Love Camp (1981) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is a soft-core sex film, also known as Death-Goddess of the Love Camp, Love Cult, and probably several other names. The DVD is called Divine Emanuelle, but it has no connection to the Emanuelle series other than that the star is Laura Gemser, who was the "Black Emanuelle" back in the 70s. She is not playing the original Emanuelle character in this film, and her character in the film is not even named Emanuelle. The "divine" part of the title works, however, since Gemser's character is called the Divine One

This had to be one of the "highest-concept" nudie films ever. First, imagine a cult kind of like the Jonestown group, ostensibly about peace and love, but doomed eventually to ritualistic mass suicide/murder. The cult is ruled by a woman who enforces strict rules: if the girls in the Love Camp refuse to support the cult by having sex with strangers, they get whipped and beaten. If a couple decides to become monogamous, they get whipped and beaten. If somebody misses a semicolon when transcribing a cult ritual ... well, you know the drill. One girl even got a beating for - I'm not making this up - refusing to let some hairy, drunken guy stick a lighted candle up her ass. Just about everything earns a whipping or beating, the number of lashes ranging from a minimum for getting a hangnail, all the way to the maximum for paying too much for a muffler for the Love Jeep. The one thing that does not earn a whipping is trying to leave the cult, which earns being tossed down a bottomless pit by a guy who seems to have escaped from one of those "sons of Hercules" movies, except that he's sculpted his facial hair in a futile attempt to disguise himself as Abner Doubleday.



The Divine One's biggest money producer is a long-haired "peace and love" guy who looks and talks like the original DNA model from which Owen Wilson was cloned.



He doesn't live in Love Camp, but in a stark apartment in town where he has given up all his worldly possessions except a radio, a telephone, and some candles. I guess he shits out the window.

Owen Wilson Guy is assigned to bring in the recruits, while Hercules Guy is assigned to keep them there. The shit really hits the sacred fan when Owen Wilson Guy beings in the daughter of a wealthy U.S. Senator, then falls in love with her, then tries to escape - prompting a one-on-one battle between Owen Wilson Guy and Hercules Guy. Sound like a mismatch? Well, Owen Guy is a master of the martial arts, but it really doesn't do any good, because Herc just stands there with his arms crossed and allows Owen to hit him a few hundred times to no avail.

On the way to their ultimate doom, the cultists sing several groovy original musical numbers, ala "Hair," and each of the numbers reflects their mood at the time. There's even a groovy End of Days number which they do during the mass orgy which precedes the ritual suicide. The suicide itself consists of Hercules Guy planting some dynamite charges which are timed to explode while the orgiasts are fucking their way into eternity. Herc, however, is unable to attend his demise, as he is standing around letting Owen hit him at the time.

And there you go. The Senator's daughter finally helps Owen defeat Herc, the camp blows up, and the senator is relieved that his daughter is the only survivor - so relieved that he even gives his daughter a thumbs-up on her once-forbidden relationship with Owen.

That's actually quite a bit of plot for what is essentially just a nudie film. Of course, it includes bad songs, bad acting, bad dubbing, bad sets, bad jokes, and bad dialogue, but it is not the boring kind of bad. It is the ludicrous high-camp kind of bad that will have you guffawing out loud at scene after scene. If MST3K ever does an R-rated movie, this is the one they need!

By the way, the actor who played Owen Wilson Guy also wrote the script, directed, fought in the martial arts scenes, wrote the groovy songs, and sang at least one of the songs himself. Quite a multi-faceted genius, that lad! I guess he figured that if he tried a lot of different things, he would eventually find something he was good at.

Regrettably, he was wrong.

"The man" took away his megaphone and his scriptwriting software after this film, but he had one more effort in him as actor/composer. He scored and acted in Kung Fu Emanuelle (aka Ninja in the Claws of the CIA), a film in which he shared the screen with the intriguingly named Casanova Wong. His movie career has mercifully ended, but he is still around the fringes of the music business. He has an official website which shows him wearing a yellow sportcoat, strumming an acoustic guitar, and looking nothing like Owen Wilson. He has mysteriously transmogrified into Gary Oldman with long hair. (Or, in a simile for you older guys, maybe he looks more like Lonesome George Gobel with a long-haired wig.) Owen Guy may not have turned into the new Orson Welles but he did find a knack for entertaining those who like to ridicule larger-than-life failure and, after all, laughter is the greatest gift any man may bestow upon his brethren.

In fact, you may fairly argue that Love Camp is a success. The real purpose of the film is not music or drama, but sexual titillation, and on that account Owen Guy delivered admirably. The film does, in fact, offer what it is supposed to: clear photography of non-stop male and female nudity  - during dance and romp scenes, during various sex scenes short of penetration, during the whippings, and during an orgy with a hundred or more participants. Laura Gemser has sex with several people of both sexes, many of them in excellent light. Many other attractive women get naked or just stay naked constantly. Unfortunately, the film has no closing credits, so I don't know who any of them are, although several could be identified by the characters' names. IMDb offers no assistance in this regard. Besides Gemser, the only woman they identify is Simone Brahmann, as the senator's daughter (who stayed dressed).

The quality of the full-screen transfer is inconsistent. Some scenes are lustrously colorful, while other scenes are substantially worse. Either the DVD producers worked from multiple sources, or lighting was inconsistent in the original film. On balance, however, the good outweighs the bad. The DVD is uncut, and has a surprisingly rich assortment of additional material. There are many, many minutes of deleted/unused footage from the film and from alternate trailers, and there is also a gallery of various promotional stills and posters. The quality of the extra material ranges from abysmal to outstanding, but if you are a Laura Gemser fan, it is well worth culling through it for the outstanding material.



  • no widescreen, but the transfer is quite good in general, excellent in some spots
  • deleted footage
  • poster and stills gallery
  • various exploitation trailers



Non-stop. See the main commentary.

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The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C+. How can a genre-lover complain? Nudity in almost every frame, hot girl-on-girl action, pretty good quality on the transfer, tons of extra footage, and a ludicrous, high-camp film that will have you laughing out loud. Pretty enjoyable crap!

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