Emmanuelle (1974) is based on a very popular erotic book by Emmanuelle Arsan titled Emmanuelle, the Joys of a Woman, which is said to be roughly autobiographical. Producer Richard Suzuki decided the time was ripe for an erotic movie, and hard core (Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door, The Devil in Miss Jones) was very popular, but not really mainstream couples fare. He visited the book publisher to inquire about screen rights, and was told that someone held them, but, when the secretary checked, she discovered that the rights had expired two weeks before and not been renewed. He secured the rights on the spot, and approached advertising director Just Jaeckin to direct the project. Casting was a major problem, as French actresses thought erotic content was beneath them, then ran into Sylvia Kristel during a casting session, and immediately signed her to a three picture deal. He said that he was sure she would be famous, and so signed her for three films.

The picture was shot in Thailand, which was not a huge tourist destination at the time. They did it with permission of a royal prince, third in command in the country, but managed to get themselves arrested once shooting at a public waterfall. A crowd gathered, and, when asked to leave, complained to the police. The rest of the film was shot on the Prince's property. Kristel was raised in an orthodox household. When she approached her mother about the project, her mother said to make it if it was good for her career, but don't ask her to see it. In the first sex scene in the film, Kristel and her husband are having sex under a mosquito net, while the houseboy and a maid watch. Star Daniel Sarky's wife was visiting the set for that scene, and he was so nervous performing simulated sex in front of her that his sweat kept melting off his make-up, so it took forever to film.

When the film was finished, Suzuki was determined that it would open in a mainstream theater, and it was, in fact, the first X rated film released by Paramount. They had no idea how much of a success they had on their hands, and had to expand it to several screens immediately to accommodate the crowds. The film opened on a Friday, and they didn't have enough prints to supply all of the theaters, and no way to make more over the weekend, so they used staggered start times and a team of messengers on motorbikes to ferry each reel to the next theater as soon as it finished in the first one.

The film has been available for some time on home video in a US dub with very poor quality, first on VHS and then DVD. There was also a cut version with some of the nudity removed. Originally rated X, they were able to resubmit the dubbed English version, and got an R on it. The content between the original English R and the French X was identical, other than the cropping. Anchor Bay is releasing a deluxe remastered set of the three authentic Emmanuelle films, with a choice of language and subtitles, interviews, a history of the entire series, and more. While this film was a little grainy, and overexposed in some parts, it was a far better transfer to DVD than previous efforts, and is in the original French theatrical ratio. Tonight, all of the images except those of Sylvia Kristel. Tomorrow night, the images of her, and the rest of the review.

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  • Christine Boisson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
  • Jeanne Colletin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 22 23 24)
  • Maid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Marika Green (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
  • Strippers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    May (2002):

    "If you can't find a friend, make one instead".

    So says May's mother when she passes on a family heirloom to her daughter.

    May's mother knows what May's lonely childhood is like, because she was once lonely as well. Back in her own chlldhood, mom coped with loneliness by learning to make things. In her ultimate creation, she made herself a friend - the doll that she passes on to her daughter in the prologue of this film, with the words above.

    May's lonely girlhood, cursed by a "lazy eye" eyepatch, passes into lonely young adulthood, but we really don't know at first just how strange she is. The first three quarters of this film are similar to Ghost World, an introspective look at "outsider chic", centering on May's attempt to find friendship with men and women, some of whom come close to her, only to repel or be repelled for various reasons. One handsome guy likes her, and the conversations go like this:

    She: Do you like me?

    He: Yes, of course, I like you.

    She: Do you think I'm weird?

    He: (Hesitant, unsure of how much truth to tell.) I do think you're weird (She turns away ...) But I like weird. A lot.

    (They watch his student film together, in which people having sex actually chew off each other's both parts. They attempt sex, and she tries to bite off his tongue)

    He: Hey, I need my tongue.

    She: But it was just like in your movie.

    He: You're weird.

    She: I thought you liked weird.

    He: I do, but not THIS weird.

    And so it goes for 60 minutes or so ... May tries out lesbianism, but that doesn't work either. Anna Faris (from Scary Movie) was quite entertaining as the sex-crazed lesbian who talks and thinks exactly like a guy in her approach to women. She seduces May with such lines as - "why don't you come to my place some time? We can sit around and ... eat some melons."

    Then the psychological comedy/drama becomes a horror/splatter movie. May can't find a friend, so she decides to make one instead. Literally. In the Dr. Frankenstein sense. She's an expert at making things with a sewing machine, so she sews together a friend.

    The film makes one more turn at the very end, when it abandons straight "giallo slasher/horror" as well as "psychological comedy drama", and ventures into the supernatural. Odd stuff.

    This movie is quite well crafted, virtually an homage to Dario Argento, but I guess you have figured out by now that it is not for everyone. Back in 2002, there was a plan to release this film theatrically. It was tested in three markets, one of which was here in Austin. The film got some pretty damned good reviews from its test run and a couple of film festivals, including Sundance 2002. The internet genre sites love it. It scores a 7.9 at IMDb, which is about as high as an unknown genre film can possibly go. (Kubrick's The Shining is 8.1, Silence of the Lambs is 8.5) .....

    But there was no interest from the public, and the theatrical release was forgotten.

    Bottom line: you now know what it is about. If you like very black humor and splatter, you will probably enjoy this, based on the reactions of others who enjoy offbeat movies. If you have mainstream tastes, it isn't for you.

