Thursday, February 5, 2015



Label: Blue Underground

Region Code: Region-FREE
Duration: 98 Minutes
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD; 2.0 DTS-HD
Video: HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Eric Werthman
Cast: Roger Rees, Geno Lechner, Miho Nikaido

Peter (Roger Rees) is a middle-aged, married psychotherapist who sees a professional dominatrix named Susan (Geno Lechner) with what seems to be his wife's permission. They routinely meet for sessions of sensual submission and domination in Lady Diana's dungeon of pleasures and hold to a strict regiment of boundaries, but when Susan announces she will not be continuing her domination services they agree to see each other outside of the confines of the S&M dungeon, something that Peter has craved for sometime. It begins with a cup of coffee and slowly evolves into a twisted psycho-sexual friendship with the increasingly needy Peter pushing the boundaries of Susan who runs more cold and distant. 

Roger Rees and Geno Lechner are superb, they are emotionally intricate and sophisticated set of characters and they are dynamic, both conveying turmoil just below the surface. The character are given the opportunity to explore the origins of their domination and submissive tendencies, offering nuanced performances that surprisingly subtle. 

The story also explores the leads relationships outside of each other, Peter is married to a wife who feels him distancing himself as his obsession with Susan grows, it's a nice dynamic, you can feel the frustration. On the other end Susan's lesbian lover also questions her about the nature of her relationship with Peter, plus there's an exploration of Susan's difficult relationship with her own mother, nice character moments that ope us up to what may be fueling the desires. 

In the past I have heard mention of the film as an erotic BDSM fueled fantasy but in actuality this is more of sophisticated adult-themed pyscho-sexual melodrama with some juicy moments of eroticised tension, so don't come into this expecting the graphic exploitation of the fetish culture, it's just not there in the amounts you might be craving. A lot of the more graphic content happens just off screen; so you don't see the oiled-up masturbation and the piercing of the naughty parts, but they give you just enough to set off your imagination, and that's probably a more effective approach with this one. 

Blu-ray: The disc from Blue Underground presents the film in 1080p widescreen  and it looks quite nice with good color saturation and black levels, skin tones appear natural, and the image has a nice clarity and depth to it.

Both the English 5.1 DTS-HD and 2.0 DTS-HD audio options are clean, crisp and nicely balanced, not a lot of noticeable use of the surrounds, this is a very front centric film, but there are the occasional moments when the subtle score and ambient textures bleed into the surrounds. Optional English SDH subtitles are provided. 

Onto the extras we have a commentary from  Co-Writer/Director Eric Werthman and Star Roger Rees, plus 17-minutes of interviews with Stars Roger Rees and Geno Lechner who speak about their experiences making the film, notably neither had any BDSM experience prior to the film and they had to research their roles. 

Additionally there's a 6-minute piece documenting NYC's annual fetish event, the Black and Blue Ball, plus the original theatrical trailer and a teaser for the film. 

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Eric Werthman and Star Roger Rees
- Pushing the Boundaries - Interviews with Stars Roger Rees and Geno Lechner (17 Mins)
- NYC Black & Blue Ball (6 Mins)
- Theatrical Trailer (3 Mins)
- Teaser Trailer (1 Mins) 

Verdict: I can respect the fearless performances of the leads and the subtle nature of the film but at the end of the day this is just not my cup of tea. My own tastes for erotic cinema are more in line with the images of Radley Metzger and Tinto Brass and all this restraint and subtlety did not pay off for me. Maybe your mom's not quite ready to sit through Radley Metzger's THE IMAGE (1975) but she could probably rub one out quite comfortably during a viewing of GOING UNDER curled up on the couch with a blanket.