Film / Desert Heat

Desert Heat (also known as Inferno) is a slightly tongue-in-cheek 1999 Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle about an ex-solider named Eddie Lomax.

Haunted by the memories of what he's done, Eddie takes a trip to visit his old friend Johnny Sixtoes to deliver a motorcycle and request his permission "to take a journey." On the way, his bike breaks down and he's beset by the Hogan boys who shoot him, steal his motorcycle, and leave him for dead. Being JCVD, this merely pisses him off and, after being found and nursed back to health by Sixtoes, sets off to retrieve the bike and kill the Hogans and a whole slew of folk who get in the way. By the end, he's saved the town, found love, and found a new reason to go on living.

This film provides examples of:

  • Chekhov's Gun: The fighter jets performing drills introduced early in the film distracts the last remaining Hogan boy in the climax.
  • Clean Up the Town: What Eddie ends up doing on his quest for revenge.
  • Cleanup Crew: Of the one-man variety. Services provided by Jubal Early.
  • Cool Bike: Eddie's Indian. It being cool enough that the Hogan brothers are willing to (try to) kill Eddie for it is what starts the whole plot.
  • Corrupt Hick: The Hogans.
  • Defector from Decadence: Petey Hogan. After Eddie spares his life in return for Petey sparing his at the beginning of the film, he jumps onto a motorcycle and rides out of town, leaving the criminal life behind him for good.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Dear old Rose Delvecchio seems pleased as punch to watch Eddie have loud sex with two blonds while sipping her liquor straight from the bottle with a straw.
  • Disposable Women: The two women Eddie Lomax saves exist solely for their rescue, and subsequent sex, scene.
  • Disposing of a Body: From the back of a dumptruck to the bottom of a canyon.
  • Divide and Conquer: Lampshaded by Johnny Sixtoes.
  • Driven to Suicide: Eddie is driven by the memories of atrocities committed by him during an unnamed war. But not before he gets permission from his old friend Johnny.
  • I Meant to Do That: After walking into the diner door leaving, Eddie covers up his embarrassment by laughing.
  • I Own This Town: Dual ownership by the Hogans and Heathens.
  • Magical Native American: Johnny Sixtoes.
  • Meet Cute: Eddie and Rhonda in the diner.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Petey. Right from the start it's shown that he really doesn't enjoy the corrupt hick lifestyle and is only in it because of his family. His establishing character moment occurs right at the beginning when he's ordered by his brothers to finish off a wounded Eddie. His sparing Eddie ultimately dooms his father and brothers.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: In the firm of coyote calls.
  • Parental Favoritism: Ramsey Hogan clearly favors one child over the other two.
    Matt: Why are you ridin' me and Jesse so much and never Petey?
    Ramsey: I love Petey 'cause I loved his mother. She died giving him birth. He's our love child.
    Matt: What about me and Jess?
    Ramsey: You two are the unfortunate results of some recreational fucking back when fucking was fun.
    Matt: ...geez.
    Ramsey: Get over it.
    • Which is what got Ramsey killed.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The Hogan brothers really shouldn't have stolen Sixtoes' bike...
  • Pun: "He sure finished off that pig, Spider. He just killed him like a bug."
  • Shout-Out: Made to Yojimbo, which this film is based on.
  • Spiteful Spit: After shaking down Eli's nephews, Jessie Hogan spits a large, fat stream of tobacco juice right on their floor.
  • The Unsolved Mystery: In-Universe, the "disappearance" of the Hogan and Heathen gangs. The townsfolk attribute this to aliens, and the ensuing ufologist arrivals revive the town's economy.
  • Worth Living For: Rhonda is the newly found reason for Eddie to go on living in the end.