• Emanuelle And The Last Cannibals

    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: May 8th, 2018.
    Director: Joe D’Amato
    Cast: Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Monica Zanchi, Donald O'Brien, Susan Scott
    Year: 1977
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    The Movie:

    Two great tastes that taste great together! What do you get when you combine the strong, trashy gore of the Italian cannibal film with the sexy softcore shenanigans of the Black Emanuelle films? Emanuelle And The Last Cannibals, that’s what. Also known as Trap Them And Kill Them, this 1977 Joe D’Amato trashterpiece stars the lovely Laura Gemser as the titular investigative reporter. This time around, when we catch up with her she’s posing as a patient in an insane asylum trying to bust wide open the hospital’s mistreatment of its patients. How does this tie into cannibals? While Emanuelle is there, a strange girl bites a nurse on her breast and then eats what she’s managed to bite off!

    Emanuelle notices a rather telling tattoo on the girl’s lower stomach, which she confirms as an identifying mark from a thought to be long gone tribe of cannibals. Before you know it, the editor of the paper that Emanuelle writes for has sent her off to the Amazon to find the last cannibal tribe! She hooks up with Mark Lester (Gabriele Tinti), a dreamy anthropologist who makes her forget all about that crummy boyfriend she just left. The team up with guides Reverend Wilkes (Geoffrey Copleston) and Isabelle (Monika Zanchi), the good Reverend’s sexually curious fox of a daughter. Throw in a missionary named Sister Angela (Annamaria Clementi) and we’re off and running.

    Eventually they meet up with jungle hunter guy Donald McKenzie (Donald O'Brien), his wife Maggie (Susan Scott) and their guide Salvador (Percy Hogan) – the later of whom is satisfying Mrs. McKenzie in ways that her husband cannot. When they eventually arrive at the mission that is to be their home base, they learn that everyone there has been recently slaughtered – presumably by the same cannibal tribe that Emanuelle and company are hoping to find. Things get bad when someone steals their boat, and worse when members of their party start turning up dead…

    This is a movie where a smoking monkey watches two beautiful women wash one another and then make sweet beautiful love beside a scenic waterfall, which kind of makes it the best movie ever made. A complete and utter trash-film in every possible way, Emanuelle And The Last Cannibals is a kick and a half. Up to the late, great Joe D’Amato’s typically high standards of sleaze it’s chock full of sex, gore and nonsense – but like many of his pictures, it also features really strong cinematography and great location work (some really nice late seventies New York City footage helps give this some additional and welcome grit). The effects work from Fabrizio Sforza (who was actually Oscar nominated in 1988 for his work on The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) is sufficiently gory, believable enough to effectively gross us out, while the fantastic score from composer Nico Fidenco is funky enough to get your ass shaking – and that theme song is bound to get stuck in your head after you hear it.

    And of course, at the center of all of this is the lovely and talented Ms. Gemser, an erotic force to be reckoned with. It doesn’t hurt that she’s surrounded by a few other attractive women, but our Black Emanuelle is the one and true star of the picture (that monkey notwithstanding). She cruises through the picture with sensual grace and charm and D’Amato is always careful to ensure that she’s framed in the most glamourous way possible. She has good chemistry with Tinti – no surprise, given that they were an item off screen as well – but it’s a kick to see Donald O’Brien show up here but goodness gracious is Gemser ever watchable here.


    Severin brings the picture to Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer taken from “a 2k scan from original elements” and while it shows some mild print damage throughout, it is a marked improvement over past DVD editions and quite a nice leap forward when compared to the previous 88 Films Blu-ray release as well. Framed at 1.85.1 widescreen, the transfer sports solid detail throughout and good depth as well. The outdoor scenes shot in the jungle look quite lush and really show off some great color reproduction, while black levels stay strong throughout. The image is naturally grainy, sometimes heavily so, but it shows no noticeable noise reduction, while skin tones look lifelike and natural from start to finish. There are one or two shots that feature some obvious stains on whatever elements were used here, but those are rare – overall the image quality here is solid.

    The English language DTS-HD Mono track has occasional pops on it that sound almost like a record needle dropping, but otherwise, the audio is okay. Dialogue is clean and clear and easy to follow, even if it does tend to be a little flat in the way that some older dubbed tracks are. An optional Italian DTS-HD track is also included and it sounds fine as well. The optional English subtitles on the disc translate the Italian track, not the English track.

    Extras on this disc are substantial, starting with the twenty-seven-minute featurette The World Of Nico Fidenco which is an interesting interview with the man who composed the film’s seriously great soundtrack. He speaks here about how he got into composing after initially wanting to direct, about learning some tricks of the trade from Henry Mancini, his penchant for coming up with theme songs for the features he worked on, as well as how he got along with D’Amato and Gemser while working on this project with them.

    Up next is A Nun Among The Cannibals, an in interview with actress Annamaria Clementi that clocks in at twenty-three-minutes and sees her talking about how her agent got her the part in the film, her thoughts on the picture itself, what was involved with her death scene in the picture and what her working relationship with D’Amato was like.
    In Dr. O'Brien M.D., actor Donald O'Brien shares his memories of the working in film for nineteen minutes. Taken from an old tape source, he starts by talking about how he got into acting after working as a photographer, then about different projects that he was involved with before going on to collaborate with Italian horror legends like Fulci and D’Amato.

    From Switzerland To Mato Grosso is a nineteen-minute interview with actress Monika Zanchi that sees her talking about moving from Switzerland to Italy as a child, hitchhiking as a teenager, her work as a nude model and then later getting into films because of that work. She also talks about D’Amato and about crushing on co-star Tinti while working on this film.

    The last interview is I Am Your Black Queen, an archival audio interview with Laura Gemser herself that clocks in at just over eleven-minutes. She speaks in this piece about her work as a model in men’s magazines, getting into film and about the Black Emanuelle films that she became quite famous for. She also discusses her relationship with D’Amato, her romance with and marriage to Gabriele Tinti, differences between the French and Italian film industries and her work as a costume designer.

    Rounding out the extras is a theatrical trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. It’s also worth noting that we get some cool reversible sleeve art with this release as well.

    The Final Word:

    Emanuelle And The Last Cannibals is absolute trash from start to finish – and we’re all better off for having it in our lives. Severin Films’ Blu-ray release is a strong one, presenting the movie in a nice transfer, with fine audio and a nice selection of supplements that document its history and explain its origins. Fans of smoking monkeys, cannibals and rad lesbians… step right up.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Lalala76's Avatar
      Lalala76 -
      What's interesting is that 88's release was taken from a scan of the negative as opposed to Severin's "original elements". You would think that a scan from the negative would be the go to choice, however the detail in Severin's is definitely a major improvement as are the colours. I can see it annoying the grain haters though.
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      "trashterpiece" lol