December 12, 2011
Deadly Intent (1989) is one of those forgettable thrillers you happen to catch on television late one night, enticed by the cast of interesting character actors, and then promptly fall asleep partway through because it is so predictable. It was directed by Nigel Dick, a British music video director who was responsible for the famous Band-Aid video for “Do They Know Its Christmas?” among many others. Unfortunately, he does not display any of the skill in this film that he showed in the numerous music videos he’s directed over the years.
Two men run desperately from angry natives in the jungle. One of them, Raymond (Henriksen), kills the other and takes a giant gem they have presumably stolen. Back home, Raymond hides the priceless jewel without telling his boss, Elise Marlowe (Adams), who bankrolled the expedition. It turns that he’s a real piece of work – an ego maniac who cheats on his wife, Laura (Eilbacher), whom he treats like crap – all of which Lance Henriksen plays with icy gusto.
As a result, there is little love lost when he’s killed off only 11 minutes into the film by someone looking for the gem. Naturally, the guy turns up at Raymond’s funeral figuring that Laura knows where the jewel is hidden. Jeff Kirkwood (Railsback), Raymond’s partner shows up (wasn’t he supposed to be dead?) having survived their trip to the jungle. Poor Laura is being hassled by a gun-toting priest who is teamed up with a nun in full garb and is also being followed by another armed couple (one of whom is played Fred Williamson). Naturally, they all want the gem and are willing to kill for it, including each other when they happen to cross paths. The film settles into a predictable groove of people breaking into Laura’s house looking for the gem and terrorizing her – spin, repeat, yawn.
I’ve always felt that Lisa Eilbacher deserved a better career instead of starring in forgettable dreck like Deadly Intent. She was so good in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), but failed to capitalize on the success of that film. She’s pretty good in this one. By virtue of being married to a piece of crap like Raymond, Laura becomes instantly sympathetic but it also doesn’t hurt that she’s played by Eilbacher who exudes empathy. Deadly Intent is a frustrating example of a wasted opportunity. All of these solid character actors wasted in a ho-hum film like this one. I wouldn’t even recommend this to hardcore fans of Lance Henriksen as he’s barely in it. Its pedestrian plotting and screenplay resemble nothing more than an average T.V. show.