Death in the Desert Review
Do you think more money brings more problems? In October 2015, Kim never expected that when her life started getting better, it all would end the way it did...
Directing this 83 minute action/adventure/crime is Josh Evans.
Some of the cast is: Michael Madsen as Ray Easler, Shayla Beesley as Kim Davis, John Palladion as Matt Duvall, Paz de la Huerta as Margo and Roxy Saint as Cory.
Ray Easler is a legendary casino owner in Las Vegas. When Kim meets Ray her world is quickly turned upside down as she trades her life as a dancer to be Ray's live-in girlfriend. Then Ray hires Matt to help get some work done, and that's when things get complicated. Now, Kim is trying to figure out where she belongs, is it with Ray... or Matt.
This movie was inspired by the real-life murder of the casino tycoon Ted Binion. The screenplay was written by John Steppling and is based on the book, Death in the Desert, by Cathy Scott. Going into this one I thought I would be told the story of how everything went down with Binion's death and the controversy surrounding it, however, that was not the case. The story basically shows us how Ray and Kim meet, and the twisted relationship that the two shared. Sadly, the script is light and repetitive, because so many scenes are just repackaged arguments or scenes between people with empty lines, that don't really help further the film or characters.
The play-through was a bit rough to get through because there just wasn't a lot going on that held my attention during the flick. It's a slow build up that shows not only the drug problem Easler had but how hard it was to be around him due to his rough personality. Once Ray and Kim meet things don't speed up any, the whole film just stays at a constant dragging pace. There are some scenes where they were trying to build the moment or the character, but it just wound up being nothing more than dead air and wasting the scene's time. One of the few things I liked about the film was Madison's narration work over the scenes.
The cast was OK, but Madsen stole the show, even when he wasn't on screen. Unfortunately, for all the turmoil Beesley's character went through I didn't really feel any of it during her performance.
Overall, you're not missing anything by not catching this one. Since most of this film just pretty much covers the drug use and debauchery of someone, I think your time would be better spent catching Trainspotting (1996) for a better experience. If you're a Madsion fan, there's plenty of other titles to catch him in that'll be worth your time.
It's rated NR (not rated) but has violence, language and nudity.