Director – Joe D’Amato (Antropophagus, Heroes in Hell)
Starring – Laura Gemser (Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, Black Emanuelle), Gabriele Trinti (Women Prison’s Massacre, Caged Women), and Nieves Navarro (Death Walks at Midnight, The Magnificent Dare Devil)
Release Date – 1977
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 3/5
By this point in my reviewing career I’ve reviewed a dozen or so Italian cannibal flicks from various companies. Personally, I don’t care for these films but there has been a few that popped up here and there that I did enjoy. Several months back Severin Films announced that they would be releasing two Black Emanuelle films on blu. The first film of the two is the 1977 Joe D’Amato cannibal film Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals. I’m a fan of the Black Emanuelle films so I was looking forward to checking it out but I was concerned that the lack of story that most of these Italian cannibal films lacked would ruin it. Thank you Severin for sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows journalist Emanuelle (Gemser) who catches a lead from the local hospital where a woman was just admitted. She attacked a nurse and took a bite out of her breast. She has a strange tattoo and with some research Emanuelle discovers that this white woman could have been raised by the last known cannibals in a isolated jungle. A professor, Emanuelle, and a team of explorers set out to explore the jungle in hopes of finding the cannibals and not find their way on the menus.**Spoiler Alert**
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this installment in the Black Emanuelle series. I had seen a few of these films before but I’m sure they were out of order and had nothing to do with one another outside of the titular character. Anyway, I liked how D’Amato approached the story and it’s delivery. It was nothing knew but it did work for the character and the sub-genre he was looking for.
The acting in this one is decent but there was plenty of room for improvement. Gemser got her start in sexploitation films and carried that acting style over to all her films following. She has a lot of screen time but she seems more comfortable during the sex scenes and being nude over the acting. The supporting cast is solid, but much like Gemser’s performance, there is plenty of room for improvement. They dedicate themselves to the role but there was several scenes that was not that convincing. It was as if they did not know what they were expected to do.
The story for this one is so fucking similar to the countless other cannibal flicks before it but with one exception. That exception is the Emanuelle character and knowing she will survive which takes away from the danger of the story. The movie does move at a slow pace but the progression of the Emanualle character and gore keeps you entertained.
Finally, the film has the gore that most fans of this sub-genre come to expect. They look fantastic and the camera doesn’t shy away from them like so many other horror films of the time. We get long, steady shots where the fan can enjoy the gore. The effects themselves looks great and really add to that cannibal feel. Overall, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals is a sleazy entry in the Italian cannibal sub-genre and a pretty gruesome entry in the mostly erotic Black Emanuelle series. Be sure to check this one out on blu from Severin Films.