeps them at a distance from reality, and they engage in kinky sex to fill the gaping void in their lives left behind by their utter absence of personality.
But, alas, there is no spankable material in this film. All of the sex is simulated, and poorly at that, and quite frankly I am offended by the idea of a guy who is in the process of raping his girlfriend, except halfway through she starts to enjoy it. The women are decently attractive, but the dialog is retarded, the characters’ motivations vacillate in the breeze, and the scenes are so contrived as to negate any possibility of downstairs tumescence. At about an hour and twenty minutes in, there is the fleeting glimpse of a penis, and that is about as progressive as this film is going to get. Horror enthusiasts, however, will enjoy seeing frequent Fulci actor Al Cliver blow a load on Nieves Navarro’s face, and Annie Belle from Anthropopahgus 2 and House on the Edge of the Park dancing like Crispin Glover in F13: TFC.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen, 2.35:1, enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Either this is just a really shite print, or the DP could not have been bothered to figure out how to light action in the desert so that the whole affair isn’t drab and washed out, though I think it might be a little from column A and a little from column B.
Audio: the audio is in mono, and the English language track has gaps, where supposedly the Italian track was put back in with English subtitles. Except there are no subtitles, so you pretty much need to watch the Italian track. As is par with this caliber of product, the dialog is synced up quite poorly.
Interviews: The cover lists this as having interviews with Al Cliver and Annie Belle, but Laura Gemser is in there as well. Cliver is a sit-down interview, while Belle and Gemser are only audio tracks played over footage from the film. All three interviews are interspersed with one another and didn’t really hold my interest much. I suppose it might have helped if I didn’t hate the movie.
Trailer: The trailer is sort of David Lynch meets Monty Python, with scenes from the movie, sans dialog, played over porno disco, with the title (Velluto Nero) snaking serpentine across the actresses. It is over three-minutes long, and shows every single female cast member naked, so there is an argument that you need only watch the trailer and ignore the actual movie. Your choice.
This release proudly claims to be “Uncut and Uncensored with Footage Never Before Seen in America”. Too bad they didn’t leave it that way. Muddled and annoying, tedious and boring, there is not nearly enough sex to make this thing worth watching. Unless you are the most rabid of fans of 70’s sleaze cinema, I would suggest just checking out some online porn instead.