In a New York City psychiatric ward, photojournalist Emanuelle learns about a girl there who was found in the Amazon rainforest. Emanuelle discovers that she appears to have been raised by the Apiaca, a tribe of cannibals thought to be lost. She contacts Professor Mark Lester, the curator at the American Museum of Natural History, and persuades him to come with her to the Amazon.
Upon arrival at the Amazon, they are joined by Isabel Wilks, the daughter of the organizer of the expedition, and Sister Angela, who is going upriver to join a mission. Attacked by a snake, Emanuelle is rescued by hunter Donald Mackenzie, who joins the group together with his wife Maggie and their guide Salvatore and informs Sister Angela that her convent has been attacked by what they presume to be cannibals, and that no survivors remain.
The group continues into the jungle, now being watched by natives in hiding. They find a severed head on a stake, and Sister Angela disappears to be found impaled the next morning. Meanwhile, the Mackenzies attempt to leave the group in an attempt to find a crashed plane containing diamonds. As they stumble upon the plane, they are attacked by a tribe of cannibals. Donald and Maggie are kidnapped. The rest of the group only arrive in time to see it happen. They attempt to find the cannibal village. Upon their arrival, the cannibals kill Salvatore and capture Isabel. Mark and Emanuelle manage to escape only to watch the Mackenzies being brutally murdered and Isabel impregnated by the tribe in preparation for sacrifice. To save Isabel, Emanuelle paints tribal symbols on her body to convince the natives that she is their water goddess, and carries Isabel away into the water where Mark is waiting in a speedboat. Shot at by the natives with spears, Mark, Emanuelle and Isabel still manage to escape unharmed.
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