Beyond Desire (1995) Elvisexploitation September 17, 2016 09:38
Ray Patterson (William Forsythe) is being released from prison after a 14 year sentence for a murder he didn't commit. He'd fallen in love with the wrong girl, who decided to go against the wrong people, getting her killed and leaving Ray as the patsy for her murder.
Seemingly free it doesn't take long for Ray to get neck deep in drama once again. Is it fate, or bad luck that brings a hottie in a red corvette racing down an empty road in the middle of nowhere into his life? After and night of raucous pleasure Ray quickly learns Rita (Kari Wuhrer) was sent by the men who landed him in prison. They're looking for the whereabouts of one million dollars that Ray's dead girlfriend had stolen from them.
Rita's a hard one not to fall for, but Ray's not dumb enough to spill the beans (if he knows anything at all) as its not clear how deep she's into the plot against him. Until he can figure out where her loyalties truly lie he decides to use her to get even with her bosses, as they're using her to try and get at him, and if he has a little fun with her in the process its a bonus!
To call Beyond Desire bad would be an understatement. I wasn't expecting anything amazing but I was hoping, at the very least, for a moderately serious mediocre direct to DVD thriller. But when it was all over I was wondering if Beyond Desire wasn't actually a comedy.
First off Ray's "bromance" with Elvis Presley gets a little weird, whether it's the multiple bad lip syncing scenes, the constant tossing out of Elvis song titles at bizarre moments, or the fact Ray almost thinks he's Elvis incarnate, it all kicks the toughness of this film down a couple notches. It does however explain why the film is referred to as The Last American Elvis in the UK. Then you have the villains. The owner of a brothel responsible for framing Ray, he and his goons make Harry and Marv from Home Alone look like geniuses. Throw in a story with more plot holes than Swiss cheese and incredibly bad dialogue and you've got yourself a film that really loses all credibility as a "thriller".
If the writers were holding back (or trying to), the last 25 minutes of the film prove they completely gave up and went full on camp. If the ghost of Elvis had showed up at the end to save Ray and beat the crap out of the bad guys I don't think I would have been surprised. Ironically when it stopped trying (with little success) to be a straight thriller and completely went camp it actually started becoming pretty entertaining.
The real reason anyone's going to want to watch this is likely for 90's erotic thriller regular Kari Wuhrer. It's one of her earlier roles and she's nothing short of ridiculously hot, and obviously shows some skin. If you're a Wuhrer fan then this is likely no worse than most of her other endeavors, but maybe slightly a bit tamer than some of her later roles. Aside from her, Beyond Desire's only other real redeeming factor is at the end when it finally decides to accept it's an incredibly bad film and plays up to it. Overall, if you really love bad direct to video thrillers or are a sucker for what should be a sub-genre called Elvisexploitation (bad films with an Elvis theme), this might be one worth checking out.