In the Regent University student film TROUBLE IN PARADISE, there is trouble in Babylon — a city without feeling or morals under the control of Damian Livid. This stylized, allegorical detective drama is about a woman, Lana Lost, who hires a detective to help her find her soul
. Sam Flesh, the down-on-his-luck gumshoe, must battle his own demons and the soul-stealing Livid, in order to find Lana’s soul and set Babylon free. Along the way, Sam is assisted by his able secretary, Mystic, and Blind Willie, who provide comic relief.
This film succeeds as a tongue-in-cheek allegory, but the message is muddled and it seems more of an attempt at campy expressionism than a true “message” film. Rich Dalmus gives a strong performance as the Bogey-like Sam Flesh, and Laurel Harris as Lana is well-cast as the “most wanted woman in Babylon.” The other performances are at times somewhat wooden. However, frequent comic moments retain interest. Livid’s emptying of his pistol cartridge into a performing mime is one example where this film capitalizes on its own brand of film noir humor. The shooting style and humor provide the movie strength and backbone. Additionally, the voice-over narrative and music are true to the detective move genre. Yet, it never quite delivers a clear message to its audience despite its allegorical intentions.
(B, Ro, V, A, M) Biblical allegory with romantic elements: action violence including kicking, fist fighting, throwing, shooting a parrot & shooting a mime; mild sexual innuendo; and, alcohol use and smoking