Exit To Eden is a 1994 American feature film based on the Anne Rice novel of the same name, directed by Garry Marshall and adapted to the screen by Deborah Amelon and Bob Brunner. The original music score was composed by Patrick Doyle.
The film partially utilized the story of the book, with Dana Delany playing Lisa Emerson (Lisa Kelly in the book), and Paul Mercurio playing Elliot Slater. However, half of the film consisted of a new comedic detective story line written by the director. Several new characters were created, including Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O'Donnell as police officers pursuing diamond thieves to the Eden resort. These characters then start to explore BDSM as well. New dialogue and scenes for the original characters were written to include them in the new story line.
Elliot Slater (Mercurio) is a young, attractive, Australian professional photographer in Southern California. Having always been uncomfortable with his sexual proclivities, which tend toward the BDSM realm, he signs up for a dominatrix-themed vacation on a private tropical island known as "Eden" in the hopes of working through his discomfort. Unbeknownst to him, just prior to embarking on his journey of sexual discovery, he has unwittingly photographed an international jewel thief of whom no other photos exist. The jewel thief Omar (Stuart Wilson) and his criminal partner Nina (Iman), intent on recovering the film in order to retain Omar's anonymity, follow him to the island resort run by the dominatrix Mistress Lisa (Delany) and attempt to seize the film while posing as vacationers. Following a tip that Omar is on the island, undercover police officers Fred (Aykroyd) and Sheila (O'Donnell) arrive, Sheila in the guise of a vacationer and Fred as a handyman. Comedic antics ensue as Fred and Sheila attempt to identify Omar, whose appearance is unknown as no photographs of him exist except for the one in Elliot's camera, while Omar and Nina repeatedly try to steal Elliot's film. Adding to the comedy are the activities of scantily-clad vacationers and employees of the island, living out their dominant and submissive fantasies while completely oblivious to the criminals and police investigation in their midst.
Meanwhile, in the course of Elliot's experiences as Mistress Lisa's personal submissive, the two fall in love. The action comes to a climax in New Orleans, where Lisa and Elliot admit their feelings, all the while tailed by Omar who attempts to kill them. Fortunately, Fred and Sheila save the day, sending Omar and Nina to jail, and receive commendations for solving the case.
The film garnered attention during its release because of the BDSM themes, and because of the high profiles of the director, the cast members, and the author. Promotional materials for the film included photos of Delany in dominatrix attire, resulting in her being a popular inclusion on the early World Wide Web.
One controversy for the film occurred when it was banned by the Saskatchewan Film and Video Classification Board. Critics were puzzled by the banning, as Saskatchewan was the only jurisdiction known to have kept the film out of theatres. After a brief media flurry, the Board repealed the ban.
|Dana Delaney||Lisa Emerson|
|Paul Mercurio||Elliott Slater|
|Rosie O'Donnell||Shelia Kingston|
|Dan Aykroyd||Fred Lavery|
|Hector Elizondo||Dr. Martin Helifax|