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Wide Open 
Written by: on August 25th, 2011

Theatrical Release Date: Sweden, 1974
Director: Gustav Wiklund
Writers: Gustav Wiklund
Cast: Kent-Arne Dahlgren, Solveig Andersson, Gunilla Larsson, Christina Lindberg, Jan-Olof Rydqvist, Tor Isedal

DVD released: August 9th, 2011
Approximate running time: 102 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Impulse Pictures
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95

Synopsis:A sex addicted taxi driver is caught in a love triangle with his girlfriend and her sister. And while two women would be more than enough for most men, a third woman is taken on to fill the void that the other two women are unable to fulfill. Along the way one of the women are abducted by a mysterious Mr. X, who is into S & M and narcotics. Fortunately she is able to get away from this diabolical Mr. X before he corrupts her too much. Unfortunately in her escape from Mr. X, she borrowed a coat that had drugs hidden inside of it. Now in the possession Mr. X’s stash, he sends his best henchmen out to look for her and recover the drugs.As you can clearly see from the cobbled together plot synopsis, that this film is a melting pot of exploitation that lacks cohesion. Also don’t let the opening setup fool you into believing that this film may actually try to keep the narrative on a straight forward path. Since this opening setup is nothing more than a cheap facade, that is quickly discarded as the film evolves into a more bizarre territory with the arrival of the Mr. X character. It does not take long to realize that the creative talent behind this film are interested in nothing more than flaunting a lot naked flesh and sporadically throwing in some soft core sex scenes. And while these two things are staples of the erotic film genre, the way in which they are presented here comes off as contrived. So if you are expecting to be aroused by what is on screen, you should look elsewhere.

If anything, this film’s only redeeming assets is the inclusion of actress Christina Lindberg (Thriller: a Cruel Picture), who by the time of this film had firmly established herself as one of Sweden’s foremost erotica film stars. And before I get any further into her roles in this production, it should be revealed that her role is rather limited as she is nothing more than a secondary character in this film. And while some may right off this film due to her limited screen time, let’s just say that the few scenes she is in are must see moments for any self respecting Christina Lindberg fan. In fact her first moment is a nude photo shoot in which she caresses soap over her naked body.

In closing, I went into Wide Open expecting a lot more than what I walked away with. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that I had seen Christina Lindberg and Gustav Wiklund’s other collaboration Exposed first. And when compared to that aforementioned film, Wide Open fails in every way. Ultimately Wide Open is a mediocre attempt at erotica that just meanders along to its predicable conclusion.

The DVD:

Wide Open is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Colors at times fluctuate and there are many instances in which they look muted. Black levels are at best average and details generally look crisp. There is print debris that varies in degree throughout and edge enhancement is never an issue.

The only audio option included for this release is a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Though there is background noise that varies in degree throughout, dialog is never obscured by it and always clear enough to follow.

Extras for this release include trailers for Flossie, Anita, Exposed and Justine & Juliette. Other extras include a Christina Lindberg image gallery (with plenty of nude images). The main extra included with this release is a twenty minute interview with Christina Lindberg and director Gustav Wiklund, in Swedish with English subtitles. Some topics covered in this interview include how this film came about, their previous collaboration Exposed and the cast. Also some time is spent discussing what Christina Lindberg has been up to since leaving the film industry, though she was still in high demand at the time. It should also be noted that in regards to the film Wide Open, Gustav Wiklund seems more interested and remembers more about this film, than Christina Lindberg, who’s memories are often vague in regard to this film. And some of her vagueness may be due to the fact that she only worked a few days on this film, it does at times come off as though she does not think to highly of this film. Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art that include a even more salacious image of Christina Lindberg as alternate cover art. Overall Wide Open gets a good DVD release from Impulse Pictures.

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