Furthering the exploits of the lovely black photographer Emanuelle (Laura Gemser), BANGKOK opens with the ebony beauty on board a cruise ship with her lover Roberto (Gabriele Tinti - bespectacled here to disguise the fact he played an entirely different character in BLACK EMANUELLE).

We learn early on that the lovers are on the verge of splitting, as neither is ready to settle down, but have decided to make the most of one last trip overseas together. They've chosen to go to Bangkok - he to study archaeology, her to hopefully meet the King and blag a photo shoot with him. Before they port in Bangkok, the pair vow to make their last moments together count and head off to their cabin for a romp.

Upon arrival, Emanuelle meets up with Prince Sanit (Ivan Rassimov) who she hopes will trust her enough to grant her an audience with the King. First though, Sanit must get to know Emanuelle and offers to act as her guide around Bangkok for a few days.

After a while showing Emanuelle around and telling her all about the Royal family's history, Sanit decides Emanuelle can meet the King. But first he says she must learn how to relax the local way: he takes her to a temple where she is stripped, bathed and massaged by a particularly frisky young female.

This clearly gets Emanuelle in the mood for some loving, as she retires to her hotel room and begins getting it on with room service only for Roberto to turn up unexpectedly. He drags her away to enjoy an evening with his friends Jimmy (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) and Frances (Ely Galleani), where they take in a bizarre local stage show involving a naked woman dripping candle wax onto herself.

Emanuelle knows the perfect way to close such an evening - she takes the group round to Sanit's home, where he introduces them to the joys of opium while a "Winds Of Change"-type tune whistles irritatingly in the background. When the group flakes out after a drug-fuelled orgy, Sanit takes Emanuelle into the next room and strips her.

The following day, the group meet again and it transpires that Roberto has a thing going on with Jimmy's partner Frances. He's still besotted with Emanuelle too though, and so manages to squeeze in a little quality time with her before it's time for him to jet off home.

All of which leaves Emanuelle at something of a loose end (having seemingly forgotten why she's come to Bangkok in the first place). So she goes back to her hotel room to pack, only to find it ransacked. It turns out Sanit has been imprisoned for conspiring to kill the King, and now his bodyguards suspect Emanuelle of being an accomplice.

Giving the witless wonder the benefit of the doubt, the bodyguards let Emanuelle go and she makes plans to leave the country - possibly even to reunite with Roberto on a far-off distant shore. But, having lost her passport, she may have to rely on her shockingly loose morals to get her past passport control. And then it's off on an altogether different adventure well, a different country, anyway.

Lighter in tone and tamer in content, BANGKOK is a disappointing follow-up to BLACK EMANUELLE. And, given that the latter was an incoherent mess, that really is saying something.

The cast seem weary: Gemser looks bored whenever she accidentally lets her actress' smile drop; Tinti looks bizarrely angry at times. Meanwhile the editing and pacing are slack in comparison to the superior predecessor.

The dialogue is silly and at times baffling, while the plot is simply a shambles: there isn't one. The concept? Other than that it's great to celebrate your sexuality by fucking indiscriminately, there isn't one. Characters are introduced and spend a good third or so of the film loitering about, then just vanish. Without explanation.

Picturesque but tedious, the occasionally pleasing cinematography and cheesy pop songs are all BANGKOK has to offer. It comes as little surprise that this was directed by Joe D'Amato.

The disc here is a very basic one.

The film is presented in a decent-looking 1.78:1 transfer, anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 TV sets. Images are intentionally soft but detail and colour come through strong. The opening titles are lifted from a French print of the film (the onscreen title is BLACK EMANUELLE EN ORIENT) and do look quite rough, but the rest of the film has been well preserved.

The English mono audio offers a problem-free playback.

A static main menu includes a scene-selection menu allowing access to the main feature via 12 chapters.

There are no extras.

Disjointed, inconsistent and aimless (Where was the King? What did the first fifty minutes of the film have to do with the final forty?), BANGKOK owns nothing of distinction to separate it from the wealth of similarly insipid softcore films that saturated 1970s grindhouse cinema.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Optimum Home Entertainment
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review