Color, 1979, 91m.
Directed by Elia Milonakos
Starring Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Livia Russo, Haris Tryfonas, Pantelis Agelopou
Media Blasters (DVD) (US R1 NTSC)
The closest thing to a film noir in the Black Emanuelle canon, this Greek-lensed entry takes Laura Gemser from her usual Italian settings to a mostly new cast of faces with distinctly odd results. This time out Emanuelle is unhappily married to Victor (Agelopou), whose jailbait stepdaughter Livia (RussO) is about to enter into womanhood. When the better-off-dead Victor meets his maker, Emanuelle claims what's his and takes charge of Livia, while her swarthy part-time-lover Mario (Tryfonas) begins to make trouble insinuating exposing her for a murder plot. Meanwhile Emanuelle beds down with her husband's old friend Tommy (Tinti), setting up a nasty finale which puts Livia in jeopardy.
Crammed with sex scenes but rather lethargic compared to the more imaginative Black Emanuelle genre hybrids before it, Queen of Sados spends much of its time following each of the characters on labyrinthine routes to each other's beds while barely advancing anything resembling a plotline. As usual Gemser and Tinti get a scene together, but the rest of the encounters are pretty standard late-night filler with plenty of face-touching and soft moaning. That said, the locations are quite spectacular, and Gemser's scenes are always fun to watch. The third act also takes a few surprisingly nasty turns, such as a protracted rape scene that sets up the utterly incoherent retribution(?) finale (which tries to go for echoes of Greek tragedy but will most likely leave viewers scratching their heads). Probably Greece's most prolific erotica director, Milonakos has proven himself far better at comedy and travelogue-related sex films than drama; for example, the bizarre semi-hardcore Ajita Wilson film, Pussycat Syndrome, is a better representation of his directorial strengths. Still, not a bad effort, and certainly a must-see for the Gemser fanatic.
As with Love Cult, this film is tagged as anamorphically enhanced but is actually presented open matte (full frame). Lots of extra headroom is on display (as well as bonus nudity), though 16:9 TV owners can zoom in for more theatrical-friendly compositions. In any case it's in far more pristine, razor-sharp condition than the old Private Screenings tape. Extras include a small reel of outtakes (nothing terribly salacious) without audio, plus a nice gallery, two trailers, and more Exploitation Digital trailers.
Color, 1987, 80m.
Directed by Pasquale Fanetti
Starring Mal , Antonio Zequila, Micaela
Media Blasters (US R1 NTSC) / WS (1.78:1) (16:9)
An "Emanuelle" film in name if not in approach, this very late entry in the not-terribly-connected series is a late '80s vehicle for Mal , a video-age sex starlet showcased in a series of films usually directed by the hacky Pasquale Fanetti (The Invincible Barbarian). There's barely any plot to speak of here as unhappily married Emanuelle goes to discos and makes the moves on anything in pants, whether it's her female friends or a male pick-up she decides to dress up in female lingerie. She also whines a lot about her longing for emotional commitment and her need for sex, when she's not busy pointing her mammaries at the camera.
Pretty much indistinguishable from the flood of Euro-softcore that flooded the cable market in the late '80s, Lady Emanuelle isn't terrible but barely makes an effort to distinguish itself. The female leads all fit the bill and certainly seem game, but the narrative and emotional content (yes, you do need 'em in sex films) barely strive to justify their adventures between the sheets. Joe D'Amato was doing this same kind of thing much better around the same time with films like 11 Days, 11 Nights, but if you're looking for a way to pass a slow evening with a few mildly kinky touches, this could fit the bill.
Presented in anamorphic widescreen, Lady Emanuelle certainly looks lovely on DVD, with powdery but vivid colors aplenty. The cinematography goes intentionally soft in several sequences, but the transfer itself leaves little room for complaint. The Italian dialogue features optional English subtitles; no hokey English dubbing here, folks, which is either a bonus or a drawback depending on your taste in Eurosleaze. A little mistranslated, canned dialogue might have added to the fun. As for extras, you get the theatrical trailer, some saucy outtakes (some of which are livelier than the film itself), and promos for other titles in the Exploitation Digital line, inexplicably tagged here as "Kitty Media!"