What does an international snuff film ring have in common with an aristocratic Venetian orgy, a sex club for wealthy woman, and a randy horse named Pedro? Well, if you’re watching Emanuelle in America (1976), the answer is the utterly delicious Laura Gemser. Naturally, Gemser plays the titular Emanuelle, a fashion photographer and intrepid investigative journalist.
The film can at first seem a bit complicated plot-wise, so it’s best to view it as a series of vignettes. In the first segment of the film, Emanuelle joins the harem of a wealthy man with the intent of exposing his depravity. Never without her hidden camera, she happily snaps away, when she’s not engaging in a little girl on girl action in the pool....or the sauna. The rich cat insists on calling all his girls by their astrological signs. Groovy!
And yes, this is where Pedro the horse comes in. On of the chicks is totally obsessed with the rather diminutive stallion, and gives him a horsey handjob while everyone looks on in utter delight. Yes, it’s that kinda flick, people. At the house, Emanuelle meets a guest, a Venetian noble who whisks her away to his castle in Italia. His attempts to engage her in a threesome with his slightly less than attractive wife fail, but he does throw one hell of an orgy.
At the party, Emanuelle learns of a club that supplies rich women with buff mustachioed sex slaves. Naturally, she just has to check in and take a few pictures for the questionable newspaper that employs her. It is on this pleasure island that Emanuelle see her first snuff film, and goes on a true investigative binge. The film continues along in a frolic of sex and violence, until it reaches a frankly baffling conclusion. No, I’m not going to spoil it for you.
Now, down to the nitty gritty. What about the sex? It ranges from softcore simulation to, wow, that’s a blowjob. Those of you who find hairless crotches distasteful will be truly delighted by the amount of bush on display. As for the violence, the death and torture look plenty real, which is about the highest compliment you can pay a faux snuff film. Horse handjob: not faked at all, as much as we all wish it were. (that’s excepting you truly stellar perverts out there). And then there’s the toothsome Laura Gemser, reason enough to watch anything.
However, one thing that really bears mentioning is the music. It never fails to impress me that back in the day, even a film featuring blatant bestiality wound up with a fully realized and dynamic score. So, thank you Nico Fidenco for providing us with these quality tunes. And double thanks to Joe D’Amato for directing this little slice of exploitation heaven.