Wild Orchid (Blu-ray)

In Blu-Ray’s by Rebecca WrightLeave a Comment

Long before the soft core sensuality of Fifty Shades of Grey was heating up theaters, writer/director Zalman King was pushing boundaries with his own brand of eroticism. After co-writing and producing the erotic drama 9 ½ Weeks—which became an international box office sensation and a big success on home video—King moved into directing, releasing his first film, Two Moon Junction in 1988. Two years later, working from a script he co-wrote with his wife Patricia Louisiana Knopp, he reteamed with Mickey Rourke for Wild Orchid.

As the film begins, a dewy-eyed country girl says goodbye to an older woman (presumably her mother) as she boards a bus to travel to the big city. Cut to the next scene, and it turns out, Emily (Carre Otis), who looks about 19, is an accomplished international lawyer who spent 18 months with a major Chicago law firm” and has mastered several languages. She is hired on the spot a top New York firm (run by Jacqueline Bisset), which puts her on the next plane to Brazil to work out a pending business deal.

Emily finds herself whisked away by businessman James Wheeler (Rourke) and sparks are quickly evident. A mousy girl, James immediately stats trying to push Emily out of her comfort zone, and explore her sexual desires beyond her limited experiences. An apparent attempt at an exploration of eroticism, Wild Orchid suffers from a serious lack of character development, and the narrative feels like an afterthought.

At the time of the film’s release, there was a lot of talk that Rourke and Otis were actually having sex in one of the films late scenes. If they were, it’s not particularly sexy, and adds very little to the limited narrative. The two stars, in a relationship at the time, would later marry and divorce. Unfortunately, whatever chemistry the two actors felt between themselves is not evident on screen.

Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Olive films has given Wild Orchid a fairly solid transfer. A nice layer of grain is evident throughout. Colors are pleasant, capturing Rio de Janeiro very nicely. The level of detail is also excellent, capturing individual strands of hair, pores, etc. The only complaint that can be levied? An overall flat appearance, and lack of depth.

The DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio soundtrack serves the music very well, but while dialogue and sound effects are clear, they’re rather lifeless. I had to turn up the volume a bit, to hear the dialogue at a comfortable level.

There are no subtitles included.

There are no extras available.

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