Pretty Packaging: The Sensual Boxset Of BLACK EMANUELLE

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
If you are a Blu-ray collector, US-based distributor Severin is worth keeping tabs on, as their releases tend to be interesting, with many films getting proper treatment and great extras. Their boxset dedicated to folk-horror films is rightly the stuff of legends.

So when earlier this year they announced that they were about to release their biggest and most ambitious boxset release yet, I was very excited. That deflated a bit when I heard the subject: the Black Emanuelle films.
Wait. What?!

They say you can't polish a turd. And no matter how beautiful Laura Gemser is, Black Emanuelle is hardly what you'd call a great film, a dubious cash-grab to leech on the success of another dubious film (Just Jaeckin's Emmanuelle). So what was Severin thinking? Well, through the many sequels, the franchise allows for a decidedly unique look at seventies' and eighties' Eurosleaze cinema, ranging from exploiting feminism to the outrageous and supposedly educational "mondo" films of the time. Famous people showed up in them sometimes. Fan-favorite directors like Joe D'amato managed to make a living with them, with an added bonus of travelling around the world on the studio's dime, shooting pretty locations with pretty naked women.

But what really made me shell out the dough for this set is the insane team Severin got together. We get Kier-La Janisse curating the contents, which include more than 20 films spread out over 13 Blu-rays, and she is present on several essays as well. Stephen Thrower is collaborating, quite possibly THE expert on European exploitation fare from Italy, with interviews and audio commentaries. We get Kat Ellinger... well, the list is too long. You need to check the page over at Severin to see just how much there is. And two soundtrack CDs and a big 356-page book? That is tempting! Or should I say... seductive...

I had doubts, but I could not resist that book. I mean, this is so incredibly over the top... but had this set been any less garish, it might not have spiked my interest.

Luckily, Severin didn't skimp (hur-hur) on the packaging either, so here is a gallery of shots. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them, or at the center of each to see a bigger version.

And here it is: a sturdy box. With 15 discs and that book, there is no air in there, and the thing weighs heavy like a brick.

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