[WAVES OF LUST - 1975 - Widescreen 1.85:1 - In English or Italian w/ English subtitles - directed by Ruggero Deodato - 88 min.] Although he had a highly respectable career as a television and commercial director, Ruggero Deodato is best remembered for his notorious exploitation classics, 'Jungle Holocaust' (1977), 'Cannibal Holocaust' (1980) and 'The House on the Edge of the Park' (1980). He even directed a notable crime drama 'Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man' (1976), but this entry from the previous year is unlike his known body of work, for better or worse. BTW, Lamberto Bava was only one of four co-writers here, and had nothing to do with its direction.
Two couples bump shoulders at a seaside resort, one wealthy, one not, and get entangled in each others crosshairs with typically wretched results. Highly despicable and wealthy financier Giorgio (John Steiner) and his virtual slave of a lover and part-time subject of abuse, Silvia (Elizabeth Turner), hook up with Irem (Al Cliver) and Barbara (Deodato's wife, Silvia Dionisio) for a weekend cruise aboard Giorgio's massive yacht for a protracted and provocative game of cat and mouse. Not one of the four is under any illusion that this is a simple pleasure trip; Giorgio has had designs on Barbara since he first laid eyes on her ashore, Barbara suspects the levels of physical and mental abuse heaved upon Silvia by her husband and appears to plan retaliation while possibly sleeping with the brutal bastard, Irem knows of the intentions of both Giorgio and his own mate and is apparently indifferent (or is he?), and poor Silvia is desperate for attention and respite from her abuser, secretly plotting a love triangle with the other couple, who conspire against the ruthless misogynist who's also a paranoid alcoholic. Got all that?
While complications pile up, so does the clothing as all four spend most of the flick naked or near-nude, whether diving underwater, changing for dinner, tempting and teasing one another, sunbathing, making love or engaged in Sapphic massages. There's an over-abundance of sleazy 70's Euro-grindhouse nudity but, thankfully, both women are easy on the eyes and seeing them prance and preen is pleasurable for voyeurs like me. (Most women believe that there's no such thing as being too rich or too thin; most men believe that there's no such thing as too much female nudity...) Deodato's camera lingers on the flesh lovingly and longingly - it's a pervert's paradise, which is odd when you factor that one of the women flaunted is his own wife. But don't mistake this as a complaint on my part.
By the time the proceedings are about to wrap up, we viewers feel as though we've spent too much time with these unlikable, scheming characters too, and can't wait to see the impending debacle unfold but, until then, we sit awash in 'Waves of Lust' as the tides roll in. A 3 star film elevated to 4 due to the pervasive 70's Eurosleaze hurled at us by a true exploitation auteur.
Once again, RARO VIDEO has delivered a beautiful remastered print w/ great audio, and has added several bonus features as well as a nice-sized collectible booklet. Considering the market for such product is so small, they truly must be commended for treating their fanbase so affectionately. All hail Raro Video!