Monday, 12 March 2012

INCONFESSABLE ORGIES OF EMMANUELLE

CONTAINS SPOILERS AND A SENSE OF GRINDING DULLNESS

Hurrah! It's that dirty old man again! It's been precisely 148 days since I last saw a Jess Franco film - his gibberish version of Venus In Furs - and this softcore shagathon from 1982 is well down to his usual abysmal standards of borderline technical competence and morally questionable artistic expression. Not to put it too mildly, it's a near-unwatchable series of indifferently shot couplings (though, strangely, no orgies) with an emphasis on cunnilingus and a gynaecological fascination with ladies' bits that suggests Franco should have been wearing rubber surgical gloves while filming them.

Insofar as a string of ugly humpings can be dignified with the concept of a plot, Inconfessable Orgies Of Emmanuelle concerns the titular Emmanuelle (variously describes as English and French but speaking Spanish throughout) on a new honeymoon with her frequently cuckolded but forgiving husband Andreas. He's apparently a high ranking diplomat but still happy to shag his wife on the floor of a wax museum filled with laughable approximations of Hollywood icon lookalikes (if the dialogue hadn't named them as Minnelli and Bogart you wouldn't know). They then go to a disco complete with a live sex floor show, where Emmanuelle gets drunk and has a lesbian fling on the stage with a cabaret dancer named Maria whose entire schtick is to strip to her suspenders and sway about like she's trying to maintain her balance on the deck of the Woolwich Ferry. Andreas is understandably peeved about this and walks out; Emmanuelle then has another lesbian session with a middle-aged friend named Carmen. Meanwhile Maria gets off with Tony, a rich businessman and our sexist oaf of a narrator.

Emmanuelle and Andreas want to get back together, but then she's violently raped by two sweaty thugs who haven't shown up before and don't show up again, and the incident is never mentioned. Instead Emmanuelle gets off with Maria, and then later with Tony in what he describes as "how a Spaniard really makes love" and which takes about seventeen seconds. Never mind using your man to time a soft-boiled egg, you couldn't use Tony to time a hand grenade. Eventually Tony and Maria get off with each other while Emmanuelle and Andreas reconcile in the next room and the whole tiresome menage-a-cinq stops.

Almost all of this takes place against a dreary background score that suggests someone has bought a £24.99 Bontempi out of the Argos clearance sale but hasn't figured out how to switch the automatic rhythm tracks off. No matter how often and for how long the participants disrobe and stick their flabby bums in the air, no matter how often Franco performs his signature directorial technique of zooming in and out of pubes, the droning, tuneless music never stops. Not that the music's at fault, of course: you could back this with anything from the 1812 Overture to the Blake's Seven theme and it wouldn't make a scrap of difference. You're still stuck there watching largely unattractive people having softcore sex with each other at crippling length. Presumably it doesn't count as porn, because it's shot on widescreen film rather than on VHS and you don't actually see anything. But porn's ultimately all it is, and it's as colossally tiresome as the dullest porn you've ever seen. Nice scenery though.

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