Sunday, 24 September 2017

Soft Porn Sunday: Laura Gemser & Gabriele Tinti

TYPI ΦΕΤΑ.

It's the only Greek I know. Not that that really matters, but this film from the very brink of the '80s has an opening sequence that really, really, really wants you to know that it's set in Greece. It pans over Ancient Greek ruins and through streets beset with Greek architecture. It then shows Greek people doing Greek things and, just in case you weren't sure where you were meant to be, it lists the crew in huge letters... who are all Greek. Writer and director Ilias Mylonakos clearly has a very defined idea of where this is set.


Of course, it's never mentioned again; neither are any of the cast Greek, nor does anyone speak a single line of Greek throughout the entire 1:30:59 runtime, but I'm perfectly sure that the fact this is set in Greece is relevant.

Although as for how...

Appearance: Emanuelle: Queen of Sados, aka Emanuelle's Daughter, aka Emanuelle: Queen Bitch (1980)
Characters: Emanuelle & Tommy

Black Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) is back - she still hasn't managed to gain a second M in her name which would require the involvement of Alain Siritzky, and she still isn't black, either. She has, however, managed to gain a surname - Brindisi - which is the name of her much older, sadistic husband who delights in having her held to the floor and hitting her with a quarterstaff...

...seriously, that's what happens...

...so she decides to have him murdered. She then spends the rest of a film struggling to evade the hitman Mario (Haris Tryfonas - hmmm, that's possibly a little Greek), who turns on her in an attempt to blackmail her, and take over her late husband's business, all the while trying to keep her stepdaughter our of harm's way. Hence the "daughter" of one of the alternative titles for this thing, I suppose.

Livia had a little trouble with the wind machine.
Livia Brindisi (played by Livia Russo - very imaginative character naming; well done, studio) is actually the best thing about this film. She's smart, sassy, pretty and completely unconcerned that her father is dead, because she didn't like him much either. She's also overly sexualised at points, and even gets raped by Mario later in the film, which is both disturbing and disconcerting, since she's playing a teenage girl who's probably just over the age of consent (she also has sex with her boyfriend Mike, but we don't see that). It's not the sort of thing I'd expect to see in an Emmanuelle film; the fact that this is one of the unofficial Emanuelle series seems to change things about this.

They've also put some actual sex into this one, unlike Black Emanuelle, which doesn't have much.

Despite the fact that she starts the film off married, Emmanuelle doesn't seem to have sex with her husband much, mostly on account of the fact that he prefers hitting her with things and she has him killed within the first ten minutes. She does have sex - immediately after the opening sequence - with the hitman Mario himself, who is actually the participant in most of the subsequent sex scenes in the film. Approximately 50 minutes later (of screentime, it's a week or something; it's not made clear), she meets Tommy, a friend of her husband who immediately proposes marriage, despite the fact that her husband's body isn't cold yet.

Emanuelle declines, but she has sex with him anyway, because...

...well...

...okay, I have no idea.

Because it's Greece, and Greece is hot, this sex scene starts outside. Tommy, of course, is rubbing oil
Not a lot of budget went on wardrobe.
onto Emanuelle's skin - because that's totally a sexy thing to do - while she's on a sun lounger; some weird synthy music decides to jump in at this point. It's nothing special, the music - not quite synthpop because the '80s hasn't really started yet, but with some conga drums somewhere and odd loops. But after an hour of this film I've kind of come to expect this music, so in it comes.


The action then moves inside (!), onto a (fake) animal skin rug (!!) on the floor (!!!), where they get down to having sex because clearly they didn't know where the bedroom was. There's a fair bit of foreplay here, with Tommy kissing his way down Emanuelle's back while she pulls her "I'm enjoying this" face; she then flips over and he kisses her boobs a couple of time for good measure, then her mouth, and then - oddly enough - her back again, as the scene jumps back to the beginning and plays the same footage twice!

Haven't I been here before?
When the film decides it's finally time to move on, we suddenly jump cut to a bird's-eye-view of things, which reveals Tommy is actually lying sideways on his front, all the better to kiss his lover, while she lies on her back on an incredibly tasteless lion rug. This goes on for a bit - we get a good eyeful of his bum and her boobs as he's clearly meant to be licking her out at this point (although I've never done so sideways)... but it kind of works, as we get a better impression of what's going on.

Yet more licking and kissing later, via an alarming shift into soft focus like someone's sneezed on the lens and yet more repeated footage, and the two change positions, Tommy lying on his back and Emanuelle kneeling to kiss him all over - eww, he's really hairy - and then, a full five minutes after this scene starts, she finally begins to ride.

YAHOO! Oh, wait, that's the wrong Mario...

I wasn't actually expecting this. Laura Gemser's first sex scene was ages ago and mostly in the spoons position. I wasn't expecting Emanuelle to have sex again (since she spends most of this film being a bitch, and it's more of an action thriller than erotic drama), but here she is, full-on astride, doing it rather slowly as opposed to being too bouncy. But then this is romantic sex, I suppose. She has a great body, so that helps.

A minute or so of this and then they kiss standing up (WTF? What happened to having sex?), again footage that's repeated several times over.

A minute or so of this and then they kiss standing up (WTF? What happened to having sex?), again footage that's repeated several times over.

She's tanned, but she's still not black.
At which point I've lost interest. It's a pretty boring scene. Laura Gemser does have a certain sensuality to her, and after yawning my way through a few sexless Black Emanuelle titles, it's nice to see her getting a few actual sex scenes in. This moves very slowly, there's not much to it, and there's no escaping the fact that you're waiting through five minutes of uninspiring foreplay for about forty seconds of very slow, very unconvincing sex. The whole thing is intercut with footage of Livia and Mike on a date, which is a storyline I'm much more interested in... but seriously? Why intercut it? What's wrong with a separate scene?

It's a real shame, actually. In terms of plot and cinematography, this is one of the best erotic films I've seen. It's certainly the best unofficial Emanuelle film I've seen by a mile - it'll never be as good as the real ones, but at this point the project had stalled - Emmanuelle 7 wouldn't come out until 1992, and the Marcela Walerstein series following in 1993. 1990 was a year without Emmanuelle - for an unofficial one, this bridges the gap nicely, with a storyline that did keep me engaged and a certain amount of thought put into it. It's all very pretty.

Except Gabriele Tinti. I'm sorry, but he's seriously not attractive. That shouldn't be a major problem, but he also can't act. His heart genuinely isn't in this - it's difficult to believe the famously hedonistic, pleasure-seeking, openly sexual Emanuelle - even if she isn't the real one - even considering going anywhere near this bored, bland, unattractive man. Then again, she's also had sex with the hitman at this point, and he's even worse...

Beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.

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