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Naked Over The Fence (Cult Epics) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Naked Over The Fence (Cult Epics) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Cult Epics
    Released on: August 23rd, 2022.
    Director: Frans Weisz
    Cast: Rijk de Gooyer, Sylvia Kristel, Jon Bluming, Jennifer Willems
    Year: 1973
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    Naked Over The Fence – Movie Review:

    Known in its native Holland as Naakt over de Schutting, Frans Weisz’s 1973 film Naked Over The Fence tells the story of a man named Rick Lemming (Rijk de Gooyer) who leads a pretty decent life and does very well for himself as the owner of a populate pinball arcade deep in the heart of Amsterdam. When he’s got a spare room to rent out, into his life walks Penny van der Laan (Jennifer Willems), a teacher who has a strange love of karate. She winds up renting the room and that should be that. Rick, meanwhile, is involved with lovely Celia Strumpf (Adèle Bloemendaal).

    Except it isn’t. Penny befriends a sexy chanteuse named Lilly Marischka (a pre-Emmanuelle Sylvia Kristel, looking weirdly cute with her short, dyed blonde hair), who winds up getting involved with a mutual friend named Ed Swaan (Jon Bluming), a karate teacher. Ed gets hired to act in an ‘art film’ and brings Lilly, who he is involved with, along for the ride. Of course, neither one of them really realizes what sort of ‘art film’ they’re to be performing in and they soon find themselves tangled up in the Dutch porno movie scene.

    Lilly is, understandably, quite upset about this as it wasn’t at all what she meant to sign up for. Distressed, she runs away from the set and a short time later the man in charge of the film studio where the shoot was to take place is found dead, all while Rick and Ed try to steal away the footage before it falls into the wrong hands.

    Based on a comedic thriller by author Rinus Ferdinandusse (who co-wrote the screenplay wiht Rob du Mee and who has a small role in the film), Naked Over The Fence benefits from a really strong score from composer Ruud Bos. This adds quite a bit to the film's attempts at humor and suspense and brings the production values up a fair bit. The movie is also nicely shot, using the Amsterdam locations quite well, particularly in the finale when we're treated to an unexpected but fairly effective tram chase.

    As to the cast, they deliver fine work and do a good job with an uneven script. Rijk de Gooyer is a likeable enough guy and well-cast in the lead. His character is a bit of an amateur sleuth so when he gets pulled into the mystery, he couldn't be happier to help Ed try and solve it. He suits the part well. Jon Bluming, apparently a real life black-belt and karate expert, is also fine. He's not a great actor but he's got the karate expert part down well enough to work in the role. As to the ladies? They're all very attractive, they've certainly got that going for them. Jennifer Willems is, just like de Gooyer, genuinely likeable and her performance coasts on that. Adèle Bloemendaal doesn't have as much chemistry with de Gooyer as maybe she could and should have but she isn’t' bad here.

    And what about future sex symbol Sylvia Kristel? She isn't given quite as much to do here as Willems but she plays the pop singer on her way up the ladder pretty effectively Kristel does actually sing a song in the movie in the form of a fairly hokey pop track called ‘Hey, A Letter came Today,’ proving that she was better in front of a camera than she was in front of a microphone, but she's fun to look at here and plays her role with a bubbly enthusiasm that's hard to dislike.

    Naked Over The Fence – Blu-ray Review:

    Naked Over The Fence arrives on region free Blu-ray from Cult Epics in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.37.1 on a 50GB disc with the feature taking up 27.5GBs of space taken from a new 4k transfer of the original 35mm negative. There are some small white specks here and there but overall the image is nice and clean. The colors look maybe just a tad faded but overall, this transfer is pretty solid. Detail is strong throughout and there are no issues with any obvious compression artifacts or edge enhancement related issues. There is a good chunk of the film, towards the end, where a few scenes were shot with a deliberately soft, almost gauzy look, so expect detail to drop there, but it's clearly intentional. Overall, the picture always looks nice and film-like, showing the expected amount of natural film grain throughout.

    Dutch audio options are provided in 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono and 16-bit LPCM 2.0 Mono with optional subtitles offered up in English only. The audio is clean, clear and properly balanced. There aren't any noticeable issues with any hiss or distortion and the subtitles are easy to read and free of any obvious typos.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary by Frans Weisz biographer Harry Hosman that is quite interesting. He goes over all sorts of details about Weisz’s life and career, his background, his education, how he got his start in the industry and plenty more. Along the way he also talks about the different cast and crew members that worked on the movie, the score, the script and more.

    Behind-The-Scenes of Naked Over The Fence is a fifteen minute selection of footage taken from two hours of 16mm footage that producer Rob de Mee had shot during the making of the movie. This clip features Sylvia Kristel rehearsing for her musical number in the film and other members of the cast and crew prepping for the scene in question.

    A 2014 Radio Interview With Frans Weisz has the director speaking for eight minutes about the producers and cast members that he worked with on the movie, the premise of the film, how he feels about the movie, his initial thoughts on the screenplay and thoughts on some of the other films that he's made over the course of his career.

    The B-Movie Orchestra + Interview With Composer Ruud Bos featurette, from 2015, runs for twelve minutes and sees Bos talking about his composing tactics and techniques, his working process, working with different directors and what else he's done outside of working on film music. From there we get a live performance with a full band.

    Rounding out the extras is a gallery of promotional images, a Sylvia Kristel film trailer section (containing trailers for Naked Over The Fence, Frank & Eva, Julia, Pastorale 1943, Mysteries and Playing With Fire), menus and chapter selection options.

    Note that this release comes in a limited edition of 1000 Blu-ray copies that comes bundled with an exclusive CD Soundtrack by Ruud Bos as well as a slipcover and some nice double sided cover sleeve artwork.

    Naked Over The Fence - The Final Word:

    Naked Over The Fence is uneven, with the comedy and suspense colliding in ways that sometimes work better than others, but it’s quickly paced and nicely shot and benefits from a really solid score and a pretty decent cast. Cult Epics’ Blu-ray release looks and sounds quite nice and contains a pretty solid smattering of extra features to accompany the feature attraction.


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Naked Over The Fence Blu-ray screen caps!

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