Wild Orchid (1990)

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Released 12-May-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 106:54
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Zalman King

Starring Mickey Rourke
Jacqueline Bisset
Carré Otis
Assumpta Serna
Bruce Greenwood
Oleg Vidov
Milton Gonçalves
Jens Peter
Antonio Mario Silva Da Silva
Paul Land
Michael Villella
Bernardo Jablonsky
Luiz Lobo
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Simon Goldenberg
Geoff MacCormack

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, party scene over closing credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Zalman King serves up another helping of his enjoyable, soft-porn nonsense with Wild Orchid, a rather pointless movie with the sole redeeming feature of introducing the very yummy (and nude) model Carre' Otis to the big screen.

    After a brief career as a television actor, appearing in episodes of Gunsmoke, Land Of The Giants and Charlie's Angels, Zalman King stepped behind the camera. Having written and produced the very successful and titillating Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986), King had at last found his niche. He followed this up by writing and directing another two pieces of enjoyable, erotic fluff - Two Moon Junction (1988) and Wild Orchid (1990). King seems to know when he's onto a good thing, so during the 1990s he churned out soft-porn for US cable, as a series entitled The Red Shoe Diaries. The one exception to this was the surfing flick, In God's Hands (1998), in which he kept to his formula, but replaced scorching sex scenes with scorching surf scenes.

    As with all these movies, the sex (or surf) scenes are sensual, dynamic, exciting, and bold, but the rest of the movie drags along like a squashed snail. King's movies have far too much style, and far too little substance. He fills his films with vibrant colours and lots of atmosphere through the use of colourful or striking locations filled with smoke and/or mysterious people dripping with sweat. The characters have long aimless conversations in whispers about nonsense, or brood endlessly in silence.

    In Wild Orchid, Emily (Carre' Otis) is a young mid-western law graduate, hired by a New York firm. She is immediately sent on an assignment to Rio (why didn't this happen to me when I started to practice law?). Here, Emily meets her new 'boss', Claudia (Jacqueline Bisset), a pushy ball-breaker of a lawyer. Claudia sets Emily up on a date with a client, Wheeler (Mickey Rourke). As in Nine 1/2 Weeks, the slimy Rourke attempts to play the mysterious stranger who awakens a young woman's sexuality and passion through a series of bizarre and confronting explorations of the pleasures of the flesh. Their strange courtship, and the series of sexual encounters that follow, all build to the big . . . well, climax of the film.

    Otis and Rourke became a couple during the making of this film, and married shortly afterwards. There was some debate in regards to their sex scenes -- were they actually real? Well, it seems so . . .

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Transfer Quality


    The extremely grainy transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness overall is reasonable, although sometimes the image is a little too soft. The shadow detail is poor in the darker scenes, such as in the 'dungeon' sex scene at 14:47. Fortunately the colour is good, which is important in this film, although the skin tones look a little too brown at times. (And I'm not judging this on Mickey Rourke who seemed to develop a strange orange colour during the late 1980s.)

    MPEG artefacts are not a problem, but at times the screen did look slightly pixelated, such as at 68:26. There are no problems with film-to-video artefacts. Film artefacts appear throughout. Most are small, but some are large, such as the dust and scratches on the original print, and the white vertical line that pops up around 57:15.

    English for the Hearing Impaired, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, and Czech subtitles are present, and the English ones are accurate. The movie is presented on a single-sided, single-layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are three audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine, although as with King's other films, the dialogue is often spoken in whispers or slightly muted.

    The musical score is credited to Simon Goldenberg and Geoff MacCormack, and it contributes to the thick atmosphere. There are also plenty of songs and some great samba rhythms from Brazil.

    While the surround flags are set in the English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, there is only minimal ambience, such as during the party scene at 37:22. This is a very front-heavy audio mix. There is no LFE track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is only one extra


    A very simple menu, it is static and silent.

Theatrical Trailer

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Wild Orchid was released on DVD in Region 1 back in 2002.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    Based on running times (allowing for the PAL speed-up), I'm guessing that our version is the same as the unrated US version. There are certainly a few snippets during the film's climax that I don't recall seeing on video. If that is so, I would call it even.


   Wild Orchid would have scored only one star for the plot, but the 'good bits' earn it another star and a half.

    The video quality is very grainy, but acceptable.

    The audio quality is very limited in its presence.

    There is one extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Friday, June 25, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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