Black Emanuelle/White Emanuelle/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Erotic cinema is a genre with undeniable allure. Attractive people in exotic locations engaging in decadent activities is enough to intrigue any filmgoer, especially those seeking a sexual experience on screen that may be too much for them in real life. Films like Emmanuelle, Deep Throat and Last Tango in Paris provide that arousing experience, transporting the viewer to a world of sexual liberation right from their living room.
Black Emanuelle/White Emanuelle is not an arousing experience. Instead of exploring the decadent sexual escapades of models and socialites in Egypt, most of the sex is off-screen, allowing for an endless parade of boring conversation and cruel ugliness.
Laura, the world's "most famous" model, and her photographer boyfriend are staying with wealthy divorcee, Crystal, during a brief tour of Egypt. Crystal and her daughter, Magda are both sleeping with Ali, the servant boy, when not putting him through condescending, emotional torture or the ravings of Horatio, who is both a prophet and local hunk. They all hang out with an aging Hollywood star, who may also be a child molester, but mostly likes to throw dinner parties. The audience puts up with this awful group of people for 90 minutes and dies a bit inside.
The film's main antagonist is Laura's asshole boyfriend, who forces her to do photo shoots on the backs of nomad corpses, face-to-face with rotten animals and atop piles of fecal matter. His answer to refusal is sexual assault or loudly screeching, "BEETCH! FUCK YOU!"
Seeking solace from her troubled relationship, Laura has a brief excursion to a local brothel with prodigal daughter, Pia (white Emanuelle), who has recently arrived home from school. From the promotional materials, it was assumed that this relationship would be more fleshed out, but Laura and Pia literally spend less than 10 minutes of the film alone and their sexual dalliances must have been left on the cutting room floor.
As a matter of fact, there's nearly no sex in this film. We get brief implications of orgies and the like, but most of the insufferable runtime is spent ruminating about life's meaning, all of which culminates in a completely absurd finale, which veers from serious discussion to demonic possession to ridiculous dance party in what seems like seconds. Despite all of these issues, it would have worked if it was done with some energy, but the film drags along listlessly and never shows signs of life.
If I was to look on the bright-side, I'd admit that it's a well shot film, boasting rich desert sands and blue skies. The score is also serviceable and suitably rapturous, featuring some spirited flute and orchestral work.
Sadly, those are the only high notes in an otherwise dull affair. The sex is non-existent and the final reel's pretentious rhapsodizing would be enough to drive anyone up the walls. I believe one character called life "endless, immeasurable, eternal boredom." I couldn't summarize this film any better myself.
Reviewed by Mdeapo