Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

My relentless worldwide pursuit of the worlds most famous, most morally suspect photojournalist continues as we follow Laura Gemser as Emanuelle in 'Emanuelle Around the World, or as I saw the movie,  ‘The Degradation of Emanuelle’. Before slipping this disk into DVD player I was genuinely curious as to how in the hell is anybody going to find a way to ‘degrade’ Emanuelle. Are you going to gang rape her? She’s been there and done that. Or maybe you are going degrade the woman by forcing foreign objects into various orifices. Yep, been there and done that. Bestiality, cannibalism, wayward ping pong balls… Emanuelle has seen and done it all so degrading this woman would be a task all unto itself. My theory as to the best way to humiliate Emanuelle is not to degrade her at all. I don’t think the girl could handle that.

When we first encounter Emanuelle in this movie she is… Surprise… having sex with some random stranger in the back of his moving van. There is a purpose to this romp since Emanuelle needed a ride to her hotel and I guess a catching a cab was out of the question. At this hotel Emanuelle meets her good buddy, investigative reporter Cora Norman (Karin Schubert) who gives her the 411 on an explosive story she’s working on, then some weird old dude tries to rape her which leads to her meeting UN ambassador Dr. Malcolm Robertson (Ivan Rassimov). Dr. Robertson is critical in the life of Emanuelle as he shows there more to life than furthering ones career and lying on ones back with their legs perpetually in the air. Every once in a while, Dr. Robertson states, you should try to help somebody.

But before Emanuelle can complete this lifestyle change she still has scummy pictures to take which leads her to India where she investigates The Guru (George Eastman) who is running a lucrative religious cult which believes in having sex but not orgasms. Alrighty then. He also believes in… sigh… really large dildos, but that’s another story. Then the Guru had sex with Emanuelle and he quickly discovers that he is a two-minute brother and orgasm is unavoidable. He should’ve asked somebody.

But this is where Emanuelle has her epiphany. She has learned that young women around the world are being abused and sold as sex slaves and working with her good buddy the reporter, the pair travels around the world to stamp out violence against women! While getting raped repeatedly! But dammit, there’s a job do and sometimes… sigh… you gotta blow a vagrant with gun jammed to your temple to get to the bottom of the story. News at ten.

This particular Joe D’Amato helmed Emanuelle movie has more discussion points than any Emanuelle flick D’Amato has ever directed. Usually, at least in the movies of his that I’ve seen, there’s no plot as Emanuelle just jumps from sex scene to sex scene but in this one there is an actual storyline… it’s a poorly done shoddily constructed storyline but it is there nonetheless. And it has message! Violence against women is bad. However for a movie that decries violence against women it sure does feature a lot of violence against women. There were five rapes, six if you count the gunpoint fellatio and seven if you count the failed attempted rape in the beginning of the movie. There were two scenes of bestiality and plenty of images of women getting punched in the gut before eventually getting raped. I was curious what that dude was going to do with that banana… and then he did what I thought he was going to do with that banana.

But it is this attempt at an actual story that made ‘The Degradation of Emanuelle’ the most watchable D’Amato directed Emanuelle I’ve seen to this point. As beautiful as Laura Gemser is, and she seemed to be more beautiful in this movie than ever, watching her boney ass jump from bed to bed gets does tired after a while so an actual story with a reasonable narrative arc made this way more watchable than say, ‘Emanuelle in Bangkok’, despite the ping pong balls in that movie. The presence of the lovely Karin Schubert helps this movie as well, while not as pretty as Laura Gemser, because almost nobody is as pretty as Laura Gemser, but she would do a much better job of keeping a brother warm at night. Schubert gets punched in the gut and raped too. If you’re a woman cast in this movie chances are you got raped.

Plus it was educational! I often wondered why gas prices were so low in the 70’s. It’s because our female reporters were having ménage-a-trios’ with Arab sheiks in return for favorable trade deals. Outstanding! I also learned that Asian dudes will tell you nothing when faced with death by bullet, but when faced with getting raped by a dog, listen to the information flow.

Yes, it may seem misguided to show copious amounts of violence against women in an effort to stamp out violence against women but isn’t the Small Pox Vaccine a strain of the Small Pox? Isn’t it? I don’t really know but I see where they were going with this particular approach. Genius!

While we can’t rightfully call ‘The Degradation of Emanuelle’ a ‘good’ movie… it’s far to scatterbrained and nonsensical to do that… we will call it one of the more entertaining ones, that is if you can justify in your mind that punching that naked women in the gut before she gets gang raped by five bums and a mandolin player… it’s complicated… is in someway a viable declaration AGAINST violence against women.

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