    • Nudity report: none. This braless look at Angela Bettis was the best there was.


    Miller's Crossing (1990):

    The most interesting story behind Miller's Crossing is the growth of its stature over the years. In 1990 it was just another one of the many excellent entries in the gangster film revival of that year, on a list which included Goodfellas and The Grifters.  Although the set design and cinematography in the movie are outstanding, and the original musical score is a memorable one, the Academy could not see fit to offer even a single Oscar nomination to the Coen brothers. The film's box office performance was dismal, only $5 million, about a third of its budget.

    I am writing this more than a decade later, and the film is now considered a classic. It is rated in the Top #250 of all time at IMDb.

    Based loosely on a couple of Dashiell Hammett stories, it is basically a 1930's mobster movie updated with modern cinematographic technology. Bogart is dead, so Gabriel Byrne had to fill in as the wisecracking loner who is always trying to balance pragmatism against his own sense of right and wrong. Like all of Hammett's work, the plot is so labyrinthine as to be nearly incomprehensible, and even the film's resolution leaves the audience wondering if they missed something. To tell you the truth, I didn't have any trouble figuring out what was really going on in this one. There were plenty of unexpected plot twists, but the explanations were reasonable. The only real confusion comes from the perceptions of the characters. We can see or deduce what happened, but one mobster thinks something different happened, another gets the correct facts, but assumes a different explanation, and everyone lies to everyone else. Gabriel Byrne is in the middle, trying to play everyone's knowledge or lack of it to his advantage, for reasons not clear until the end of the film (and not all that clear even then). That wasn't nearly as confusing as some of the noir films from the 1930's and 1940's, where there are plot details that I still haven't figured out, and key characters referred to but never shown, making them impossible to relate to.

    There were quite a few characters to keep track of in this one as well, but they are generally given some presence and definition. The film also includes some details which are much cleverer when you think about them later. Three of the underworld characters appear to have some kind of homosexual love-triangle. That seems to be an irrelevant detail which verges on anachronism, since the other mobsters seem to know about it and don't care, an unlikely happenstance in 1930. It turns out to be quite relevant, a key element in the solution to a particularly puzzling plot element. At one point it is assumed that one of the murdered mobsters must have been killed by a woman, since he was shot with a .22 - a gun much too sissified to be used by a manly thug. A fair assumption, unless you realize that three of the thugs aren't quite as manly as the others.

    Honestly, the plot isn't that important, and you shouldn't get that hung up on it. Plotting merely exists as the vehicle necessary to carry the atmosphere, the characterization, the moralizing, the set pieces, and the wisecracking. As I said before, it isn't hard to figure out what really happened. It only seems confusing because each character discusses his own version of the story, and those versions are filled with misinformation and lies, or are missing some key facts.

    Instead of mulling over the plot details, enjoy the characters, the dialogue, the sights and the sounds. This is not so much a prose story about gangsters as an epic poem, as much Homer as Hammett. The visuals enhance that parallel with a weighty use of symbolism, and the dialogue mimics Homer with oft-repeated phrases.

    Nobody in Miller's Crossing mentions the wine-dark sea, but it establishes its own pattern of familiar phrases. Why not join the Miller's Crossing drinking game? It's easy, and fun.

    Watch with your friends, and take a drink every time somebody says one of the following phrases: 

    "What's the rumpus?"

    "Jesus, Tom"



    • Paige Turco hasn't done much nudity in her film/TV career. Tuna captured her only real clear breast exposure in Dark Tides. The new Celebrity Sleuth has three pictures of her from a 1994 premiere that show a hint of left nipplage. (1, 2, 3)
    • I also created a volume for her in the Encyclopedia, so you can see her limited history of cinema skin.



    • New volumes: Paige Turco


    Other crap:


    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Graphic Response
    • The ladies of "Auto Focus", including breast exposure from: Amber Griebel, Miller Lite babe Kitana Baker and Maria Bello. Plus partial views from Rita Wilson and Alex Meneses.

    • Maria Bello being felt up by Colonel Klink.

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    Today we took the Time Machine all the way back to 1970 and a visit to "Weekend with the Baby-sitter".

    The star of this one was a young Susan Romen who played the baby-sitter, dad's young son was not at home so our sweet young baby-sitter spent the weekend cavorting with dear old dad.

    This is the only credited movie listed at IMDB for Susan and I wonder why, she was very attractive as she shows off nice legs in a short skirt and then we move on to exposure of very beautiful natural breasts and by the time you reach the last of the caps even some bush.

    Thumbnail Previews
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Katherine Heigl
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19,)

    C2000 put together a little something for the Katherine Heigl fans. These collages feature scenes from "The Tempest". Plenty of cleavage, plus links 6-13 show some partial breast exposure (from a rear view) in a "bathing in the lake" scene.

    Courtney Cox
    (1, 2)

    Jennifer Aniston

    Cox and Aniston
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    The paparazzi catch the "Friends" stars wearing bikinis on the beach in Hawaii.

    Lisa Scott-Lee
    (1, 2, 3)

    The UK singer wearing a see-thru top with clear nipple exposure. Vidcaps from a recent appearance on the Brit series, "CD:UK".

    Andrea Bogart
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

    Sasha Williams
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)

    A whole mess of 'caps by Señor from the erotic werewolf thriller, "Darkwolf". Great 'caps with plenty of nudity! Dann first gave us a quick look at this flick back in the April 23rd edition, and Brainscan gave us a thorough review back in the May 2nd Fun House update.