Released on video in two versions — one rated R, one unrated and previously unseen — Liebestraum is supposed to be a steamy thriller. But you’d need a low boiling point to feel much heat from either of these tapes, unless pretentious fades to black turn you on. The plot is suspiciously coincidental: An architecture scholar (Kevin Anderson), visiting his mother’s deathbed in little Elderstown, is stunned to find an exemplary cast-iron edifice about to razed by an old college chum (Bill Pullman). With the friend’s wife (Pamela Gidley) added to the equation, the trio is drawn into replaying a crime of passion that took place 30 years before in the same building.
The longer, unrated edition retains an ostensibly titillating but actually ridiculous cathouse scene that suffers from bad acting and worse dialogue. Or maybe it’s the other way around. It’s hard to tell under all the thick high gloss. Theatrical version: C-; Director’s cut: D+