Disc Reviews

Wild Orchid Review

Wild orchidIn 1987 the soft core erotic classic 9½ Weeks starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger became a cult smash – an 80s equivalent of 50 Shades of Grey if you like. It was directed by Zalman King also maker of softcore erotic TV movie series ‘Red Shoe Diaries’. The overall look of the film was more like a saucy MTV pop video and naturally the critics lambasted it. Natural, therefore that King would go for a follow-up film. He again cast Rourke in the main erotic fantasy role. The result came out two years after 9½ Weeks and was titled Wild Orchid. This time Rourke was a little less the sleazy, unshaven trench coated rough trade he was in 9½ Weeks and more an annoying soft talking seducer in an exotic location. This exotic location made it more like a softer version of that other softcore erotic classic, Emmanuelle (1974). Yet for all those expecting lots of steamy sex in Wild Orchid will be bitterly disappointed short of a couple of scenes.

The location of the film is in the exotic locale of Rio de Janeiro a beautiful young virginal girl called Emily Reed arrives (Carre Otis, then lover of Rourke). She has been hired to work with international business negotiator Claudia Lironess (Jacqueline Bisset) who hopes to close on a multi-million dollar real estate project. Emily runs into Wheeler (Rourke), one time lover of Claudia Lironess. Much to Claudia’s chagrin Wheeler begins to guide the innocent Emily through the erotic delights of Rio and they run into a variety of scenarios from a disaffected rich couple who they both seduce and a stranger, an American tourist (Bruce Greenwood) during a masquerade in a bar.

The film is presented on this Eureka! release in both its US ‘R’ release and its unrated version. As already mentioned there are not many sex scenes in the film and the ones that there are do seem pretty tame by today’s standards. The most explicit is the climactic (no pun intended) one at the end of the film between Rourke and Otis that was rumoured to have been real and not simulated – both parties have subsequently denied this. This is the first time that the film has been released in Blu-ray (or for that matter in dual format) and again as with some recent releases by Eureka! this is a film title that maybe better suited or more typical to the likes of the Arrow Video label. It is unlikely to gain many new fans, particularly given the dreadful acting involved by all (it did win plenty of Golden Turkey and Raspberry awards) and other than the two different cuts of the film on the disc there are no other substantial extras.

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