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Friday, April 20, 2018


Sex and cannibalism--two great tastes that go great together.  That is, if that particular combination appeals to you.  And if it does, then you'll be in for quite a treat when you watch Joe D'Amato's 1977 Italian flesh feast EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS (Severin Films).

Finding a clue to a lost tribe of people-eaters deep in the Amazonian jungle, intrepid journalist Emanuelle (Laura Gemser, VIOLENCE IN A WOMEN'S PRISON, THE ALCOVE) heads south in the company of handsome anthropologist Prof. Mark Lester (Gabriele Tinti, who would co-star with Gemser in VIOLENCE IN A WOMEN'S PRISON and also marry her in real life).

Lester's young lady friend Isabelle (Monica Zanchi), a trader's daughter, agrees to take them and a nun, Sister Angela (Anne Maria Clementi), on a supply run to the isolated mission of a priest who knows about the lost tribe. 

During the trip, they're also joined by a gruff big-game hunter named McKenzie (Donald O'Brien) and his oversexed wife Maggie (Susan Scott), whose sexual dysfunctions--he's frustrated and impotent while she's a nympho making out with the help behind his back--add fuel to the film's dramatic fire.

Once we meet all the players, it's time for a long jungle trudge that's frequently interrupted by intense softcore sex scenes involving various combinations of characters. 

It quickly becomes apparent that these people have sex the way race car drivers have pit stops, and they're all in a constant state of arousal.  This leads to a few volatile exchanges, mostly due to McKenzie's jealousy, that play out like something from a steamy pulp novel.

But just when we think we're simply watching a jungle skin flick, in swoop the ever-stalking cannibals to make off with someone and stake them out for some maniacal dismembering, disemboweling, and devouring. 

While not entirely convincing, the graphic gore FX (often using actual animal entrails) are above-average for this kind of flick and those not already desensitized by frequent viewing of such cinematic atrocities will likely be properly shocked and appalled.

When Isabelle herself is kidnapped by the ravenous horde and made the main attraction in a horrific sacrificial ceremony, those who remain must undertake a desperate rescue mission in which they're vastly outnumbered. 

Still more blood 'n' guts cannibal action ensues, as well as a thoroughly unpleasant gang-rape sequence, after which the film's rousing finale takes place with a daring escape attempt that ends it all on a high note.

The cast of familiar genre stalwarts is in top form here, particularly the lovely Laura Gemser in her signature role as Emanuelle.  Despite some long stretches of repetitive hiking through the jungle and monotonous sex, the story manages to build to a suspenseful pitch in the latter half as things grow more hopelessly bleak for our main characters. 

D'Amato (BEYOND THE DARKNESS) handles the direction with his usual rough-hewn style, in which moments of placid sexual imagery are harshly juxtaposed with tawdry, stomach-churning gore. 

With that in mind, potential viewers should have no problem deciding whether or not this is their kind of movie. For those who are intrigued by the prospect of such horrific goings on, EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS delivers enough sex and violence to satisfy the most voracious appetites.

Buy it at Severin Films

Special Features:
The World Of Nico Fidenco: An Interview With Composer Nico Fidenco
A Nun Among The Cannibals: An Interview With Actress Annamaria Clementi
O’Brien MD: An Interview With Actor Donal O’Brien
From Switzerland To Mato Grosso: An Interview With Actress Monika Zanchi
I Am Your Black Queen: Laura Gemser Archive Audio Interview
Theatrical Trailer
Reversible Box Art
Italian and English/English captions

Reversible Box Art:


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