Written by: John White on November 30th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1975
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Cast: Al Cliver, Silvia Dionisio, John Steiner, Elizabeth Turner
DVD released: July 2005
Approximate running time: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen presented in 4:3
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Raro
Region Coding: Region 2 Pal
Retail Price: EUR 19,90
A couple are invited onto the yacht of a rich playboy and his girlfriend for a cruise. Once on board the erotic tension and the sadistic superiority of the playboy lead to cruelty and eventually murder, but who is really in charge?
The film begins with a quite winning idea of the world seen from the perspective of somebody standing on their head and by the end of the film the world has been turned on it’s head. Originally the film was planned as a plain erotic film and Deodato came on board when he longed to return to making films, with him came Dionisio(his wife) and some more interesting ideas than the material originally presented. Instead of erotica we get something akin to a Marxist erotic thriller! John Steiner plays the evil sadistic capitalist determined to get his way at all times, a man whose response to 600 people being fired in his factory is to say “redundancy…let the state pay for them”. The couple are Al Cliver, who has little to do except look rugged, and Dionisio, who has to lay on the sex appeal whilst suggesting something a little more calculating.
There is plenty of flesh, sex and tasteful erotica here but gorehounds will find little to please them. The pace of the film is good and the abiding sense of unease is well managed. I suppose the film is a sea bound giallo with a lack of killings so some may be uninvolved by this, however I am a fan of Deodato when he takes his films seriously like he does here. The film is interesting and the attempt to make social commentary out of such a slim story is very brave. It is a film that ranks with the best of Deodato’s output like Cannibal Holocaust and The Washing Machine. Highly recommended.
The film is presented in widescreen aspect but set for 4:3 so you’ll have to change your normal settings on a widescreen TV or projector. Once adjusted the picture looks like no information is missing. The print is very good if not bright with occasional hairs and marks on the periphery of the frame.
The sound is very good throughout although the 70’s lounge music soundtrack does sound a little tinny and stretched in the opening titles. The film has the option of Italian language with or without English subtitles as do most of the extras. The subtitles present clearly without any lightening of the frame unlike other Raro discs.
The extras are rather good. A short featurette with interviews with the Director, Lamberto Bava(the writer), and Al Cliver; deleted scenes from longer versions of the film; a biography and flexography of Deodato; and best of all, a show reel of Deodato’s adverts for Italian TV. To watch the director of Cannibal Holocaust espousing the virtues of pickled vegetables and locksmiths is a marvellous thing. Raro deserve praise for this unusual extra and Deodato proves that unlike less humble directors he can laugh at himself. The Raro disc is a great package presenting a fine film and essential for any fans of the director.
For more information about Waves of Lust and other titles released by Raro Video visit their website.