Blu-ray Review: Wild Orchid

Once upon a time, Mickey Rourke was a handsome man. Fans of The Wrestler, Sin City and Iron Man 2 might be puzzled at that statement. The Mickey Rourke of today looks like an uncooked roast beef with eyeballs and a wig. Before he pursued his dream of being a boxer, Rourke radiated screen heat in the ’80s. He became that bad boy lover who would tempt a woman into being bad girls. 9 1/2 Weeks had him blindfolding Kim Bassinger for an erotic taste test. A few years later, Rourke would return to tempt and another good girl in Wild Orchid.

Emily Reed (Carre Otis) is an innocent waif from the midwest who arrives in New York City to find work as a lawyer. She gets a job at a big firm, but must fly out immediately to Rio de Janeiro for a hotel deal. She briefly meets her new boss Claudia Dennis (The Deep‘s Jacqueline Bisset) upon arriving in a foreign land. Claudia must leave town for her own business trip in another country. She gets Emily to take her place at a dinner date with a mysterious client. While roaming Rio, she encounters a local couple making the nature scene. It shakes her reserved sensibility. She’s rather rattled when she arrives at the restaurant. Surrounded by bodyguards is the extremely wealthy James Wheeler (Rourke). He makes the naive girl recount what she saw. He becomes fascinated with her. He wants to corrupt her in the carnality that is Rio. He’s not alone as Claudia also lures her into libido inspiring events. Will she remain true to her heartland morality? Or will she give in to the raw animal lust that drips off the walls in Rio?

Zalman King brought the European cinema’s erotic edge to America. He had written 9 1/2 Weeks and directed a video rental sensation with Two Moon Junction starring Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks). Wild Orchid cemented his reputation and led to him creating the successful Showtime series Red Shoes Diaries. The movie got a bit of buzz when word leaked out that Rourke and Otis weren’t always simulating their bedroom scenes. The couple did get married so it wasn’t a scandal. Just a great promotional rumor that Otis has denied over the years. This is the R-rated version of Wild Orchid. The unrated version of the film had about a minute more of the finale hook up between Rourke and Otis. This was Otis’ first big movie role after being a model. Back in 1989, she got raked over the coals. But after all these decades, she’s the right tone for the naive legal gal. She has an innocent glow in 1080p.

Wild Orchid was released at the end of the ’80s and pretty much ends Mickey Rourke’s run as box office stud. He’d spend more and more time on his boxing career. Getting punched in the face didn’t make him pretty. Wild Orchidis the last bloom from his handsome career.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer brings out the sweaty times in Rio. The audio is DTS-MA Stereo. You’ll still have to turn up the volume to hear the soft words of Mickey Rourke.

No bonus features.

Wild Orchid marks the last time an audience could believe that a woman could easily be seduced by Mickey Rourke. The film is a great piece of ’80s eurotique entertainment.

Olive Films presents Wild Orchid. Directed by: Zalman King. Written by: Zalman King & Patricia Louisianna Knop. Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jacqueline Bisset and Carre Otis. Running Time: 105 minutes. Rated: R. Released: February 24, 2015.

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