Emanuelle and the White Slave Trade (1978)

a.k.a. - La Via della prostituzione (ITA)

Joe D'Amato directs Laura Gemser in the surprisingly unsleazy fifth and final Black Emanuelle film. Severin Films USA R0 DVD.

The Film

Photo-journalist Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) and her friend Susan Towers (Ely Galleani), an airline hostess, are in Kenya. Emanuelle is trying to secure an interview with the notorious Italian gangster Giorgio Rivetti who now lives there. Eventually the pair manage to attach themselves to a Prince who is visiting Giorgio and they have fun with the two men. Having secured the interview, Emanuelle returns to America, but is curious about a transaction she saw at the airport in Kenya, when a woman seemed to be being sold. She eventually tracks down a trade in young girls and goes to work in a brothel to expose this corruption.

Emanuelle and the White Slave Trade was the last of five Emanuelle films helmed by Joe D'Amato and he wrote the script with his usual collaborator Romano Scandariato (Emanuelle e gli ultimi cannibali (1977)). While the series had slowly been descending into depravity after Emanuelle in Bangkok (1976), it actually reverts back here with the focus more on erotica and softcore sex than sleaze, with the exception of the usual token rape scene. The general story remains the same, with Emanuelle a globe trotting reporter but the storyline and ties together better than some of the other entries (in particular the very episodic Emanuelle in America (1977)). The first half hour in Africa is certainly the most interesting, moving along at a very fair pace with some very good sex scenes; storyline takes over in the second third as Emanuelle tries to discover the roots of the slave trade, while the final third in the brothel has a lot of potential but ends up suffering from its lack of sleaze and becomes just a sucession of rather dull softcore sex scenes.

Filmed alongside Emanuelle in America and sharing a few of the sets and backgrounds, director of both films Joe D'Amato does good work throughout, but it is the editing that really helps the film shine with three of the sex scenes standing out for some particular acknowledgment - Emanuelle and Susan in the shower is certainly the film's erotic highlight, while the interchanged shots of both of them having sex with Giorgio and the Prince comes a close second as well as an almost artistic presentation of a their subsequent threesome. Emanuelle's dark-room sex scene certainly ranks as one of the more unusual sex scenes in the series and makes for some good variation. Nico Fidenco supplies another cheesy and instantly recognisable soundtrack to the series that suits the film to a tee.

Laura Gemser returns once more as Emanuelle and is as beautful as ever, but she has tough competition in the shape of the improbably attractive Ely Galleani who cropped up in Emanuelle in Bangkok but gets a more substantial role here and her shower scene with Laura Gemser as well as her sex scenes are probably the most erotic in the entire series, so it is with deep regret that we see her leave the film after 30 minutes. Of course Gabrielle Tinti, Laura Gemser's husband, shows up although in a rather minor role here and there are a few familiar Euro-cult faces to hand including series regular Venantino Venantini.

With a lot more sex than sleaze, Emanuelle and the White Slave Trade will probably disappoint fans of the more hardcore entries to the series, but will please those who enjoyed titles like the original Black Emanuelle and D'Amato's Emanuelle nera: Orient reportage particularly in the well paced first half hour which features a sucession of enjoyably erotic sex and nude scenes and the ever delightful Ely Galleani. The film does rather lose its way after this and a little sleaze is rather essential when discussing brothels and white slave trades, but the film remains watchable. Partly recommended.

In Brief
Anyone famous in it? Laura Gemser - the attractive Indonesian star who also appeared in D'Amato's Ator l'invincibile (1982) .
Directed by anyone interesting? Joe D'Amato - one of the great exploitation veterans of the Italian cinema boom he directed films in every genre from Spaghetti Western Giubbe rosse (1974) to erotica Papaya dei Caraibi (1978)
Any gore or violence? A comparatively mild rape scene.
Any sex or nudity? Various scenes of female nudity and sex. Generally quite soft.
Who is it for? One for fans of the more softcore rather than sleaze focused Italian erotica.

See Also:
Black Emanuelle (1975) Bitto Albertini's first film - a rather loosely plotted affair that focuses mainly on a series of erotic sex scenes.
Black Emanuelle series Joe D'Amato's five film series of increasingly sleazy adventures for Laura Gemser's Emanuelle.

Visuals Original Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colour
The print is very grainy, but colours are good and there is otherwise little print damage.
Audio English mono. A couple of brief audio drop-outs, but otherwise sounds fine.
Subtitles None
Extras The disc includes:
  • Interview with Joe D'Amato. Recorded in 1994 in a fan's apartment he is subject to a surprisingly insightful series of questions largely covering his hardcore pornographic productions and he is very open on the subject. Rather low quality video print but the audio is strong and easy to listen to. 12 minutes.
  • Original Italian titled theatrical trailer. Optional English subtitles.
Region Region 0 (ALL) - NTSC
Availability Available on its own or as part of the limited edition Black Emanuelle Box 2.
Other regions? Not otherwise available.
Cuts? Believed to be fully uncut. The print used has English language credits.



All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 12th December 2007.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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