• Waves Of Lust

    Released by:
    Raro Video
    Released on: July 31, 2012.

    Director: Ruggero Deodato

    Cast: Al Cliver, John Steiner, Silvia Dionisio, Elizabeth Turner

    Year: 1975

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    The Movie:

    Quite obviously influenced by Roman Polanski’s Knife In The Water, director Ruggero Deodato’s Waves Of Lust follows the exploits of Irem (Al Cliver) and his beautiful girlfriend Barbara (Silvia Dionisio) when the two are invited to take a weekend cruise on the yacht owned by an industrialist named Giorgio (John Steiner) and his wife Silvia (Elizabeth Turner). It soon becomes obvious that things are not quite right on the boat and Giorgio’s treatment of his poor wife is unsettling to say the least. She suffers no small manner of abuse from him but seems to almost crave it from him. Things get complicated for the younger couple when Silvia starts making moves on both Irem and Barbara. As the three entertain their more carnal desires, they simultaneously plan to take out Giorgio, who is quickly on to them and becomes increasingly paranoid to the point where he seems to be capable of anything…

    Waves Of Lust isn’t the fastest paced film you’re ever going to see but it builds quite nicely and presents an impressive sense of impending doom as it lets the story play out in front of us. Though there’s more emphasis on the erotic side of things than on the psychological side of things, the story (co-written by a young Lamberto Bava) does offer a few decent twists and turns and provides enough suspense to hold our interest. The film differentiates itself from Polanski’s earlier and better known picture by taking a more political stance on things. We’re obviously meant to side with the young proletariat characters while the bourgeoisie Giorgio is portrayed as ruthless not only in the ways of business and finance but in his treatment of his wife as well. The Marxist leanings can’t really be overlooked here and the whole thing plays out as a bit of a class war, albeit one with more sex and intrigue than most.

    Deodato isn’t afraid to show off his leading ladies here, as Dionisio and Turner are both frequently nude and even indulge in a little girl on girl action to up the film’s kink factor (and therefore, likely its appeal as well). Sexy shenanigans aside, both ladies do a fine job with the material and suit their roles well. Al Cliver is… Al Cliver. He’s slightly more enthusiastic here than he has been in other roles but he’s still not given a whole lot to do for most of the film aside from standing around looking sort of tough. The female players definitely get more attention here. The real surprise of the cast is John Steiner as the antagonist. He never quite goes completely over the top but he does give his character enough manic energy to make it work. We have no trouble believing that his character is becoming increasingly unhinged.

    The movie is shot with a fair bit of style and makes great use of the various exotic locations that the boat which serves as its principal base cruises past. If it’s a little slow and a little oversexed, so be it – the good far outweighs the bad here and fans of Italian thrillers (who don’t never everything to be a straight Giallo) will appreciate this one.


    Waves Of Lust looks pretty good in this 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer (a very obvious improvement over Raro's previous PAL disc, which was simply letterboxed) which boasts very good color reproduction and strong black levels. Detail is sometimes on the soft side but there are no problems with compression artifacts or heavy edge enhancement. Skin tones sometimes look just a tiny bit warm but other than that, this is a pretty strong effort that leaves little room for complain.

    Dolby Digital Mono tracks are offered up in English and Italian. Both tracks sound good and offer clean dialogue and properly balanced levels and overall they both sound just fine even if they’re a little flat from time to time (understandable given the age of the film).

    Five minutes worth of deleted scenes are included here, presented in English and in fullframe sourced from elements obviously inferior to those used for the presentation of the feature itself. Raro have also included twenty odd minutes of old commercials that Deodato made for Italian television – these were previously seen on the Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man DVD. These black and white advertising spots include commentary from the director in which he points out various interesting tidbits about their history and creation. Also look for a quick interview segment with Deodato and Bava where they discuss the making of the film. Animated menus and chapter stops are included on the disc and inside the keepcase is a nice little booklet of liner notes from Eric Cotenas featuring some information on the film that is quite interesting and worth reading. A biography and filmography for Deodato are also included in the booklet. On a semi-related note, how great is that cover art?

    The Final Word:

    A decent if not particularly remarkable thriller, Waves Of Lust will certainly be of interest to Eurocult fans based solely on the fact that it was directed by Deodato and stars some interesting people. The story itself is alright, though the pacing could have been tightened likely to better effect. Raro’s presentation is strong – offering the film up in nice shape and with decent audio and a few keen extras as well making this a strong upgrade from the previous PAL release.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Bruce Holecheck's Avatar
      Bruce Holecheck -
      So are the deleted scenes the same extra-sleazy Steiner bits included on the import disc?
    1. Richard--W's Avatar
      Richard--W -
      DVD Beaver reversed the screen caps of the two Raro editions.

      The USA edition is actually 1.85:1 at top.
      The PAL edition is 2.35:1 at bottom.

      I prefer the 1.85:1 although even then close-ups are much too tight. I wonder if the correct aspect shouldn't be 1.66:1.