Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 6th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1975
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Writers: Gianlorenzo Battaglia, Lamberto Bava, Franco Bottari, Fabio Pittorru
Cast: Al Cliver, Silvia Dionisio, John Steiner, Elizabeth Turner
DVD Released: July 3rd, 2012
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Raro Video
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A rich philanderer, who is into sadomasochism invites a young couple to join him on a cruise on his luxurious yacht. What should have been a pleasurable trip out at sea, quickly turns deadly when someone’s temper leads to one of the passengers death.
Waves of Lust was Ruggero Deodato, who just a few years later would go onto to direct Cannibal Holocaust. A film that is arguably one of the most controversial films in the history of Italian cinema. Other notable films that he directed include Jungle Holocaust and House on the Edge of the Park. Other key collaborators on Waves of Lust include, composer Marcello Giombini (Terror Express, Beast in Space) and co-screenwriter Lamberto Bava (Macabre, Demons).
All Italian thrillers are no equal or at least they are all not black gloved killer Italian thrillers often referred to as Giallo’s. Case in point, Waves of Lust a film that does not feature any of the things that one would associate with the Giallo genre.
Out of the gate the film establishes itself erotic melodrama in which the bulk of the film is spent with all the main players behaving decadently. It is not only the film’s final act that this film even makes an attempt at trying to be thriller. And even by this point it is too little too late. In fact the film underwhelming twist ending only adds further insult to injury.
Visually the film is at best adequately photographed. From a pacing stand point the plot just meanders along from one mundane moment to the next. It should not come as a surprise that this films most memorable moment involves the mutilation of a eel. Though this moment is nowhere near as brutal as what was yet to come from Ruggero Deodato, who five years later would push the boundaries on animal cruelty in Cannibal Holocaust. This moment is never the less not as easy one to digest.
Performance wise the cast are more than adequate in their respective roles. Though the cast is rather same, there are four main characters that habitat this film. The cast does feature several recognizable names, Al Cliver (Zombie, Cannibals), Silvia Dionisio (Terror Express, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man) and John Steiner (Salon Kitty, Tenebrae).
When compared to other claustrophobic drama’s that take place on a boat, Waves of Lust is a rather lackluster affair. It you are itching for similar themed films, you would be off seeking out films like Knife in the Water and Dead Calm.
Raro Video presents Waves of Lust in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. For this release Raro Video have created a brand new transfer. Their previous transfer was a non anamorphic letterboxed widescreen transfer that left plenty of room for improvement. Colors, flesh tones and black levels look improved when compared to Raro Video’s aforementioned DVD release. Also though the image generally look crisp, there is a softness that is more pronounced during some moments then other moments. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is never too intrusive.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital Mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital Mono mix in Italian. Range wise both audio mixes are rather limited. With the slight edge going to the English language track, which sounds crisper of the two. Also there are no major issues with distortion or background noise. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and appear to be a literal translation of the Italian language track.
Extras for this release include five minutes of deleted scenes taken from a much longer English release version of the film. It should be noted that these scenes are presented in a 4:3 full frame aspect ratio and do not look as good as the source used for the main feature. Other extras include twenty of television commercials that were shot by Ruggero Deodato (he also provides his thoughts on these commercials via a commentary track, which also comes with English subtitles). The main extra included with this release is a documentary titled ‘Erotic Tsunami’ (17 minutes 36 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Italian with English subtitles) that includes comments from director Ruggero Deodato and his son Saverio, screenwriter Lamberto Bava and actor Al Cliver. This is a well rounded discussion that covers all the major areas of this production. Rounding out the extras a twelve page collectable that include a text essay about the film, a text bio and selected filmography for director. Overall Waves of Lust gets a strong DVD release from Raro Video.