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Tendre et Perverse Emmanuelle

Tender and Perverse Emmanuelle
Frissons sur la Peau / Le Chemin Solitaire / French Emmanuelle

France 1973
produced by
Brux Inter Films
directed by J.P.Johnson (= Jess Franco)
starring Norma Kastel, Jack Taylor, Alberto Dalbés, Lina Romay, Alice Arno, Pierre Taylou, Monique Van Linden, Dan van Husen, Antonio Mayans, Richard Bigotini, Roger Germanes, Richard Kennedy, Raymond Hardy, Carmen Carbonell, Susana Taber, Verónica Llimera, Pierre Quérut, Gilda Arancio
written by A.L. Mariaux (= Jess Franco), music by Daniel J. White

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Gordon (Alberto Dalbés) invites his best friend Michel (Jack Taylor), a psychiatrist, to his seaside home to do a checkup on his wife Emmanuelle (Norma Kastel), who is suffering from depressions and on the verge of a nervous breakdown - but Michel doesn't even get to see Emmanuelle anymore, because she has just thrown herself off a cliff ... suicide it seems.

Still, the fate of Emmanuelle somehow bothers Michel, since he was, without Gordon's knowledge, Emmanuelle's former lover, so he and Gordon's sister Greta (Lina Romay), Michel's scheming ex who saw to it that he broke up with Emmanuelle by having lesbian sex with her, start to investigate her death and learn about Gordon's fits of jealousy ... but then Emmanuelle's death is ruled a murder, and Michel is arrested for it, and only thanks to Greata's continuing investigations is he actually freed, and witht he help of a sexy barowner (Alice Arno), he eventually tracks down a blackmailer and former lover of Emmanuelle who appears to be behind it all - and ultimately, the blackmailer and the barowner shoot each other dead ...

With the mystery solved, Michel finds nothing that holds him here at the seaside, and even if it is likely to break Greta's heart, he returns to the city. Gordon in the meantime retreats to his basement, where he keeps Emmanuelle, alive and kicking but chained to a wall. Thing is, Gordon's psychopathic jealousy drove him to keep Emmanuelle under lock and key, and to see to it that he won't be disturbed, he killed another woman, destroyed her face to avoid identification, and then claimed the dead woman was his wife. Now nobody knows that she's even alive anymore ... nobody but Gorodn's sister Greta, who never bought the story about her death either, and who now wants to shoot her, claiming she took the two most important men in her life, her brother Gordon and her lover Michel. But when she attempts to shoot Emmanuelle, she accidently hits her brother instead ...

 

As a crime movie, Tender and Perverse Emmanuelle is definitely less than perfect, its story is clichéd and yet full of plotholes, some of the plottwists fail to make sense, and the many excuses to show naked bodies and sex are almost ridiculous - and yet, Tender and Perverse Emmanuelle is a very enjoyable film, its direction is elegant in a hip sort of way, all sex scenes are highly erotic (with Lina Romay being at her cutest) and even inventive, and despite an obviously low budget, director Jess Franco knows how to get the most out of his limited sets. And Jack Taylor in one of the lead roles is of course good news all by itself.

All that said, don't espect a perfect movie in the mainstream sort of way, but a piece of lovely Euro-sleaze genre fans will surely like.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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