In its entirety, as far as such can be ascertained, the BLACK EMANUELLE series certainly shapes up as an odd collection of sorts. Its "official" entries, and remember that we're already dealing with an Italian rip-off of a French film franchise, have been generously supplemented by tangentially tied-in trifles where the mere presence of Indonesian leading lady Laura Gemser gave rise to an impromptu affiliation, often through adversely affixing the EMANUELLE moniker regardless of narrative consistency. Henceforth, Enzio D'Ambrosio's sedate LA SPIAGGIA DEL DESIDERIO was widely released as EMANUELLE ON TABOO ISLAND, Mario Bianchi's genteel COUNTRY NURSE got far more play dates as EMANUELLE IN THE COUNTRY and German Christian Anders' severely twisted LOVE CAMP became DIVINE EMANUELLE. No mean feat considering Gemser's character isn't actually called Emanuelle in any of these !
Whilst a bit of a mongrel, at least SUOR EMANUELLE remains relatively close to the trajectory mapped out by Bitto Albertini in the initial installment and, especially, the shameless Joe D'Amato in its bona fide sequels. Turning her back on a wicked past, which seasoned viewers will automatically associate with her globe-trotting, absolutely anything for a scoop wanton ways as the intrepid photo journalist, Emanuelle has entered the convent, doling out spiritual succor to the wayward young girls in her charge. She definitely has her work cut out for her with feisty Monica Catsabriaga (Monica Zanchi) who was caught in flagrante with her hot new step mom (delectable D'Amato regular Dirce Funari, who was in both PORNO HOLOCAUST and EROTIC NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD) by her elderly businessman father, played by Spaghetti western veteran Rik Battaglia. Poor Em's vow of chastity barely survives the train ride back to the nunnery when a very nude Monica slips between her sheets to seek solace from the raging thunderstorm outside !
Somewhat surprising for such an exploitative type of cinema, the good sister's devotion is actually handled with a degree of seriousness. She only reluctantly surrenders to escaped convict René (adequately portrayed by her then real life husband Gabriele Tinti) when the mischievous Monica tricks her into believing that he will otherwise forcefully take the maidenhead of her pious roommate Anna. Once she learns of this betrayal, Emanuelle literally lets her hair down and, well, kicks the habit, reverting back to the sign of the crotch in a last ditch attempt to straighten out the incorrigible teen seductress. With Gemser's sensational slender frame (predating the present day supermodel ideal) perversely covered up until the final act, most of the film's ample nudity's supplied by succulent Swiss starlet Zanchi, a memorable presence in both D'Amato's over the top EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS and Mario Gariazzo's saucy space opera THE COMING OF ALIENS. Her temptation of Anna (lovely one shot Vinja Locatelli), who assumes she's a mere obstacle on the road to sainthood, provides an effective combination of heat and humor, indicative of the narrative tone's gradual shift from semi-serious to fully fledged fun.
The lightness of touch, which precludes anything really nasty happening to anyone, makes for a welcome change of pace from Emanuelle's past adventures, too frequently interrupted by rape and assorted violent outbursts for comfort. One reason for this is that the late Giuseppe Vari a/k/a "Joseph Warren" was hardly a sex flick regular and therefore perhaps less jaded than the dyed in the wool D'Amato. He was rather a workmanlike if dependable dispenser of varied genre fare like ROME AGAINST ROME a/k/a WAR OF THE ZOMBIES and DJANGO THE LAST KILLER, whose only other foray into risqué territory was his frothy RIBALD DECAMERON with the magnificent Malisa Longo. Further explanation for the film's idiosyncratic flavor amid the EMANUELLE canon comes from the man responsible for its commendably coherent screenplay, Marino Onorati, whose stock in trade is all sweetness and light as evidenced by his scripts for most of the major Italian sex comedy superstars like Edwige Fenech on various SCHOOLTEACHER and POLICEWOMAN projects and Gloria Guida as LA LICEALE. Hazy soft focus photography by Guglielmo Mancori, who shot Umberto Lenzi's underrated giallo SPASMO as well as Lucio Fulci's badly bungled MANHATTAN BABY, elevate this effort to a loftier level of cinematic carnality. Stelvio Cipriani's infuriatingly infectious score, practically screaming Seventies Euro sleaze at the top of its lungs, provides the icing on the cake for any none too self-respecting old school skin flick aficionado.