Director: Elia Milonakos
Exploitation Digital/Media Blasters

Beautiful Emanuelle is unhappily married to Viktor, a sadistic bastard who forces her to take part in sick S&M games. Not surprisingly, she finds solace in the arms of Mario, an Italian she also hires to kill her husband. Viktor perishes in a mysterious plane crash, leaving Emanuelle to run his fruit business and care for her stepdaughter Livia. But Emanuelle also has plans to track down her husband’s partners who contributed to her sexual abuse and avenge herself completely. However, she becomes sidetracked when she begins to fall in love with an old friend of Viktor’s, who promises her happiness and a better life. But Mario reappears and threatens to make trouble for Emanuelle’s attempts at starting over.

Released by Media Blasters around the same time as her other Greek-lensed film, LOVE CAMP, EMANUELLE: QUEEN OF SADOS is one of sex siren Laura Gemser’s least-appreciated films. Such a pity, as it’s one of her more interesting roles and though she only has two sex scenes and infrequent nude scenes (including riding a horse topless in the ocean), she gives a pretty strong performance as well. But despite this refreshing departure from her usual fare, she is just about the only positive here. Without Gemser, QUEEN OF SADOS would be completely forgettable. When she isn’t on-screen, Greek sex film regular Haris Tryfonas, as Emanuelle’s lover Mario, indulges in a number of random sex scenes with any woman he runs into, slowing down the running time and grinding the already thin story to a halt. One of these scenes finds him dunking the head of a girl into a toilet bowl, forcing her to confess details of a plot to expose Emanuelle’s secret, then the two kiss and begin screwing on a bed!!

Director Elia Milonakos directed many more Greek sex films, including a bunch with another exotic Italian exploitation film regular, Ajita Wilson, and all of them are pretty terrible. This film is no exception; the pacing is all wrong, and what starts as a good revenge story bogs into a soap opera melodrama quickly. It’s great to see Gemser in such a different kind of film, allowed to stretch beyond the nympho antics of D’Amato’s EMANUELLE films, but the script is a mess, resulting in outrageous plot twists which go nowhere and an abrupt misfire of an ending which makes not one lick of sense. QUEEN OF SADOS rises above the lower rungs of this genre thanks to its star, the unparalleled Gemser. Also making the film somewhat unique is Livia Russo, the barely-legal-looking actress playing Livia, the teenage stepdaughter. She has an eye-opening shower scene, a cheesy disco dancing scene, and a pretty uncomfortable semi-sex scene with another underage-looking boy. Worst of all, she is raped in a pool of muddy water! Gemser’s husband Gabriele Tinti also co-stars as Viktor’s friend Tommy, and yet again is lucky enough to have a love scene with his stunning wife. Watch for a completely unauthorized clip from the Village Peoples’ “YMCA” music video in a disco, too!

Previously issued on a budget-priced Greek disc that seemed to use a blurry video master, QUEEN OF SADOS looks simply stunning on this Media Blasters disc! Though it says on the cover it is in widescreen (anamorphic widescreen at 1.33:1 is the actual quote), the film is presented in fullscreen, and it honestly seems to be the correct aspect ratio. The colorful lighting in a disco scene reveals how lovely the disc looks. Skintones are brilliant, grain is practically nonexistent, and the image is exceptionally bright and clean. It’s too bad the film isn’t better, though. The English mono audio is strong, a tad muffled during some dubbed dialogue scenes, but gets the job done.

Gemser remains retired and living happily in Rome, but prefers not to give interviews at this time, so the extras will of course be limited. However, a nice 5-minute collection of outtakes, presented with no audio, features more great Gemser footage of her in a bikini on the beach, her final confrontation with Mario, dialogue scenes, telling Livia’s fortune, and other snippets of non-Gemser footage, including lots of clapboard takes. One great outtake of Gemser faking a smack across a man’s face finds her smiling in-between takes, showing she is having a great time making this movie. Two trailers (one with text, one without) for the film highlight all the nitty gritty people expect from a Laura Gemser film, and a photo gallery includes international artwork and video sleeves, newspaper clippings, and promotional stills with lots of sex shots. There are some great posters from Asian countries, a flyer from Private Screenings announcing the U.S. video release, and a Greek newspaper ad mat! Exploitation Digital trailers for DIVINE EMANUELLE (LOVE CAMP), PORNO HOLOCAUST, SS EXPERIMENT LOVE CAMP, and YELLOW EMANUELLE round out the package.
(Casey Scott)