... aka: Degradation of Emanuelle, The
... aka: Emanuelle Around the World
... aka: Emanuelle Versus Violence to Women
... aka: Le vice dans la peau
Emanuelle is up to her old tricks again. Or is that her new tricks? Well, whatever. I guess a trick is a trick. As Emanuelle Around the World opens, our globe-trotting "free-spirited" beauty (Laura Gemser) is busy getting down with American porno actor Paul Thomas in the back of his moving van. She travels light, with just a toothbrush in her cleavage to her name and if you're lucky enough to pick her up and give her a ride, she'll make sure to return the favor in her own special way. The release print under review today will be Severin's "European XXX Version" of this Italian Emanuelle adventure, which as per director Joe D'Amato's usual, has enough sick-o content to land it partially in our beloved genre. This version (titled Le vice dans peau on the actual print) was prepared for the French market and if the French were good at doing one thing to the films that crossed their borders in the 70s, it was adding hardcore sex inserts to them. However, in this particular instance it appears that D'Amato actually filmed the hardcore stuff himself (some scenes feature the original actors in the same shot as the X-rated stuff) so this was clearly prepared in advance for such an alternate release.
Emanuelle has her latest conquest drop her off at the Sheraton Hotel in San Francisco. She keeps telling everyone she's on a quest to find happiness and apparently she isn't getting it at her job (she's a famous photographer and reporter) or by bedding every person who crosses her path. Emanuelle runs into her good friend, feminist writer Cora Norman (Karin Schubert), who does more meaningful and reputable stories than our heroine, at the hotel and the two ladies agree to meet up later for drinks. After almost getting raped by an old pervert because of a room mix up, Emanuelle runs out into the hallway buck naked and bumps into rich and debonair Malcolm Robertson (Ivan Rassimov). Malcolm takes her on a shopping spree and then accompanies her to New York City to take her out to dinner. The two discuss sex and love and the meaning of it all. Malcolm is the old-fashioned romantic type while Emanuelle feels free to have relations with whomever, whenever she wants, yet feels empty and unfulfilled. Before they part, Malcolm (who works for the Third World Aid Committee at the United Nations) gives Emanuelle his itinerary of where he'll be the next three months and what hotels he'll be staying at.
Emanuelle returns to her newspaper and discovers she's going to be sent to India to meet a guru who knows the "secret to the ultimate climax." Upon arrival, she and her guide have trouble locating him, but Emanuelle does luck out meeting an attractive, stranded tourist named Mary (Brigitte Petronio). After their Sapphic encounter, Mary reveals that she had been gang raped by a bunch of men in Rome who are involved with the white slave trade: kidnapping girls to supply Middle Eastern harems. Emanuelle, who's wanting to be taken more seriously as a journalist, decides to add that to her 'to do' list. First she pays a visit to Guru Shanti's (George Eastman) orgy, where she offends the guru by making a guy get off. The two make up, and he takes her to the "School of Kama Sutra" where she watches a class where women learn "the thousand positions of love" using dildos. After exposing the guru as being the high paid fraud he is, she decides to start exploring a nobler cause. Namely sexual violence.
Emanuelle meets up with Cora in Rome to get some pointers on a white slavery ring that Cora herself is trying to bust. She then enlists the aid of a couple of Mary's girlfriends and a teenage boy to help her entrap the slavers. The three ladies get dragged back to some villa, are tied up, blindfolded and led into a dark room. Emanuelle almost gets raped (again) by a grotesque, facially-disfigured, one-eyed psycho who opts for another of the ladies before the teen boy calls in the cops to bust the operation. Speaking of rape, poor Cora ends up getting beat and sexually assaulted by some thugs. While that's going on, Emanuelle decides to repay the teenage boy who helped her out by doing him in the closet on his father's yacht while his stepmother has a lesbian tryst on the bed with her maid.
Having had enough of the sexual violence perpetrated on women by men, Cora and Emanuelle team up and go to Hong Kong, Macao, the Middle East and then New York City in order to expose how scummy men can be. The Hong Kong scenes plumb the depths of tastelessness. Emanuelle gets kidnapped, is taken to a gymnasium, tied up and forced to watch a deranged sadist torture two women. One has milk poured on her privates and a snake inserted in her vagina and the other is raped by a German Shepherd! In the Middle East, Emanuelle and Cora prove that the best way to a man's heart - and his conscience - isn't through his stomach as they sandwich a sheik. In the concluding scenes in New York, a bunch of decadent upper crust folks - including a Senator - decide to punish Miss Ohio (American porno actress Juliet Graham under the name "Elisabeta Terribile") by making her strip by some docks. Some greasy bums crash the party, chase off the rich cowards and rape the beauty queen. Emanuelle tries to escape but one of the bums gets her, puts a gun to her head and forces her to give him a blowjob. After her experiences, it's no wonder Em can't wait to get back to the kind and sensitive Malcolm. The moral of the story? Uh, I guess that most men are pigs?
This mildly diverting, very sleazy chapter in the Emanuelle saga at least has a certain philosophy about female empowerment and sex that's semi-interesting. Most of the problems are caused by out-of-control male libido yet our heroines must use sex themselves (albeit consensual sex) to solve these very problems. Perhaps because this was based on a story written by a woman (Maria Pia Fusco, who also co-scripted), the female empowerment angle rings a little truer here than in many similar films. The two central females are established, successful women risking their own asses when they don't have to in order to help out other women. Despite what they go through, neither give up or let men stop or distract them from achieving their goal. Of course some would say this is all at odds with the near-constant depictions of women being degraded and violated, but it would be difficult to effectively comment upon the exploitation of women without being a bit exploitative itself, eh? Of course, no one is really going to tune in to an Emanuelle sex flick looking for a deeper meaning, but some effort to justify the content was actually put into this one. For those very reasons, I actually enjoyed this one a little more than some of the other Black Emanuelle movies I've seen.
Don't get your hopes (or anything else for that matter) up for the hardcore footage as there's actually not very much of it here. None of the more well-known actors participate in any of it and what there is is very brief and not even finished. A cornball pop theme song called "The Picture of Love" (by Nico Fidenco) plays throughout. The cast also includes Marino Masé, Gianni Macchia, Craig Hill and Dirce Funari. The director also appears unbilled.