Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (aka Trap Them and Kill Them) DVD Review
Written by SuperNova
DVD released by Media Blasters
Written and directed by Joe D’Amato
1977, Region 1 (NTSC), 90 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on June 24th, 2003
Donald O’ Brien
Today I’ll be taking a look at a film I’ve been meaning to see, ever since Shriek Show took the time to release it on DVD back in July. Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals stars the lovely Laura Gemser and has enough nudity, sex and gore to satisfy every genre buff.
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals centers around a gruesome cannibalistic slaying at a New York City hospital. Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) a journalist for a local paper has discovered a tattoo that seems to link a mental patient to an extinct cannibal tribe. After meeting up with Mark (Gabriel Tinti) an anthropologist, the two decide to go on an expedition to collect more information about this bizarre incident.
Upon there arrival, the group meets with a family of people who claim to know of a person who has contact with all of the tribes in the area. After a steamy night of passion, the crew heads out on a boat to the fiery jungle. Once they reach shore Emanuelle stops to reload her camera only to be attacked viciously by a snake. Her savior comes from a gun shot, that of not the crew she has traveled with, but of a hunter. A man who’s devoted his life to hunting wild game and sometimes even humans. Once the group find themselves on land, they soon discover the inevitable, the people who they were looking for are now gone, presumed to be slaughtered and killed.
The group descends into the amazon where they fall victims of deadly traps, leeches and even quick sand. One by one the group is picked off, kidnapped and then tortured by the cannibals lying in wait in the thick grass about them. After witnessing the mutilation of her friends, Emanuelle decides to take matters into her own hands and confront the cannibals, will her charm be enough to satisfy their deadly appetites?
This is my first time I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing the lovely Laura Gemser on screen, presuming her role as the voluptuous Emanuelle, so what did I think of it? Well I never thought I’d say this, but Joe D’Amato is a fantastic director. His direction in this film really shines through, and Nico’s score helps to enhance the cinematography every step of the way. As a cannibal film it ranks as one of my favorites, but if you’re looking for a Lenzi/Ferox esque here, then I’m sorry but you’ll be displeased. Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals relies more on tempting the viewer, after all it’s more so an exploitation piece then a run amok intestines fest. The story has some difficulties, mostly consisting of everyone seemingly wanting to have sex at every given moment. People die for no particular reason, leaving the viewer wondering why they even wanted to go into the jungle in the first place. But where other cannibal films don’t succeed, Emanuelle does. The cannibals in this film often seem realistic and don’t have the attention to kill off the whole cast when they first arrive. And regardless of it’s intentions, the film actually plays out intelligently, even in the end when Emanuelle realizes the lives that were lost just to get one story. The acting is fairly good, something rarely seen in these types of films, Laura Gemser is stunning on screen and steals the show, even when her clothes aren’t off. Gabriel Tinti adds intelligence to his roll, and I was convinced he knew what he was talking about. There isn’t much blood in the picture, but the two disembowelments that do take place should satisfy most. Nudity plays a crucial role in this film, so if you don’t mind watching about four or five love making scenes then you should be all right.
Video and Audio:
There’s been a lot of misinterpretation about the correct aspect ratio for this film, some say it’s 2.35, but allow me to put that myth to rest. The film is presented here in anamorphic widescreen, 1.85:1, which is the original aspect ratio. The colors are enhanced beautifully. The night time shots are well lit, and the complexion of the day shots are mixed quite nicely. The transfer is a vast improvement and even a step above the recent Japan Shock release.
The audio is clear and crisp, presented here in a Dolby Digital track. The voices are dubbed and probably the biggest flaw of this film is the fact that the dubbing is somewhat distracting. It becomes apparent throughout the film that the voices sometimes do not match with what is taking place on screen. Nico Fidenco did the original musical score for this picture, I have to say I thought it was a big asset to the overall tone of the film. The music is lively during the opening credits, but once Emanuelle makes it to the jungle, we are treated to some chilling sounds of loud hisses and heavy drum beats, which occasionally had me jumping a few times.
- Theatrical trailer
- Stills Gallery
For special features, Shriek Show has provided us with an original theatrical trailer and a stills gallery. The trailer for Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals is fairly long, but thoroughly enjoyable. In great typical Shriek Show fashion they slip in a couple of extra trailers which consist of Lizard in a Women’s Skin and Women in a Violent Prison. The stills gallery is plentiful ranging from set stills, to publicity posters.