Blue Desert (1991) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)


Blue Desert is a noir thriller about a New York rape victim who flees to a small town out in the wide open spaces, hoping to find peace of mind. The first thing she finds is a rather disturbed individual who seems to be stalking her. When he puts a move on her and doesn't back off soon enough, the terrified woman clobbers him with an oversized frying pan and calls the cops. Upon reflection, she thinks she may have over-reacted to the guy, who really seems like a hippie with a few screws loose, so she refuses to file any formal charges. Her reluctance means that the police cannot hold him. A couple of nights later, while she was in town playing bingo, somebody entered her mobile home and masturbated into her underwear. The creepy hippie is dragged off again, but is again released, and pays another visit to her trailer to protest his innocence, during which she manages to trick him into going into the bedroom while she calls the cops.

The "hook" of the film is that it is possible to interpret the hippie's actions in two ways. He never actually hurts her, so we wonder, "Is he a harmless, not-too-bright guy who developed some head problems when his daughter was killed by a drunk driver, or is he threatening the woman in subtle ways?" The answer to this question hinges on the answer to another question, "Who masturbated into her underwear?" Since the film is a thriller, we can assume that there is probably more to this story that meets the eye, especially when the woman starts to find out that she has received some inaccurate information from the arresting officer - with whom she has started an affair.

The dramatic tension of the film comes from two sources (1) we wonder whether the woman is really "safe" in the arms of the cop, or whether he is the one actually responsible for the soiled underwear (2) the woman is vulnerable, because she's alone in her trailer in an isolated spot in the desert, constantly terrified of suspicious noises outside, on her roof, and so forth.

The script has some good elements. There is, for example, a fairly effective use of the creepy hippie as a decoy. We don't really suspect the cop, and therefore we can understand why the victim didn't suspect him either. Unfortunately, it is also one of those scripts which requires the victim to do the dumbest possible things at all times. There was one point where she had suffered the break-in while she was in town and had refused to press any charges against the hippie. This meant that she knew somebody was entering her home, and she knew that the primary suspect was free. I thought to myself, "What would I do if I were in her position?"  If I could have gotten the hell out of that trailer, I would have, but assuming I could not for some reason, I'd have come up with a plan. Step One - I would have gone to the nearest pound and adopted a very large dog, maybe two. (We know from the script that she's financially comfortable.) That would assure that nobody could sneak up on me, and that nobody could enter the house, whether I was there or not. Step Two -  On my way back from the animal shelter, I would stop at a Wal-Mart and buy a shotgun and some shells. Then I would get a good night's sleep with the shotgun near the bed, and both dogs in my bedroom. If hippie boy showed up, I'd get all Dick Cheney on his unbathed ass.

I'll tell you what my LAST choice would have been. I wouldn't have just been sitting in the trailer at night waiting to be raped, which is what she chose. There were at least five times when she could have chosen other options to get away from, or protect herself against, both guys - and she just kept putting herself right back into trouble instead.

According to IMDb, writer/director Bradley Battersby had no credits for eight years after making this film (for reason or reasons unknown), then he quickly fired out two more projects as writer/director:

  1. (5.82) - The Joyriders (1999)
  2. (5.50) - Blue Desert (1991)
  3. (5.14) - Red Letters (2000)

Bottom line: a grade-B thriller with some decent touches and some tension in a few scenes, as well as some rare nudity from Courteney Cox,  but also with lots of rough edges: illogical character behavior, poor lighting, and a completely bare-bones DVD.



  • No features
  • No widescreen



Courteney Cox shows her breasts in a sex scene, takes a shower behind frosted glass, and shows her bum while getting dressed.

RapidShare link to Cox's scene (.wmv format)

The Critics Vote ...

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The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C-: a grade-B thriller with some decent touches and some tension in a few scenes, but lots of rough edges.

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