26 September 2017 | Michael_Elliott
Trashy Italian Take-Off on Mandingo
Emmanuelle bianca e nera (1976)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Emmanuelle (Malisa Longo) wants to take over her father's slave plantation after she feels he's going too soft on them for only making them work ten hours a day. She's set to be married to Lawrence (Antonio Gismondo) but his attempted rape of a slave calls off his engagement after the slave forgives him. This sends Emanuelle into more of a rage against the slaves even though she has her own secret desires.
Leave it to the Italians to pick up where America started and try to push it to new levels. MANDINGO was a controversial movie when it was released in America so it makes since for Italy to try and rip it off and why not just throw the Emmanuelle name in there as well? If you're looking for a hard-hitting drama then this probably won't be for you but if you enjoy a bit of trash and exploitation then the film actually delivers a good time.
I should point out that this pre Civil War drama has some pretty campy moments including the melodramatic and preachy ending. I'm not going to ruin it for people but I give the film credit for at least trying to say something positive about how everyone should respect all races. With that said, there's no question that this is an exploitation movie at heart so expect a lot of nudity, a couple rape scenes and of course a lot of violence towards the slaves.
This film obviously wouldn't go over too well today but I doubt many people will be watching it unless they're already an exploitation fan. The film benefits from the setting, which feels authentic and I'd also argue that the violence is effective for what it is. You've got various whippings and they take it a step further by throwing salt on their wounds. The Emmanuelle woman is a deranged psycho here and she's also a nymph, which just adds to the fun.
This film is also known as PLANTATION PASSION, which was the title of the print I watched. That's a pretty fitting title for this exploitation film that manages to keep you entertained throughout its trashy 81-minutes.