Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 28th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1993
Director: Sergio Martino
Writers: Sergio Martino, Maurizio Rasio, Umberto Lenzi
Cast: Vittoria Belvedere, Ron Nummi, Andrea Roncato, Serena Grandi, Simona Borioni, Riccardo Parisio Perrotti, Hal Yamanouchi
DVD released: April 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 full frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Craving Desire was co-written and directed by Sergio Martino whose most notable films include a handful of giallo’s he directed during the 1970’s. The Cinematographer on Craving Desire Giancarlo Ferrando frequently worked with director Sergio Martino. Some of their notable collaborations include All the Colors of the Dark, Your vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Torso, Violent Professionals, The Suspicious Death of a Minor and Scorpion with Two Tails. Another one of Sergio Martino’s frequent collaborator’s editor Eugenio Alabiso who also worked on Craving Desire. The film’s lush score was composed by Natale Massara who is more known for working as a conductor for scores other composers like Pino Donaggio.
After a string of successful film throughout the 1970’s, Sergio Martino’s films that he has directed since the 1970’s have been a mixed bag with a few standout exceptions like 2019: After the Fall of New York and Hands of Steel. Like many of his contemporaries his post 1970’s output has been primarily television projects. In many ways visually and story wise Craving Desire is the type of film that Sergio Martino excels most at as a director.
Is Craving Desire a thriller, is it an erotic film or is it melodrama. The answer is it is all of the above. One of the most fascinating things about Craving Desire is its chameleon like plot that never fully allows the viewer to relax. At the core of this torrid thriller is a young man named Luigi who has a dream job and a fiance. To stir things an up a bit the plot introduces us to his cousin Sonia who quickly injects herself into his life. Like an incurable disease Sonia slowly infects Luigi until he becomes paralyzed without her. Just like most Italian thrillers the film’s unbelievable ending features a monologue from Sonia who explains her motive.
All around the acting is very good, especially from its two leads Vittoria Belvedere in the role of Sonia and Ron Nummi in the role of Luigi. While Ron Nummi is convincing as Sonia’s lap dog Luigi. The real attraction in this film is a spellbinding performance from Vittoria Belvedere. Another performance of note is Italian sex icon Serena Grandi, who is even given a scene to show off her more than ample assets. Ultimately Craving Desire is a tense psychological thriller that seductively lures you into its web of deceit.
Craving Desire is presented in its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. The source material used for this transfer is in great shape. Colors look nicely saturated, black level remain strong throughout and flesh tones look accurate. Also edge enhancement is kept to a minimum. Overall this is one of the better looking transfers that I have seen from Mya to date.
This release comes with two audio options English and Italian. Both audio mixes are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The only difference that I could find between the two audio mixes is that the English audio mix like many English dubs is slightly more spread out when compared to the Italian audio mix. Overall both audio mixes fare well as they sound clear and are free of any background noise. Switching back and forth between the two audio mixes it is surprising just how well the English dubbed matches up with the actors since the majority of them are most likely speaking Italian. This release comes with no English subtitles. While some may be disappointed by the lack of English subtitles with the Italian language mix, the quality of the English dub is very good making the lack of subtitles no as much of an issue.
This release comes with no extra content. Overall Craving Desire gets a solid audio /video presentation from Mya Communication.