Emmanuelle Vs. Dracula (2004)

Starring Natasja Vermeer, Marcus DeAnda, Beverly Lynne

Directed by KLS

Freddy vs. Jason

Alien vs. Predator

King Kong vs. Godzilla

None of them can compare to the monumental showdown that is Emmanuelle vs. Dracula. The Lord of the Vampires vs. the Queen of Softcore Sex – a showdown that we all knew eventually had to happen.

For months I’ve seen this movie listed on Cinemax but ignored its call. I finally broke down and set a tape to record it so I could have a look at this clash of cinematic titans. Hell, it’s not like this is the first softcore sex film I’ve ever sat through involving vampires. After having watched Emmanuelle vs. Dracula, I can honestly say it might be the last.

Surely, everyone reading this is more than familiar with the character of Dracula. On the other hand, I suspect most of you probably have no clue who the hell this Emmanuelle chick is supposed to be. For those unfamiliar, Emmanuelle is a world famous character of French eroticism that was first originally brought to the screen back in the early 70s by actress Sylvia Kristel. The original Kristel-starring Emmanuelle movies were genuine attempts to erotic films with some artistic merit. Since then, the Emmanuelle films have taken a turn to the exploitative side with the all-knowing sex goddess Emmanuelle getting involved in plots that played out more like third rate Eurotrash action films sprinkled with explicit sex scenes, and, in recent years, have gone goofy with plotlines that involve Emmanuelle having to teach aliens about the joys of making love or portraying Emmanuelle as some supernatural sex fairy acting as sort of a casual sex version of Cupid. My only real exposure to the franchise has been from watching part of a Joe Bob Briggs hosted marathon on The Movie Channel eons ago and having taken in a few episodes of the monumentally stupid “Emmanuelle in Space” Cinemax After Dark series. I figured going into Emmanuelle vs. Dracula that this couldn’t possibly be any worse. I really should stop telling myself such things.

Since being originated on screen by Sylvia Kristel, actresses the likes of Laura Gemser, Monique Gabrielle, and Krista Allen have all taken turns in the role of the cinematic sex goddess. This time out the role goes to former model Natasja Vermeer. She’s attractive but nothing special. That’s pretty much the problem with all the women in the film. It’s not that they’re ugly; they just pretty much all look like over-the-hill rock groupies. As for Miss Vermeer’s performance, I’ll just say that she’s not a natural blonde and let it go as that. Who am I kidding? Nobody involved with this film was hired for their acting skills.

Emmanuelle is just one of the ladies invited to a small bachelorette party where she and her female friends sit in the living room of this fancy house engaged in an X-rated McLaughlin Group roundtable discussion about their sex lives for five straight minutes until a knock at the door leads to the introduction of a young Jerry “the King” Lawler look-a-like who claims his car just broke down. Everyone is quite taken with the man except for Emmanuelle; her “Horny Sense” begins warning her that something isn’t right about the guy. Upon being quizzed by the smitten women, he reveals that his line of work is giving women pleasure beyond their wildest dreams and all they have to do to experience it is to look directly into his eyes. A strange guy shows up at a bachelorette party talking about his amazing sexual staring powers and he’s not some male stripper they hired to perform… I’d like to think that these ladies would be a little less taken with the guy and just a tad on the uncomfortably alarmed side. No such luck. Only Emmanuelle senses that something is not right with this man as she is overwhelmed with strange flashbacks and weird voices.

Right in the middle of this bachelorette party, the bachelorette herself suddenly decides that she really needs to go upstairs and take a shower. Mostly she just pleasures herself in the shower while experiencing weird visions of a Renaissance fair lesbian threesome. When the musclehead strippers they did hire for the party finally arrive, Emmanuelle takes the opportunity to slip away and finds the bachelorette in the shower having slow motion sex with Count Sideburns.

At this point, the film goes from being truly awful in a boring way to truly awful in a “none of this even makes an ounce of sense” sort of way. A sudden montage of sex scenes that appear to have come from entirely different films is followed up by a woman we’ve never seen before lounging next to a swimming pool in broad daylight while talking on her cell phone when someone or something invisible starts having sex with her, leading to five awkward minutes of this poor woman having to go through all the motions of a quite hyperactive sex scene with an invisible partner. I think the explanation was supposed to be that Dracula was using his long range psionic sex powers on her but I can’t say for sure. We’ll get another one of these with an entirely different female before the film’s end.

After that odd interlude, we’re back to the party where the bachelorette emerges completely dry and made up to look like someone’s forty-year old mother trying to pass for an 80’s rock video slut. From there on out, the greaser-looking vampire uses his powers to make the women either super horny so they’ll have sex with either each other (most of the time), him (some of the time), or the male strippers (one scene only) before he turns them into vampires that wear transvestite levels of lipstick and eye shadow. The only person that doesn’t fall into this category is Emmanuelle, whose own sexual strength makes her resistant to the vampires’ sex powers, and so she gets to spend the majority of the film making a constipated face and acting like a woman so dumb the average Scooby Doo mystery leaves her dumbfounded while a lesbian orgy breaks out around her every five minutes. It’s amazing that Emmanuelle in an Emmanuelle film doesn’t actually get naked or engage in any carnal activities until the very end, which is sort of like making a Friday the 13th film where Jason doesn’t kill a single person until the last five minutes.

Despite being called Emmanuelle vs. Dracula, it turns out that this vampire that crashed their party isn’t even Dracula. The vampire lord himself doesn’t actually appear until the last 10 minutes, and when he does he looks less like the Prince of Darkness and more like a coke-dealing European playboy. Instead of Emmanuelle vs. Dracula, their big final showdown is actually a sex scene where each tries to screw the other into submission. Frankly, I’ve seen more vigorous sex in just about any given Shannon Whirry film, but after several minutes of very tepid sex, Dracula inexplicably surrenders and Emmanuelle, who is straddling him at the time, up and pulls a Basic Instinct on him, only with a wooden stake in place of an ice pick.

In summary, when they’re not having sex, they’re talking about sex. When they’re not having sex or talking about sex, they’re dreaming about sex. When they’re not having sex, talking about sex, or dreaming about sex, they’re still finding a good reason to finger themselves. And even then there are constant flashback sequences that look to have come from an entirely different movie involving people in medieval/Victorian looking costumes engaging in sex.

Even looking at it entirely from the standpoint of a late night Skinemax film, Emmanuelle vs. Dracula is downright abysmal. I don’t know who this KLS person is that directed but if it’s a guy then he must be gay and if it’s a woman then she must be frigid because it’s rather amazing how a film that features almost wall to wall nudity and non-stop sex can be so utterly devoid of anything even remotely resembling sexiness. Even Howard Stern would be turned off by the lesbian sex scenes. The horror aesthetics are actually done better than the sex stuff that composes 95% of the running time. How many slow motion, shot in extreme close-up, sex montages can one film contain? In this case, about 85 minutes worth.

Emmanuelle vs. Dracula was apparently made as one part of a series called “Emmanuelle: The Private Collection” that I don’t know anything else about other than I firmly believe that Emmanuelle should keep these films somewhere private where people like me won’t be subjected to it. It’s the least she could do.

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Jon Condit

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