Standard Gemser fare
It's a law of nature that whenever a movie becomes a box-office hit, imitations will follow. And back in 1974 when Emmanuelle, starring the pretty Sylvia Kristel, revolutionized the soft-core genre and turned into a worldwide success, a new series called Black Emanuelle (spelled with only one M in order to avoid legal issues) emerged and made a star out of the gorgeous Indonesian actress Laura Gemser, who had already made a sizzling appearance in the incredible massage scene - one of the most sensual and steamy ever filmed - from Emmanuelle 2.
Several installments followed, many of them directed by the prolific (and often controversial) Joe D'Amato, but apart from featuring Gemser in the lead, many of the movies had virtually nothing to do with each other, as the character and profession of the dark beauty varied from one story to the next - making it pretty obvious that using the name Emanuelle in the titles was done for purely commercial reasons. Capitalization and delectation, however, are not always mutually exclusive - sometimes there's still some fun to be had from the end results.
Despite the fact that Emanuelle's Daughter may not be the best example of this philosophy, the erotic interludes are daring, sultry and plentiful enough, the scenery eye-catching - but it's the mere presence of heart-throb Gemser that makes all the difference. In this entry she's the wife of Victor Brindisi, a wealthy business man who's frequently subjected her to acts of sexual violence. Desperately wanting her husband killed in order to get out of this abusive marriage, she hires a contract killer, the ever erect and macho Mario, to do the dirty work - after a quick lay (standard procedure between hit-men and female, Indonesian clients, I guess).
When Victor then meets with an 'accident', Emanuelle becomes the legal guardian of her rebellous teenage stepdaughter Livia (Livia Russo in her only feature film) and subsequently takes control of Victor's estate. But she's not yet put the past behind her. She also wants to take revenge on some of her husband's partners, among others Robert and Ilona, who took part in the mistreatment of her and therefore she devises a financial scheme to eliminate all her enemies, - receiving a helping hand from Tommy Snow (real life spouse Gabriele Tinti) with whom she starts an intimate relationship.
At the same time Livia experiences her first steps of budding sexuality when she meets the handsome and tender Mike (Vagelis Vartan), a 'hey baby, come light my fire'-situation arises and then it's on to some adult hanky-panky. But lurking in the shadows are Robert and Ilona, trying to uncover the actual circumstances surrounding Victor's death while also hoping to get Livia on their side, taking advantage of the obvious, initial tension between her and her stepmother who seem to quarrel incessantly all over the place. Because the young girl is actually the one who inherited her late father's fortune, and furthermore, much to Emanuelle's dismay, Mario - clearly out for more money - unexpectedly turns up again making moves on the impressionable Livia. Don't get in the way of this man.
Definitely more plot-heavy than many of the other entries in the series, this is nevertheless still relatively speaking, because at the end of the day Greek director Elia Milonakos obviously only wants to cram as much skin as he possibly can into 90 minutes of running time. Like the story, the characters are underdeveloped and seldom rise above the superficial which sometimes makes their motivations unclear, seriously affecting the story's potential for suspense. Alas, Gordon Mitchell as Robert therefore never really becomes threatening, unlike Haris Tryfonas' smarmy hit-man Mario who gets to shag nearly all of the female cast - and who figures in one particularly nasty and graphic rape sequence. Be advised.
Passable at best, Milonakos' direction is mostly lackluster and uninspired, but there's only so much you can do with material as slight as this. For instance, one of Mario's lovers, who's introduced early on and actually has a fair amount of screen time, has no connection to the story whatsoever, and for no apparent reason she suddenly disappears out of the blue. That said, Emanuelle's Daughter is surely better than Milonakos' cheap-looking, goofy Divine Emanuelle and in no way as incoherent and confused (which is saying a lot). On the other hand, the latter offers unlimited, unintentional belly laughs and is hence monstrously entertaining, so which of the two is preferable, all things considered?
That question is easy - I choose the slender Laura Gemser!
René Pedersen, December 6th, 2005
Ignore the weird technical specifications on the back of the cover. It's true that the aspect ratio is 1.33:1, but anamorphically enhanced it surely isn't. Sometimes the compositions look a little cramped, but mostly there's a lot of space in the top of the picture, which could indicate that the film was probably shot open matte. The elements used for the transfer seem to have been in really good shape (unlike the somewhat hazy Greek DVD release some time ago from New Star DVD) as it's virtually free from dirt, scratches and other imperfections. The contrast and color levels are generally strong and above par with natural looking skin tones, but now and then the otherwise sharp picture seems a bit muted, affecting the reproduction of details. While edge enhancement and compression artefacts were almost non-issues, this movie, however, appears to be a PAL to NTSC transfer as there are some ghosting effects when playing back in slow motion. But please note, during normal playback this is difficult, if not impossible, to spot.
There's an English audio option in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. Aside from some minor crackling and hissing in places, this is a very nice soundtrack presentation overall, and even though it's also a tad dark and lacks crispness, the dialogue is always clearly audible. The low frequency signals may be sparse and restrained, but they're there and add a bit of body to the musical score.
First there's a selection of four Exploitation Digital trailers: Divine Emanuelle: Love Cult (4.00 min), Porno Holocaust (1.33 min), SS Experiment Love Camp (3.01 min) and Yellow Emanuelle (1.10 min). A photo gallery that consists of a few poster artwork images and plenty of production stills is presented as a video clip and runs 5.30 minutes. Two original English language trailers for Emanuelle's Daughter: Queen of Sados can be played in succession and have a combined running time of 7.17 minutes, and lastly you find what is easily the least extra on the DVD: A series of outtakes without sound (4.37 min) which is nothing more than a collection of alternative shots to already existing scenes in the film. Pretty uninteresting stuff, save for a couple of sequences with Gemser lying on a beach, looking her usual best.
Well adjusted audiences with taste are advised to steer clear of this tepid, mildly diverting erotic potboiler, but they probably wouldn't read this review in the first place. Die-hard fans of Gemser (like myself), on the other hand, will naturally want to add this entry in the Emanuelle-series to their DVD-collection, even though it lacks the uninhibited ferociousness of the disreputable Emanuelle in America. Besides wanting in the extras department, Exploitation Digital certainly has given Emanuelle's Daughter: Queen of Sados a decent release in terms of technical quality.