Velluto nero (1976)

Laura Gemser and Annie Belle come together in the ultimate meeting of the Emanuelles, directed by Brunello Rondi, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of LA DOLCE VITA and 8 1/2. Also stars Al Cliver & Gabriele Tinti

From Fellini screenwriter Brunello Rondi (8 ½, La Dolce Vita) comes the truly disorienting pervo-soap-opera Black Emmanuelle / White Emmanuelle, a movie that takes the Emmanuelle series to a slow-burn, ‘luude-fueled, weirdo-sex ‘n’ spectacle arena unheard of to most movie viewers.

After a three-minute, grindingly portentous opening sequence that has almost no bearing on anything, we only have to wait another 90 seconds for our first shot of gratuitous nudity. For no discernable reason Emmanuelle (now the world’s most beautiful model), and her insane Svengali-like photographer Carlo (Gabriele Tinti) join a hot-momma and her two hotter daughters, a washed up old actor and a nut-case, oversexed, ascetic guru on an aimless trip through Islamic Africa to look at temples and sexually denigrate each other.

Much of the fun in store comes from Carlo, a psychotically abusive rapist / world class fashion photographer who likes to scream that Emmanuelle is a bitch while forcing her to pose nude with massacred bodies of Arab children. Emmanuelle is reasonably upset and stares pensively into the distance while winds howl and camels cackle gutturally in the background. Then Antonio (Al Cliver of Fulci fame) convinces ultra-hot Magda (the wonderfully named Ziggy Zanger, eerily looking like a mannequin) to go down on him while Vangelis-style new-age disco music pulses loudly. Ultimately Antonio hypnotizes everyone in a show-stopping slo-mo freak-out that causes Emmanuelle (Gemser) to sacrifice a goat, drinking its blood before disappearing.

Looking like a hot cross between Annie Lennox and Neve Campbell, the stunning ‘White Emmanuelle’ Laure (Annie Belle, with her own series of Eurosex movies) adds an entirely new level of drool-inducing weirdness and attitude, playing some undefinable, disco-dancing force for change or something. Truthfully, there’s little point in trying to understand what’s going on or what it means, it’s best to just sit back, get a little lubricated (not necessary, but recommended) and let yourself be ravaged by the sensuous insanity.