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Case Number 01875

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Wild Orchid

MGM // 1990 // 112 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // May 10th, 2002

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All Rise...

The Charge

"Haven't you ever felt like that? Primal. Insatiably hungry."

Opening Statement

In an effort to capitalize on their semi-recent hit 9 1/2 Weeks, the creators of that infamous movie put together another erotic thriller for our viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, this movie is anything but pleasurable. A bloated, heaping, festering pile of waste, this movie is so completely uninspired, boring, and stupid that I am ecstatic that MGM released this as a bare bones disc. I don't think I could have stood watching another minute of anything related to this insipid mess.

Facts of the Case

There are two versions of the film available on the disc: the R rated theatrical release and an unrated version. Being my first and only viewing of this film, I watched the unrated version, which has seven additional minutes of footage over the R version.

Emily (newcomer and model Carré Otis) has just been hired as an international lawyer for some firm. Upon her hiring, they tell her that she is off to Rio de Janeiro for her first assignment. As Emily is a good corn-fed Midwestern girl who hasn't left the nest until now, she is excited by the possibilities of this assignment. Upon her quick arrival in South America, Emily meets up with her new boss Claudia (Jacqueline Bisset) and is whisked off to do some inventory on an old, closed-down hotel on the Brazilian coast.

For some reason, Claudia is pulled away from the site leaving Emily to finish up the day's business. But just as she leaves, Claudia remembers she is to have dinner with Wheeler (Mickey Rourke—9 1/2 Weeks, Get Carter (2000)). And for some other silly reason, Claudia gets Emily to have dinner with Wheeler instead.

At this point (and we're only fifteen or so minutes into the movie) the thin plot completely falls apart as one completely inane thing after another happens. I believe the idea is that Wheeler is trying to awaken Emily to the pleasures available to her. She is a shy Midwestern girl, after all, and is very uncomfortable with sex. So, of course, Wheeler takes her to one sexually laced situation after another. And, for good measure, people decide to have sex in front of Emily too. Being both repulsed and excited, Emily begins her awakening—I think.

Almost every scene in this movie makes no sense; I'm not even sure if the writers know what's going on in this movie. Follow this scene:

• Wheeler and Emily meet up with two people they saw at an adjacent table at dinner the night before.
• Wheeler/Emily and the man ride Harleys to some beach party; the wife rides in a limo.
• En route, they pass a flatbed truck loaded with horny American sailors.
• The wife opens her limo window to shake in head in dismay at the silly people dancing on the truck.
• The horny sailors think the wife is yummy.
• Everyone, including the sailors, arrives at the beach party.
• Sailors dance with wife. Wife doesn't like the dancing.
• Wheeler starts fight. Wife gets shirt torn off. Emily is aghast.
• Sailor pulls gun. Wheeler ends fight.
• Wheeler rushes Emily, man, and wife to limo to get away. Harleys left behind.
• Man tries to cover wife's exposed breasts. She is livid that he is trying to cover her up.
• Wife wants man to look at her breasts; man is ashamed.
• In limo, Wheeler talks to man and wife about wife's beauty.
• Man and wife have sex in limo. Emily is aghast.

And it's pointless scenes like this that make-up the content of the film. They don't connect. They don't make sense. They don't create, maintain, or carry any story forward. It's just one excuse after another to put Emily in a sexually charged atmosphere.

At the end of the film, all I can say is that we see butts, we see breasts, and we see "something" else.

The Evidence

As you might guess from above, there is little that I liked about this movie. The script is replete with terrible lines, the actors (especially newcomer Otis) are stiff, and the direction is weak. The whole story simply does not work on any level.

Nonetheless, MGM has done a decent job with the video transfer. Wild Orchids is presented in a nice 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen; however, the video is oddly uneven. In watching the beginning of the film, I found the presentation to be very soft, almost dull. I had the impression that I was watching the film through a layer of fine cheesecloth. Everything just seemed a bit subdued, especially in the low-light scenes. But as the film progressed, I found that the transfer seemed to be improving with each passing minute: the colors were sharper and the dull look faded away. By the end, it's a nice picture with nice color balance, no artifacting, and no edge enhancement.

The audio is another terrible facet of the disc. Presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital, the soundtrack is flat, hollow, and unfocused. In contrast to the video, the audio seemed to get softer as the movie progressed and I had to keep turning up the volume so I could hear the silly dialogue. Further, in many scenes, the background noises (cars, machines, et cetera) often overpowered the voices.

As mentioned above, this is a bare bones release. The only "special feature" on the disc is the trailer—unless having two versions of the film counts too.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

In an erotic film, at least there's quality nudity to look forward to. Well, there's not even enough of that in this one to make it worthwhile. Besides, I've seen more cogent plots in adult films.

Closing Statement

Stay far, far away from this disc. There are no redeeming features of any kind. Well, maybe if you're writing a thesis on the worst-movies ever made, then you can give this one a rent.

The Verdict

This movie is guilty of being truly abysmal. Those who put this film together in hopes of cashing in on 9 1/2 Weeks are hereby banned from all future projects. Unfortunately, they've already made Wild Orchid 2.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 75
Audio: 35
Extras: 5
Acting: 50
Story: 20
Judgment: 20

Perp Profile

Studio: MGM
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
• English
• French
• Portuguese
• Spanish
Running Time: 112 Minutes
Release Year: 1990
MPAA Rating: Unrated
• Bad
• Drama

Distinguishing Marks

• Two Versions of the Movie
• Original Theatrical Trailer


• IMDb

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