• Wild Orchid (Blu-ray)



    Released by: Olive Films
    Released on: February 24th, 2015
    Director: Zalman King
    Cast: Mickey Rourke, Jacqueline Bisset, Carré Otis, Assumpta Serna
    Year: 1990
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    The Movie:

    Wild Orchid boasts on the back cover to be “a tale of sex, passion and erotic taboos.” There is definitely sex, and director Zalman King is passionate about showing us that sex, and this film should be tabooed. Olive Films has been giving decent flicks Blu-ray releases lately, but how this one made the list is beyond me.

    The film begins seemingly in the middle of a bildungsroman: a small town girl goes off to the big city to land her dream job in international law. Emily (Carré Otis) is immediately sent to Brazil to help an eccentric lady, Claudia (Jacqueline Bisset), close a real estate deal. There she is swept away by cultural voyeurism, and shortly thereafter a millionaire man named Wheeler (Mickey Rourke), who is classically inaccessible in a non-traditional way.

    King is known for working on the TV series Red Shoe Diaries, which makes sense seeing as this film plays out much like a “Skinemax” movie. The plot line is terrible, the sex scenes gratuitous, and the character development banal at best. It is hard to critique the acting when the script leaves no pockets to insert nuances into, but Rourke and Otis do their best with the hand that was dealt. At the start of the movie, there is a certain early 90s charm that made me hopeful it would carry through; however, that was short-lived.

    The film runs 105 minutes, but at least 15 of those minutes could have been skimmed off by removing some of the padding footage of the Brazilian surroundings. It adds color and life to some of the head-scratching moments, yet one can only take so much dancing and booty shaking without context or consequence attached to it. Almost immediately after Emily’s arrival in Rio de Janeiro there is a loss of cohesiveness in both plot and tone. Many instances throughout the film garner focus that really make no sense and do not pan out, such as Claudia and Emily dressing in identical masculine outfits. The thin thread that manages to weave throughout all of the scenes is that of an overwrought love story, and that fails to be worth the suffering.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The Blu-ray of Wild Orchid is presented in a 1.85:1 1080p AVC transfer, which actually translates quite well. There is some speckling throughout, but it’s not distracting. A natural grain pervades the softness of the original photography. Colors are nicely restored, which can be seen especially in skin tones and aforementioned scenes of Carnival and Brazilian dancing.

    The audio is a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix that does not present itself as well as the video quality. There is some significant gapping between the visual and audio with early dialogue that is extremely off-putting. The mix of the dialogue throughout is low in conjuncture with loud background noise that had me reaching for the remote to turn up the volume. The music score is made up of ridiculously obvious choices that lend little to the scenes but rolling of eyes.

    There are no extras on this Blu-ray disc.

    Bottom Line:

    Wild Orchid is not a total failure, but I’m hard-pressed to say any way in which it succeeds. If you’re really into elaborate soft-core porn movies, this may be worth a rent for you. However, be warned that the sex scenes that seem to be the raison d’être in the film are not even that sexy, so you’re in for a long ride with little pay-off.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!