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Cast: Michael Madsen, Shayla Beesley, Paz De la Huerta, John Palladino and Roxy Saint
Death in the Desert is a love triangle set in the fast-paced, sometimes lonely world of Las Vegas. The life of Kim Davis, the young live-in girlfriend of legendary casino owner Ray Easler, is thrown upside down when she falls for Matt Duvall, the man Ray hires to bury his $20 million fortune of silver on the floor of the Nevada desert.
"Death in the Desert" is a crime/thriller based on Cathy Scott’s book Death in the Desert: The Ted Binion Homicide Case. The names in the film have been changed but the film is loyal to the book. Based on a true story the film tells us about Ray Easler, a casino owner in Vegas who meets the beautiful Kim Davis who happens to be a stripper at the time. Kim got tired of her life and moved to Vegas hoping for a change. Once Ray sets his sights on Kim her life changes forever, he showers her with gifts and treats her like a queen, at least at first. One thing he demands is that she quit her stripper job which she does. But Ray has his own issues with his drug and alcohol addiction which is something Kim does not like and tries to get Ray to quit.
When Ray runs into trouble over his casino he decides to take the money and millions of dollars in silver he has in a vault and move them to a piece of land he owns outside of town. Knowing he can't do it himself he hires several workers including the handsome, Matt Duvall who seems to have an eye for Kim and she seems to have an eye for him as well. What ensues is a love triangle after Kim begins to question her happiness with Ray.
What happens after that made headlines back in September 17, 1998, "Death in The Desert" is a fast paced thriller that leaves it up to the audience to decide what really happened. The real case was a bit more complicated than the film so I recommend doing your own search if you are interested in the entire investigation that followed. Michael Madsen gives a terrific performance as Ray, he is a perfect fit for this kind of character and he really stands out. But he is not alone because Shayla Beesley stands toe to toe with him as Kim. Shayla not only has the beautiful looks to play the role but she also brings that sense of innocence needed to play Kim. This is the first film I have seen Shayla Beesley in but she is one actress I will be keeping my eyes on. The rest of the supporting cast all gave excellent performances as well.
The one thing the film does is leave you interested in knowing more which means the film and Director, Josh Evans did their job. I enjoyed the film, it provided an engaging story and interesting characters. Vegas also helped immensely in providing the moody and gritty atmosphere needed. If you like a good crime/thriller then I recommend checking this one out. "Death in the Desert" is a film that grabs your attention and holds it all the way till the end. And the cast give performances that ensures that.
The film comes to VOD on 2/16/16 so make sure you check it out.
Released by Osiris Entertainment
**** Out Of *****