Emanuelle Around the World: XXX European Version (1977)
By: Joe Lewis on August 30, 2010  |  Comments ()  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Severin | Region 0, NTSC | 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 1.0 | 102 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Joe D'Amato
Starring: Laura Gemser, Ivan Rassimov, Maria Luigia, Stefania Pecce, Marino Masé
Screenplay: Gianfranco Clerici, Joe D'Amato, Maria Pia Fusco
Country: Italy
External Links
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Boring exploitation films are evil things.

Where there is a shortage of production quality, acting prowess and aesthetic appeal, as many (certainly not all, but many) exploitation films clearly are deprived of, the quirks, thrills and spills are what a fan relies on to make an exploitation film great. Disinterest is death in the subgenre, with a bland exploitation flick kinda missing the point.

Emanuelle Around the World has no quirks. It has no thrills. It has no spills. It's an insipid, uninteresting and terminally boring exploitation movie, and being boring is the only real eternal sin an exploitation film can commit.

Those who have seen an Emanuelle film will know, in general terms, what to expect from the premise. Laura Gemser reprises her role as tabloid reporter Emanuelle, and she is tasked by her superiors to travel to India to do a story on a tantric sex god. Then, via a connection that's still inexplicable to me (I guess I can infer from one of the alternate titles, Emanuelle Versus Violence to Women, that our intrepid heroine is writing some sort of article on crimes and perversions relating to females), Emanuelle is required to research a story about a people smuggling ring, where she is brought to a repellent sex pest and his lackeys.

Honestly, I'm struggling. I'm struggling to write a synopsis, because Emanuelle Around the World is fundamentally incoherent and almost entirely directionless. This comes as some something of a surprise, because one of the film's authors Gianfranco Clerici went on to pen two of my favourite Eurotrash entries, Cannibal Holocaust and The New York Ripper. Even with the assistance of Clerici's colleagues, director Joe D'Amato and serial Emanuelle contributor Maria Pia Fusco, the screenplay is utter rubbish.

So, with the script a write off and the performances equally dreadful, we're left to rely on the exploitative quality of the film. I'll place this into a little bit of context: 1977 saw the release of three D'Amato-directed, Gemser-starring Black Emanuelle vehicles – this one, Emanuelle in America and Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (I can't confirm what order the films were shot in). Emanuelle in America and Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals are evenly poised: the latter was an attempt to ride the coattails of The Man from Deep River and its progeny, thrusting Emanuelle into the jungle and into the midst of a ravenous cannibal tribe. It's reasonably well-done, throwing out at the viewer the sort of crowd pleasing elements (sex, violence, et cetera) that make exploitation films successful. Emanuelle in America is a bit of an enigma: it's very sluggish, but explodes into a grisly and upsetting climax that would jar even the most jaded of Grindhouse fans. At the end, both films pony up the goods, and they're entertaining exploitation entries.

By contrast, Emanuelle Around the World conforms to the raison d'être of the Emmanuelle/Emanuelle pictures – that is, a travelogue punctuated by Emanuelle's erotic frolics – but it's a complete failure as an exploitation film. Nothing commands interest or intrigue from the outset, nor is there a device to electrocute a viewer out of their slumber, as there was in Emanuelle in America. This is atypical of the D'Amato films I've seen, which are usually brimming with the sort of madness that defines the humble exploitation movie.

A brief mention must be made about the hardcore inserts. Two versions of Emanuelle Around the World were distributed: the 'export' version and the 'continental', or European version. The former cut was released in English-speaking markets, and runs for 97 minutes. The 'continental' cut contains an extra 4 minutes, most of these hardcore sex inserts. The inserts were added to appeal to more liberal European markets. They're not quite as disjointed as those in, say, 99 Women or Thriller: A Cruel Picture, but they're manifestly unnecessary all the same. The cut on this disc is the 'continental cut' subtitled XXX European Version. Severin has also released the export version on DVD and in Volume 2 of the Black Emanuelle Box, and Umbrella has recently released it on Region 4.

Most sexploitation fans would know that Just Jaeckin's 1974 flick Emmanuelle (the real deal earns an extra 'm') spawned Bitto Albertini's Black Emanuelle one year later, which in turn began the craze: by my count, one sequel by Albertini, five spin-offs by D'Amato and nine other films which starred Gemser and were tenuously linked to the Black Emanuelle cycle. Of the few I've seen, Emanuelle Around the World is the most disposable entry, pale in comparison to Emanuelle in America and Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, and not even matching some of the unofficial movies (for example, Bruno Mattei's Violence in a Woman's Prison). Avoid.
Video
The picture is presented in 1.85:1, with 16:9 enhancement. Severin must be commended for their transfer; the inserts are seamless and the artefacts are limited.
Audio
Two Dolby mono tracks in English and Italian, with optional English subtitles. The original language track is a welcome touch.
Extra Features
None. The export version DVD contains a featurette on Around the World's composer, sixties Italian singer Nico Fidenco.
The Verdict
There's nothing for which I can recommend Emanuelle Around the World. It's a completely uninteresting effort and a blemish on D'Amato's otherwise-successful 1977 Black Emanuelle triptych.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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