Until the advent of DVD, cult movie fans had a hard time find their favorites in uncut, widescreen ver­sions.  Thankfully, that has changed for the bet­ter since the mid-1990’s but one sub­set of the cult movie fan­base still deals with this kind of prob­lem: fans of vin­tage erot­i­ca.  Labels like Severin Films and Blue Underground have tak­en up the vin­tage erot­i­ca cause over the years but the­se is still plen­ty of work to be done.

On that note, Cult Epics deserves a men­tion for the amaz­ing work it is doing with the back cat­a­log of one of erotic cinema’s titans, Radley Metzger.  Score is a prime exam­ple of their work, offer­ing a care­ful­ly ren­dered pre­sen­ta­tion of a film that has been hard to see uncut, much less in a prop­er pre­sen­ta­tion, on the small screen.  This film has had a rather trag­ic his­to­ry on home video until now — click here to read an infor­ma­tive his­to­ry of its VHS/DVD tra­vails at the great Mondo Digital — but it final­ly receives a wor­thy treat­ment on disc from Cult Epics in both the a/v and extra depart­ments.

Score is pre­sent­ed here in an anamor­phi­cal­ly enhanced 1.78:1 trans­fer that does well by the film’s skill­ful­ly com­posed imagery.  The lev­el of detail is rich, as are the col­ors, and the flesh tones look nat­u­ral (impor­tant in a film like this).  There is a bit of speck­ling and a minor instance or two of ele­ment dam­age but over­all, this has an impres­sive­ly rendered cel­lu­loid look to it. Fans should not that the ver­sion reviewed here rep­re­sents the non-explic­it the­atri­cal cut: a vari­ant ver­sion with a few hard­core moments has also been released by Cult Epics on a sep­a­rate disc.

The disc sticks to the film’s orig­i­nal mono mix for its sound­track and the result sounds pret­ty robust: dia­logue is up-front and clear and the well-cho­sen library music score comes through with punch.

Cult Epics also scores with a hand­ful of sup­ple­ments that are all worth­while for the Metzger fan.  First up is a com­men­tary track with Metzger, mod­er­at­ed by Michael Bowen.  It’s a pret­ty dense track: Bowen primes Metzger with plen­ty of ques­tions and Metzger offers detailed respons­es as this duo talks through the his­to­ry how Metzger acquired the Off-Broadway play that this film adapts, why it was shot in Croatia, the rea­son he served as his own cam­era oper­a­tor and his reflec­tions on work­ing with the cast and crew.  Bowen gives Metzger plen­ty of room to dis­cuss each ques­tion but main­tains a snap­py pace, result­ing in a brisk track that is a plea­sure to lis­ten to.

There are also two twen­ty-min­ute fea­turettes that do a nice job of flesh­ing out the his­to­ry of the film pre­sent­ed in the com­men­tary track.  The first is a selec­tion of home movies tak­en on the set.  This footage was shot with­out sound but Bowen returns to offer a run­ning com­men­tary, con­nect­ing the peo­ple and events depict­ed in the footage with sto­ries of what went on dur­ing the shoot.  He reveals some inter­est­ing mate­ri­al that isn’t cov­ered on the com­men­tary, like how Clare Wilbur ostra­cized costar Lynn Lowry over a dis­par­i­ty in salary and the rev­e­la­tion that the film’s pro­duc­tion man­ager, Branko Lustig, went on to pro­duce films like Schindler’s List and Gladiator.

The oth­er fea­turet­te is an inter­view with Lynn Lowry, who sad­ly is the only sur­viv­ing mem­ber of the film’s two cen­tral cou­ples.  She offers a fond but hon­est look back at the film, includ­ing her side of the dis­pute with costar Wilbur and how it was ami­ca­bly set­tled.  As the fea­turet­te pro­gress­es, the sto­ries get even juicier: she talks about why she had a falling out with Metzger after the shoot, why she dis­liked the fin­ished film ear­ly on and how Carl Douglas insist­ed on sleep­ing with her to pre­pare for their sce­nes togeth­er (note: she declined his demand).  Needless to say, this fea­turet­te is fas­ci­nat­ing stuff.

The pack­age is round­ed out by a trio of trail­ers: Score, Camille 2000 and The Lickerish Quartet.  The trail­ers for Audubon Films were always care­ful­ly edit­ed so each is worth a watch.

To sum up, Score offers a great-look­ing trans­fer and bonus fea­tures that give the view­er a rich­ly infor­ma­tive look behind the sce­nes.  It’s a neces­si­ty for Metzger fans and offers a strong exam­ple of how blu-ray can do well by vin­tage erot­i­ca.