Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals
|Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals|
Italian film poster
|Directed by||Joe D'Amato|
|Produced by||Gianfranco Couyoumdjian|
|Story by||Joe D'Amato|
|Music by||Nico Fidenco|
|Edited by||Alberto Moriani|
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (Italian: Emanuelle e gli Ultimi Cannibali) is a 1977 Italian sexploitation and cannibal film directed by Joe D'Amato. The film involves Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) a photojournalist who discovers a woman in a mental hospital who is a cannibal and features tattoos of an Amazonian tribe on her skin. Along with Professor Mark Lester (Gabriele Tinti, the two travel to Africa with a team to discover the source of long-thought-extinct tribe that practices cannibalism.
In New York at a psychiatric ward, New York photojournalist Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) learns about the girl (Dirce Funari) there who was found in the Amazon rainforest. Emanuelle discovers that she appears to have been raised by the Apiaca, a tribe of cannibals thought to be lost. She contacts Professor Mark Lester (Gabriele Tinti), the curator at the National History Museum and persuades him to come with her to the Amazon.
On arriving in the Amazon, they are accompanied by Isabel Wilks (Mónica Zanchi), the daughter of the organizer of the expedition, and Sister Angela (Annamaria Clementi) who is going upriver to join a mission. Emanuele is attacked by a snake but rescued by hunter Donald Mackenzie (Donald O'Brien). Mackenzie and his wife Maggie (Nieves Navarro) as well as their guide Salvadore (Percy Hogan) join the group and inform Sister Angela that her convent has been attacked by what they presume to be cannibals and that no survivors remain.
The group continue into the jungle, and now being watched by unseen spectators. The group find a severed head on stake and Sister Angela disappears to be found impaled the next morning. Meanwhile, The Mackenzie's attempt attempt to leave the group trying to find a crashed plane that contains diamonds. As they stumble upon the plane, they are attacked by a tribe of cannibals with Donald and Maggie being kidnapped. The rest of the group arrive just in time to see this happen, and attempt to find the cannibal village. On arrival, the cannibals kill Salvatore and Isabel is captured. Mark and Emanuelle manage to escape only to watch the Mackenzies brutally murdered. To save Isabel, Emanuele paints a tribe's markings on her body to convince the natives that she is a goddess and take Isabel away. They manage to escape with Mark who had recovered a speedboat.
After the release of the film Ultimo mondo cannibale (1977), the Italian film market was open for a new group of cannibal related films. Among them, was Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, a film in the Black Emanuelle film series. With a story developed by, directed, co-scripted, photographed by Joe D'Amato, he declared that he was "a real copy-cat", and since "Deodato's film [Ultimo mondo cannibale] had been so successful we though about doing something along the same lines commercially."
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals was released in 1977. Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals was released on home video by Twisted Dreams Home Video and under the title Trap Them and Kill Them by Twilight Video. Both releases have a runtime of 93 minutes.
From contemporary reviews, David Badder (Monthly Film Bulletin) described the film as "so preposterous as to be almost enjoyable." Badder felt that D'Amato didn't understand his film was unintentionally funny, stating that this idea is "dispelled by [D'Amato's] typically) frenetic direction and the solemn tone maintained throughout."
In retrospective reviews, Roberto Curti, author of Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980 described the film as "fairly harmless compared to other cannibal films of the time, with the violence coming in the last 20 minutes." and that the Black Emanuelle series was "pretty much running out of ideas and it definitely shows in this film." Cavett Binion (AllMovie) gave the film a negative review, calling it "merely excruciating tedium punctuated by occasional kinky sex in the first half of the film and cheap, gag-inducing special effects in the second" and that the film was too "gory for softcore fans and too dull for gorehounds, this is basically a film with no target audience whatsoever."
- Badder, David (1978). "Emanuelle e gli Ultimi Cannibali (Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals)". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 45 no. 528 (British Film Institute). p. 133. ISSN 0027-0407.
- Stine 2001, p. 106.
- Shipka 2011, p. 117.
- Shipka 2011, p. 136.
- Paul 2005, p. 187.
- Binion, Cavett. "Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals". AllMovie. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Paul, Louis (2005). Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8749-3.
- Shipka, Danny (2011). Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0786448881.
- Stine, Scott Aaron (2001). The Gorehound's Guide to Splatter Films of the 1960s and 1970s. McFarland. ISBN 078649140X.