Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Emmanuele 3 (1980)

Character Name: Clito
Actress: Sylvie Cointre (billed as "Silvia Castell")
Actual Movie Title: Le Journal érotique d'une Thailandaise
Known Aliases: An Erotic Journal of a Lady from Thailand; Emmanuele 3
Country of Origin: France
Character Nationality: Thai
Character Age:
Occupation: Prostitute
Locales: Paris, Bangkok
Release Date: July 9, 1980 (Italy)
Director: Jean-Marie Pallardy
DVD: Emmanuele 3 (1980)
Stats: Pseudo-Emmaneulle

Story: Paul Vernon (Jean-Marie Pallardy) is photographing a couple of models, Charlotte and Jean, near the Arc de Triomphe, but finds they're in a rush. They wish to attend a party thrown by Richard, Paul's ex-wife's lover, who's posing as a movie producer. The trio finish, then head to the (what's French for "redneck?") picnic, where Paul's ex Michèle (Catherine Greiner) has begun a strip show. The models are quick to join in the festivities, while Michèle has progressed to giving head by the time Paul approaches her. Michèle antagonizes the still possessive Paul, but wishes they could at least be friends. Paul angrily departs.

Paul meets with his editor, who refuses his new shots and bemoans the lack of quality in Paul's recent work. To combat the distraction of his failed marriage and fatigue with fashion photography, Paul is sent to Bangkok. Though Vernon is ostensibly on another shoot with a pair of models, Yvonne (France Lomay) and Claudine (Brigitte Lahaie,) his true purpose is to locate secret agents who have gone missing in Thailand. Claudine takes a shower at their hotel, then almost seduces Paul, before the pair are interrupted by visitors downstairs. Left alone, Claudine calls room 69 and diddles herself, her moans getting an older guest in trouble with his wife.

Paul meets an Asian man (Mr. Kah? Mr. Kao?) in the lobby, and they discuss the missing agents. Paul then shoots his models in exotic locales, with Mister Kao serving as an escort. The group is in a minor boating accident, during which Paul becomes entranced by an unidentified Thai girl (Sylvie Cointre.)

That night, Yvonne meets drunken Mike (Mike Monty) the Mighty Texas Door Opener, and is quick to undress for him in her room. Claudine stumbles in, and the threesome begins. Meanwhile, Paul and Kao visit a nightclub frequented by the agents. Paul oversells his enthusiasm for a nude dancer engaged in weak wax/fire play, as though it were the smoking scene from "Emmanuelle." No relevant information is gathered, but the Asian Mister promises their last stop is their best option. "The big Thai massage parlor" is where "the elite meet;" as in "the most beautiful collection of spies, thieves, and whores." Vernon spots the Thai girl from earlier amongst the collective, and buys her for the evening. Paul learns her name is Clito, which "means petal of love in my language.") Paul is the third person of Paul's nationality Clito has met (American in the English dub,) one large, the other small. Clito told Paul what she knew of the agents before they disappeared, with Paul asking if she thinks it was "the Russians." The sexin' was made.

Kao and Claudine try to visit Paul the next morning, but learn he never returned to his room. They are met by Yvonne, and decide to search the city for Paul. Texas Mike pops up, still drunk, but is ignored. They learn that neither Paul nor Clito are at the massage parlor, though Claudine feels its ridiculous Paul would be roaming the town with a working girl. In fact, Paul has clearly fallen for Clito, and the pair go for a bicycle rickshaw ride through the city. Yvonne does not care enough to chase after Paul all over town, and instead indulges in an erotic suds bath ripped off from "Emmanuelle 2."

A heavy-set Southerner with a creepy mustache is also at the massage parlor, and buys a whole gaggle of girls to meet in private. The man questions the girls about the missing agents, learning nothing, but indulges himself. After, he runs into his partner Mike, who's also searching for the missing agents.

Paul and Clito continue their day out with an impromptu photo session. A monkey in a dress shows up for comic relief. I don't recall either actor speaking a word of dialogue for over sixteen minutes, as the already short U.S. edit (73 minutes) is padded out shamelessly with travelogue. Paul is head over heels, while Clito tries to let him down easy. Two painfully non-threatening Asian goons take out Glass Jaw Paul with one punch and kidnap Clito. Paul finally rises to give chase, only to be beaten down again by a "tough" nearly as pathetic as Paul himself. Vernon rises once more, but loses the group when they hop in a car.

Claudine questions Paul on his return to the hotel, and he isn't so broken up he can't slide a hand down her pants. The frustrated couple is interrupted once again. The hotel manager has brought up a police officer sent to deliver a message to Vernon. "You are hereby notified that you are considered an undesirable person. You are to leave Thailand immediately." I must commend Thailand on their accurate observation and willingness to act upon it. Claudine suspect the expulsion might be related to the manager of the massage parlor taking exception to Paul's running off with one of his girls.

A peeved Paul went out to confront the parlor manager (Mr. Kudoo? Kideau?) and finds Clito, who compels Paul to leave this dangerous place. Paul thinks he can buy Clito's freedom, but she explains that the manager and his friend Mr. Kao are very powerful. Paul realizes Clito doesn't really want to break away, and figures he must have been crazy.

Michèle meets Paul at the Paris airport parking lot, hoping to reconcile. Michèle works for the same "company" as Paul, and as a special agent had heard all about Clito. Michèle doesn't believe in marrying outside the profession, but Paul asserts, "I finally got you out of system, and that's where you're gonna stay." Michèle is told to go back to Richard, and she informs Paul the director wishes to speak with him. You know, it must suck to be in the same line of work as James Bond, and drive a crappy little VW hatchback.

The director feels like a laughing stock, while Paul believes they can be certain the missing agents were murdered by Kao and company. The director gets Paul's deportation lifted, so that Vernon can return for more questioning, though he doesn't feel confident in his safety. In Bangkok, Paul buys Clito for $15,000 from the parlor, and is boated to the house where she's servicing another man. Paul spouts some cryptic babble about defending his country and Clito, then dumps her and returns home. Abrupt much?

Notes: Text refers to the softcore English dubbed version. The original French version ran with hardcore sequences at 91 minutes.

Summation: I'm not sure which required more audacity: Writer-Director Jean-Marie Pallardy casting himself as the lead, or naming his one "l" picture "Emmanuele 3," after directing "Emmanuelle Goes to Cannes." For added effect, Emmanuelle's "A.S.P.," standing for "Alain Siritzky Productions," is replaced by a "J. M.P." production. I suspect "J.M.P." is like "Detective Comics Comics." Or possibly "Just Made Profit" off the piggyback?

Anyhow, "Emmanuele 3" is a rather stupid movie, and most of the sex is lame, but not so terrible as to cause bowel irritation or anything. While the massage scene in no way threatens "Emmanuelle 2," there's more than enough speed and friction to make it worth a look. One of Clito & Paul's love scenes is pretty decent, as well, if you can get past Jean-Marie Pallardy utter absence of appeal. Everything else, in this edit, is mostly a bother.

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