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  Emmanuelle in Soho Cheap And NastyBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: David Hughes
Stars: Angie Quick, Julie Lee, John M. East, Kevin Fraser, Gavin Clare, Timothy Blackstone, Geraldine Hooper, Anita Desmarais, Georges Waser, Erika Lea, Kathy Green, Suzanne Richens, John Roach, Linzi Drew
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Trash
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: Model Emmanuelle (Angie Quick) lives in Soho with a photographer, Paul (Kevin Fraser) and his wife, Kate (Julie Lee), and she's always trying to get into Paul's trousers in spite of his protestations that he is married. He is trying to think up get rich quick schemes for his business, and today has had a brainwave, to take some saucy snaps and sell them to porn publisher Bill Anderson (John M. East). To this end, he arranges a shoot with Emmanuelle and a woman in drag, and the result is so enthusiastically performed that Paul thinks he cannot lose with material like this...

Indeed, the only ones losing out would be those hapless enough to fork out for Emmanuelle in Soho, but there were plenty of them at the time. But if this film is recalled for anything, it was the fact that this was the end of the line for the British sex comedy that had arrived over a decade before in the later sixties. Their parents had been the Carry On series and the run of nudist movies designed to get around censorship laws with such innocuously presented nudity that nobody would object to them, but by the time this sorry effort was inflicted on the great British public, they were looking decidedly passé.

Perhaps the last real star of these had been Mary Millington, whose mere name on a poster was a real draw for, er, connoisseurs of this type of thing, and porn baron David Suillivan had been putting her in a succession of softcore romps for a few short years - Emmanuelle in Soho was intended to be Mary's latest, but she found herself unable to appear thanks to the unfortunate fact that she had committed suicide in 1979. Sullivan was therefore casting around for a promising newcomer, and he settled on Angie Quick who was given a new, Millington-esque moniker as "Randy" Mandy Miller - not, as some were mistaken in thinking, the grown up child star of the fifties making a name for herself in dodgy circumstances.

Quick never took off as a new sex star, and the same could be said of all of the leads, with Julie Lee having her career cut tragically short when she died in a car crash within a couple of years of this film's release, but frankly it was obvious that all the cast were hired for their willingness to shed their clothes and not their thespian talents. There were undoubtedly a lot of naked women here, which for many would be all they wanted to see, but rather than being a fun romp with cheeky humour, this was more of a cold-eyed trudge though Ye Olde Dirty Joke Book, with both hands firmly on the wallets of those punters lining up to see it. Where you could never accuse its predecessors of noble intentions, here hardly anyone seemed to be making an effort.

Even the title was lazy, appropriating the more famous sex films of Continental glamour fame and slapping it over a production that had none of the exoticism that at least the Just Jaeckin efforts could lay some claim to. Somehow Sullivan got away with using the double "m" in the name, and not some other spelling as was the case with the original's imitators, but there cannot have been anybody who mistook this for the real thing: not even Joe D'Amato would have been satisfied with depicting a revue show that featured a line of chorus girls glumly taking off their plastic macs. There was a plot, and it concentrated on Paul's endeavours to blackmail the publisher, played by the sleazy East who had not only written the script but produced the film as well. For all the professionalism on display, you might as well have been watching a home movie; it was a depressing end to the never exactly respectable line. Music by Barry Kirsch.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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