The ghost of DOUBLE INDEMNITY never dies. Unfortunately, it keeps being resurrected for inferior photocopy noirs like VICTIM OF DESIRE. Any movie that throws Shannon Tweed into Marc Singer's arms and can't arouse its audience deserves to be shunned by oversexed thrillseekers everywhere.
Disarming those he investigates with a slightly bumbling manner that belies his stick-to-it-tiveness, SEC detective Peter Starky (Mark Singer) questions corporate slime Leland Duvall (Wings Hauser) about 70 million bucks embezzled from his manufacturing firm. Chastised by his lawyer, Richard
Jordan (Jay Richardson), Duvall seems as unconcerned about Starky's prying as he is by his company's faulty electric blankets which resulted in dozens of deaths.
While Jordan's gal-pal Linda (Julie Strain) uses her pulchritude to pry bank passwords out of Duvall and his curvaceous wife Carla (Shannon Tweed), the investigation takes an unforeseen turn when cloaked figures apparently murder Duvall and incinerate him in his automobile. Partnered with L.A. cop
Marv Riker (Johnny Williams), Starky places the Duvall mansion under surveillance and takes Carla Duvall into sexual custody. Bending the rules, Starky steals electronic bugging tapes to leave no evidence of his affair with Carla.
With Linda cooling her heels in Bimini, Starky and Riker discover that earlier theories are blown out of the water by a late-breaking autopsy report. Eliminating fall-guy Jordan, Duvall kept his million, avoided scads of lawsuits, and threw Starky off the scent with Carla's complicity. With Starky
now clued in, the Duvalls improvise a scheme to implicate Linda in Starky's imminent demise. Although Riker tries to rescue Starky, Carla blasts the portly cop right out the window. After Starky shoots Duvall, Carla doesn't hesitate to propose splitting the $70 million with studly Starky. Weighing
his options, Starky guns down Carla before she can remove him from her future larcenous plans.
Stuck in mystery retread mode, VICTIM OF DESIRE does little to camouflage its footprints; it treads all over familiar murder-scam territory, leaving more evidence than Hansel and Gretel. Regrettably, since the audience is several miles ahead of the detectives, this tacky adult entertainment slips
further into junk-heapdom by saddling Singer with a Joe Pesci-esque sidekick, Marv Riker. It is difficult to decide whom Singer has less rapport with: the vulgar cop or the voluptuous belle dame sans merci. Tentatively wrestling in the boudoir, Singer and Tweed sniff at each other as if they
didn't like the scent of each other's designer colognes. Aside from the hide-and-seek climax, staged with some pananche, this non-thriller fires blanks. The audience would have to be dust crop-sprayed with pheromones to get a rise out of this naughty noir manque.(Graphic violence, extremeprofanity, extensive nudity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: The ghost of DOUBLE INDEMNITY never dies. Unfortunately, it keeps being resurrected for inferior photocopy noirs like VICTIM OF DESIRE. Any movie that throws Shannon Tweed into Marc Singer's arms and can't arouse its audience deserves to be shunned by over… (more)