Wild Orchid (1989) | Dual format release
Director: Zalman King Writer: Patricia Knop
Cast: Jacqueline Bisset, Mickey Rourke, Carré Otis, Assumpta Serna
115min Romantic Drama | Soft Porn | US
Zalman King was an American filmmaker known for his sensual dramas that incorporated a rich vein of sexuality verging on soft porn. After a seasoned career as a television actor he stepped behind the camera with a handful of hot and heavy romantic dramas including the breathtaking 9½ Weeks, whose erotic intensity will remain seared into the memories of many female filmgoers in the mid eighties. Certainly a film to blow the January blues away WILD ORCHID, is a tale of torrid passion and erotic taboos intermingling with the corporate world, epitomising the high octane headiness of the era and heightened by the fabulous photography of the undervalued Gale Tattersall in some blindingly exotic locations. Elevated by an exuberant and classy turn from Jacqueline Bisset, it also features the dynamite duo Mickey Rourke (9½ Weeks) and Carré Otis (a model) who went on to consummate their onscreen chemistry in a brief (but no doubt sex-fuelled) marriage.
Set in the sun-soaked splendour of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, the story is a simple one saucily scripted by King’s wife and collaborator Patricia Knop. A pretty young lawyer Emily Reed (Otis) lands a dream job working on a multimillion property deal with hotshot entrepreneur Claudia Lirones (Bisset). But, as oft is the case, the girl is highjacked by her hormones in the hot and heady atmosphere of Brazil and drawn into a web of sexual fantasy by Wheeler (Rourke), a suntanned, seductive sleeze-bag who has previously seduced Lirones and still has her under his spell. Harmless on the surface, like many a male siren, Wheeler turns deadly once his own emotions are enflamed in the sultr