I, Desire (John Llewellyn Moxey, 1982)
[note: review originally published 28Nov2008]
John Moxey directed for television for thirty years, working on some of the most successful series ever made and a number of highly-regarded TV movies, without ever once doing any directing for the big screen. After seeing I, Desire, it’s pretty easy to see why.
Robert Foster (Kojak, Knight Rider)’s script follows a law student/mortuary assistant, David Balsiger (An American Werewolf in London‘s David Naughton), who notices some similarities in a few of the bodies he processes and jumps to the conclusion there’s a serial killer on the loose in Los Angeles. Better yet, it’s a vampire serial killer. He spends a good portion of the film alternately tracking the vampire, attempting to convince a police detective (Dorian Harewood, recently of Gothika and 12 Angry Men) of its existence, and watching his relationship with girlfriend Cheryl (Marilyn Jones, seen previously in the Steve McQueen vehicle The Hunter) disintegrate just days after she’s moved in.
The vampire does, of course, exist, and has been chased halfway across the country by a fallen priest. I mention this solely because said fallen priest is played by Brad Dourif, who is the sole reason to watch this movie. Dourif, whose career as a major player was killed a few years previous to this by an appearance in the legendary debacle Heaven’s Gate, has survived as a character actor for the sole reason that he’s brilliant, even when in the worst dreck (ever see Death Machine? Interceptor Force? Trust me, you’re better off). Here he’s a twitchy, dirty, certifiable, obsessed version of Chris McCarron. Must be seen to be believed.
And while the rest of the movie is dreck (some folks may also want to take the opportunity to see Spenser for Hire beauty Barbara Stock in an early role), Dourif makes it worth the rental, despite his relatively small amount of screen time. **