You’ve gotta love it when a film gets all preachy, fails to deliver its message and then sets about achieving the opposite of what it was intended to do. Spectacular failures like this are rare, but Chain of Desire, intended to highlight how everyone we sleep may have AIDS from sleeping with someone else who slept with someone else who slept with someone else, ends up instead leaving us with the desire to go sleep with someone.Linda Fiorentino (who always seems to end up in spectacular failures – see Body Count, Jade and Kicked in the Head) is a nightclub singer who just got through fucking a church maintenance man. He in turn goes home to fuck his wife, who goes out and gives someone else a foot-to-crotch-job, who then goes out and does his S&M mistress, who is married to a guy who likes boy hookers, and we eventually come back full circle to Fiorentino hearing on the phone that, oops, her former lover has AIDS.
This would be a tragic ending to the film if it weren’t for the fact that half of the people in the ‘sex circle’ don’t actually engage in physical penetrative sex with each other, thus negating the film’s message nearly entirely. As the spread of the AIDS virus effectively ends at the third person, the rest of the film (consisting of about eight other couples doing their thing) seems a little moot.
Apart from the rampant nudity and constant expectation that this is all going to go somewhere soon, I challenge anyone to give me a good reason not to turn this thing off after five minutes. Fiorentino, Elias Koteas and Malcolm McDowell (the recognizable names in the cast) hopefully enjoyed the paycheck, because not one of them looks like they’re actually enjoying being in the film.
Sadly, director Temistocles Lopez must have been considered ‘important’ after this film was released, as his next waste of celluloid, Bird of Prey, managed to embarrass even more name actors – including Jennifer Tilly and Richard Chamberlain – before dying a death at the box office. Clearly Lopez considers himself as artistic, but after sitting through Chain of Desire, you’re more likely to consider him autistic. Scenes start out of nowhere and end abruptly, characters are introduced and whisked away before you can say “and what do you do?” – and generally the viewer is treated like we don’t really need to be in on the joke.I think I can safely say, on-screen nudity has never been such a drag. Save yourself ninety minutes and read an AIDS prevention flyer instead.