If it’s 1977, this must be softcore, and so it is. Vanessa is a another lush sexual travelogue, dug up from the archives and given a rather spiffy release from Severin. Yet another product cast in the Emmanuelle mould, Vanessa has its titular heroine leave her convent home (gee, what sort of nonsense do you think we find out happened there?) after she comes into a large inheritance. Flying to Hong Kong, she finds out that this inheritance consists of a chain of high-end brothels. Cue the exotic locations and varied sexual encounters. There’s nothing hugely striking or original about any of this, but as an example its type, it’s quite handsomely mounted, makes some eyebrow-raising use of classical music, and has a couple of scenes that (almost) reach a (kind of) frenzy (all proportions maintained).
The mono is mono is mono, and there’s not much more to it than that. The music sounds fine (no gurgles or anything) and the dialogue doesn’t distort. It is very obviously dubbed, of course, with all the unnatural intonations that come with that, but that is no knock against the transfer itself.
The print isn’t perfect, in that there is a bit of grain and dirt visible, but overall, the film looks pretty damn good. The most notable aspect are the colours, which are very strong, very rich, with excellent contrasts, flesh tones and blacks. This, coupled with the anamorphic widescreen treatment, makes for a classy looking package (in that special, 70’s sleaze sort of classy).
The main extra is a subtitled interview with director Hubert Frank and DP Franz X. Lederle. The two men reminisce about how the film came together, and the talk is a rather interesting window into the world of relatively high end exploitation filmmaking of the 70s. “Vanessa Revealed” is a collection of behind-the-scenes footage, some of which also turns up in the interview. The theatrical trailer is also present.
The film is what it is, but isn’t a bad example of its kind, and is another example of Severin’s respectful treatment of these flicks.