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(aka "Ondata di Piacere" or "Wave of Lust" or "A Wave of Pleasure")

 

directed by Ruggero Deodato
Italy 1975

Bumming around on vacation in Cefalu, carefree lovers Barbara (Silvia Dionisio, MURDER OBSESSION) and Irem (Al Cliver, ZOMBIE) fixate on wealthy Giorgio (John Steiner, THE DEVIL WITHIN HER) and his punching-bag of a mistress Silvia (Elizabeth Turner, BEYOND THE DOOR). Giorgio is conceited enough to believe that he is in fact the pursuer and Barbara the prey, so much so that he does not mind if Irem coming along when he invites Barbara to spend the weekend with himself and Silvia aboard his yacht. Although he makes no secret of his intent to seduce Barbara and "give" Silvia to Irem, Giorgio violently insists that these things will happen only his terms. He brutalizes Silvia, berates the seemingly passive Irem, and gropes Barbara in front of both of them; but the tide starts to turn as they get farther out onto the water, and the arrogant Giorgio starts to become paranoid when a mysterious painting that seems to foretell his death shows up in his cabin (and is altered several times over the course of the voyage). When his diving mask and oxygen tank malfunction while diving, Giorgio is uncertain if someone is actually trying to kill him - possibly Silvia and Irem - or if he has met his match in Barbara (who seems to be the one calling the shots in her relationship with Irem).

Although Ruggero Deodato's WAVES OF LUST was made in 1975, it could loosely be classified as a giallo not so much in the Argento-esque sense, but more like the Italian jet-set thrillers of the late sixties and early seventies helmed by Umberto Lenzi and Sergio Martino. Despite it's erotic content, it's more of a kinky variation on Roman Polanski's KNIFE IN THE WATER than sexploitation in the vein of Joe D'Amato's contemporary efforts. The script by assistant director Lambero Bava (who had previously assisted Deodato in his TV commercial work) and Gianlorenzo Battaglia (who shot the underwater photography here and would later become Lamberto Bava's regular DP) is full of cynical characters but feels atypically optimistic in its scenario of a pair of youths as seeming avenging angels unmotivated by profit; it seems believable that Barbara might desire Giorgio, and it remains quite uncertain as to whether Silvia's treatment by Giorgio has anything to do with Barbara and Irem's game (or if her fate is even of concern to them since Giorgio's attraction to Barbara and growing paranoia put her at even greater risk). For much of the story, the ambiguity of the characters is stimulating. Even if the mind games aren't quite as sophisticated as the film would like them to be, it is still fun to see this attractive quartet of Italian exploitation presences going through the motions, although the ending is a bit of a letdown. Mario Capriotti's cinematography is farely bland and goosed only by the color choices of the costume and production designers, and Marcello Giombini's CASIO keyboard-sounding theme music feels a bit cheap. Deodato and Dionisio's son Saverio Deodato appears as the young boy in the film's first scene. Deodato followed this up with the brutal crime film
LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN. He later directed JUNGLE HOLOCAUST but would find fame with his second cannibal foray CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST before switching gears with the strong LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT-esque HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK. His later director-for-hire work became less personal and less interesting, but he has recently completed THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK II and a segment of the horror anthology THE PROFANE EXHIBIT.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 4 August 1975 (Italy)

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DVD Comparison:

Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Raro Video

Region 0 - PAL

Raro Video USA
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:24:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:27:30
Video

1.60:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.71 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Raro Video

 

Bitrate:

 

Raro Video USA

 

Audio Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Raro Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.60:1

Edition Details:
• EROTIC TIDAL WAVE documentary with optional English subtitles (4:3; 16:53)
• Deleted Scenes from the English version - Italian with English subtitles (4:3; 4:11)
• Ruggero Deodato TV spots with optional commentary - Italian only (4:3; 21:25)
• Director's Biography (Italian text)
• Director's Filmography (Italian text)
• Liner Notes Booklet (in Italian and English)

DVD Release Date: 17 October 2005
Amaray

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Raro Video USA

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• EROTIC TSUNAMI documentary (4:3; 17:34) with English subtitles
• Deleted Scenes from the English version (4:3; 4:55)
• Ruggero Deodato TV spots with commentary (4:3; 20:19) with English subtitles
• Director's Biography (text)
• Director's Filmography (text)
• Liner Notes Booklet

 

DVD Release Date: 31 July 2012
Amaray

Chapters 10

 

Comments

Raro's Region 0 NTSC progressive, anamorphic transfer frames the film at 1.85:1 rather than the Italian disc's non-anamorphic 1.60:1 of seemingly the same source, and I would have preferred a 1.66:1 framing with the anamorphic enhancement. The 1.85:1 compositions are more focused, but some compositions seem unbalanced - rather than more stylistically claustrophobic or off-kilter - by the greater cropping from the bottom of the frame, although it never really detracts from one's enjoyment of the film (any more than fiddling around with your TV's screen size options for viewing the 4:3 import on a 16:9 monitor). The Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio is just as harsh as on the import, but the US disc adds the film's English dub track (in lesser, duller condition). The English subtitles appear to be the same.

It should be noted that both discs represent the film's Italian cut. The export edition extended virtually every sex scene; the deleted scenes frames some of the additional shots in context, but is by no means comprehensive. It is possible that the export version may not have been preserved by the Italian rights holders, but it would have been nice if all of the footage specific to the English version had been included in the deleted scenes segment (even from an inferior source).

Both discs feature the "Erotic Tsunami" retrospective documentary on the film, featuring the participation of Deodato, actor Al Cliver, and Lamberto Bava. Deodato goes into detail about his break from filmmaking in the early seventies to pursue commercial work while his wife worked as an actress, Bava discusses genesis of the film's story, and Cliver discusses the shoot. Deodato and Dionisio's son Saverio is also interviewed, and apparently did not recall appearing in the film until asked about it. The selection of Deodato-directed commercials with subtitled commentary is the same selection featured on Raro USA's disc of LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN. Raro's Italian disc of WAVES OF LUST featured a different selection with optional commentary (but no subtitles). It does seem appropriate, however, that Raro USA has repeated the extra since WAVES OF LUST screenwriter Lamberto Bava served as Deodato's assistant on the Kraft cheese singles commercials seen in this set. The liner notes booklet on the US edition is entirely different from the liner notes that accompanied the import.* Neither disc includes a trailer for the film (it would have been interesting to see how the film was marketed).

Overall, Raro Video USA's edition is fairly solid and more accessible than the import (although it may not be an essential upgrade despite the addition of the English dub track).

*I wrote the liner notes booklet for the American edition, so I will not comment on it other than to mention that Raro USA has reconsidered their change to DVD-ROM .pdf format liner notes and have returned to printed booklets with this title.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample

 


(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Raro Video USA - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Raro Video USA

Sound:

Raro Video USA

Extras: Draw (USA for subtitles on all suplements)
Menu: Raro Video USA

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Raro Video

Region 0 - PAL

Raro Video USA
Region 0 - NTSC


 




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