By now, Joe D’Amato (Anthropophagus; Papaya, Love Goddess of the Cannibals) should be a household name, especially to those of us who worship at the altar of cinematic filth. So too should Bruno Mattei’s (Strike Commando, Emanuelle Escapes From Hell) name be on the tip of our proverbial tongues with his penchant for sleaze and his tendency toward celluloid ineptitude. Emanuelle’s Revenge marks the first collaboration between these two Italian film legends. It also happens to be D’Amato’s first foray into the Emanuelle series before he began to cash in on the success of Bitto Albertini’s (Yellow Emanuelle, Naked and Cruel) Black Emanuelle with a string of increasingly debauched sequels that truly push the boundaries of poor taste.
Patrizia Gori (Elsa Fräulein SS, The Return of the Exorcist) is Françoise, a girl who has become involved with a complete piece of shit named Carlo (George Eastman; Anthropophagus, 1990: The Bronx Warriors) who pimps her out, degrades, and abuses her whenever it suits his needs. Trying to score a role in a film? Tell the director he can fuck your girlfriend! Gambling debts? Put on a show for your greaseball friends by raping your girlfriend while they watch! Eventually, she smartens up after catching him banging some other slut in her own bed and ends up committing suicide via train. When her sister Emanuelle (Rosemarie Lindt; Salon Kitty, Who Saw Her Die?) discovers the circumstances of her death, she seduces and then imprisons Carlo in a secret room in her house forcing him to watch as she fucks and sucks random people to his dismay. After several days of pumping him full of drugs and half starving him things backfire on her; I’m sure you can piece together the rest.
While not as shocking or horrific as some of the later films D’Amato was known for, Emanuelle e Françoise still manages to assault the viewer with an abundance of sex and violence; mostly the former. Some of the erotic segments are exactly that, and some are nasty and slimy enough to make even the most jaded of viewers want a shower afterward (in particular the flashbacks of Carlo’s abuse of Françoise). As if that wasn’t exacting enough, some markets had the film recut with hardcore sex scenes, which is typical of D’Amato’s Emanuelle films (watch the XXX version of Emanuelle Around the World if you want to see something really fucked up). Emanuelle e Françoise also marks the beginning of D’Amato’s penchant for combining sex and extreme violence in film – a style that he became well known for before digressing into hardcore (nonviolent) pornography.
The story as can be expected isn’t overly deep or thought-provoking, but that’s not to say it fails to hold one’s interest. The scenes of violence don’t come into play until much later in the film, however exploitation fans will find plenty to gawk at in the meantime as the ladies in the film disrobe and copulate perpetually. Anyone familiar with the Emanuelle/Black Emanuelle oeuvre will know exactly what to expect here.
The violence and gore aspect of the film isn’t nearly as impressive as what was imposed on viewers in some of his later features (the fetus rip/consume from Anthropophagus comes to mind) and in fact some of the brutality showcased here is meant to arouse more than appall. At any rate, it’s kind of hit and miss and some of it certainly requires a more forgiving audience – one scene in particular involves a ridiculously fake looking meat cleaver and one of the lasses rolling around in ecstasy on the floor as she’s “chopped up”. Many of these gruesome scenes take place while Carlo is tripping on whatever shit that Emanuelle has shot him up with, so things certainly take on a more dream-like quality. It’s worth noting though that the ending to the film is both apt and very satisfying no matter how you look at it. Also noteworthy is the excellent score provided by Gianni Marchetti whose work genre aficionados will recognize from classic smut such as SS Girls and The True Story of the Nun of Monza.
Veteran exploitation fans will revel in Eastman’s performance as well as in the darker aspect to the film, it may be slightly less palatable to those looking for a straight up showcase of eroticism. This is a D’Amato offering, after all. Nevertheless, Emanuelle e Françoise will definitely invoke a strong reaction from those brave and/or curious enough to seek it out.
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