Color, 1976, 99m. / Directed by Bitto Albertini / Starring Chai Lee, Giuseppe Pambiere, Ilona Staller, / Media Blasters (US R1 NTSC) / WS (1.78:1) (16:9)

A melodramatic attempt to replicate the success of Laura Gemser's "Black Emanuelle" series (itself an imitation of Sylvia Kristel's original Emmanuelle), this Eastern twist bears little resemblance to its namesake apart from the presence of, well, lots of sex. Originally titled Il Mondo Dei Sensi Di Emy Wong and retrofitted with a blatantly racist English handle, this Italian-Hong Kong co-production follows the passionate bond that forms between George (Pambiere), a British pilot laid up in the hospital after being attacked by thugs in Hong Kong, and his doctor, Emy Wong (Lee), whose attraction to him clashes with her own set of morals. While he continues to woo her, George relieves his physical needs with slinky blonde secretary Helen (Staller, a.k.a. future porn star/politician Cicciolina), who doesn't take too kindly when he finally lands Emy in bed and proposes to her. Much dramatic turmoil ensues, with George temporarily leaving for business while Emy leaves her job and becomes a call girl of increasingly desperate means who thinks her man has abandoned her. Will true love win out, or is tragedy awaiting them both?

Capably directed by the efficient but rarely inspired Bitto Albertini (who helmed the original Black Emanuelle before the cycle spun into far more deranged territory at the hands of Joe D'Amato), this nicely shot hokum often feels like a Douglas Sirk potboiler hijacked by a group of European pornhounds. The sex scenes work nicely within the plot, though professional sleaze vets may find the content here less generous than usual (perhaps to placate Hong Kong audiences who were already bound to be startled by the minor frontal nudity on display here). Regular Emanuelle composer Nico Fidenco contributes another funky, pop-laced score complete with a catchy theme song that still comes in a few notches below his future masterpieces like "A Picture of Love" or "Celebrate Myself." The three main actors all perform professionally enough, with Lee making a lovely albeit morose heroine; though it's hard to tell in the film itself, the IMDB claims she popped up shortly thereafter in The Great Muppet Caper, which certainly makes for a diverse choice of roles.

Media Blasters' release under their Exploitation Digital banner features a pleasing anamorphic transfer that does the best it can with the original elements; generally the image is clean and colorful, with a few travelogue passages veering towards the soft side (indicating either stock footage or some sloppy second unit work). Fans with previous VHS editions will probably note that this version actually clocks in a few minutes shorter than past editions, but the DVD thoughtfully acknowledges this by including the more explicit footage (as well as some other rambling additions) as deleted scenes in the Special Features section, apparently sourced from a videotape since film wasn't available. Also included are a new promotional trailer, a gallery of promotional art and photos, and trailers for other Media Blasters titles including SS Hell Camp, Syndicate Sadists, Emanuelle And The Last Cannibals, and Porno Holocaust (which could easily land this puppy on the XXX adult rack if anyone stumbles across it).

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