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red heat cover


Tagline: Only one film could top the intensity of CHAINED HEAT. This is it!


The Preshow Entertainment was THE MIGHTY HERCULES and SPEED RACER cartoons, both from the '60s, both distributed by Trans-lux. HERCULES, with Johnny "I Can See Clearly Now" Nash singing the title song ("...iron in his thighs..."), sent me back to my childhood. I remembered so much of the toon, especially the opening song(naturally, as that was repeated each time). I remember being scared of the villain Daedalus. Anyway, as with most kiddie cartoons, the story doesn't matter. It's always- the bad guy goes after Herc, and Herc wins. In this case, frequent bad guy Daedalus captures Herc, and like any true villain, instead of just shooting him through the heart with an arrow, he's built a room where the walls close in as the floor opens, threatening Herc with a bottomless pit. But Newton, Herc's line repeating, squeaky-voiced centaur friend helps him out.

Then came SPEED RACER. I guess I was more of a fan of anime when I was a child than I am now. I loved ASTRO BOY, 8 MAN (though I remember him as 8th MAN), and GIGANTOR. The one we saw gave us the mythology. I guess I never thought why a guy who races cars was always in trouble...but now I know. Bad guys were after Speed's dad's plans, written in invisible ink on his car's (The Mach 5) windshield. The Wachowski Brothers are slated to release a SPEED RACER movie next year which I believe will be live action. I sure hope it's as good as V FOR VENDETTA, and not as bad as anything with the word "matrix" in its title. We hardly saw any of SPEED RACER, as Pizza Guy arrived fast. Perhaps Speed gave him a ride.

Before the movie started, I debuted the new RMC tradition of The Pre-movie Interpretive Dance. RMCers were treated to my performance of "Dance of the Macaroon." I am happy to report that it was a huge hit. Anyway...

The random movie was once again a movie not available on DVD. So it was a very special evening for all attendees.

We've seen a lot of prison movies at RMC. STALAG 17. THE GREAT ESCAPE. CAGED. COOL HAND LUKE. And now, 1985's RED HEAT (not to be confused with 1988's RED HEAT with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Non-Governor Jim Belushi).

RED HEAT is more than a WIP (that's the genre, Women In Prison films), it's an LBIP- a Linda Blair In Prison film. The third entry in the LBIP quadrilogy- BORN INNOCENT (the TV Movie which came eleven years earlier, along with its controversial broomstick-rape scene), CHAINED HEAT, RED HEAT, and SAVAGE ISLAND (featuring an RMCer!). And as you have probably guessed, it's a bit of a mess. With an air of self-importance, RED HEAT tells the familiar story of a woman wrongly accused and locked up for a crime she didn't commit. The soft woman who hardens with each injustice (here, the broomstick is replaced with a toilet brush...Linda, what's the attraction?).

RED HEAT opens with a kidnapping. Halfway through said kidnapping, the kidnappee gets kidnapped again by other kidnappers.

Linda Blair (THE EXORCIST, ZAPPED AGAIN) plays Christine, a young woman visiting her army guy/fiance in Germany. Once there, she learns he has become as noncommittal to her as we were to the movie. Despondent, Christine strolls out of the hotel only to witness the aforementioned kidnapping. She is also taken across the border into East Germany and sent to an evil prison where you know the bad guys because they are bathed with 5000k backlights so you can't see their faces.

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Director/co-writer Robert Collector (who I really hope has a brother and sister named Bill and Butterfly), who wrote MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN (which I saw at the Chinese Theater with an invisible audience) bogs down the film with lengthy, meaningless bits that could have been trimmed. That said, we are treated to the WIP-mandated shower scene to witness Linda and her Blairs. Also on board, Sylvia Kristel who has done more soft core-y legits than anyone (the EMMANUELLE series, LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER, and my favorite film of all time- PRIVATE SCHOOL).

The film's score, which is dated to the point of NEUTRON DANCE-y loops, is by that '80s wunderband Tangerine Dream, whose impressive list of credits include SORCERER, THIEF, RISKY BUSINESS (remember the music in that train scene?), FIRESTARTER, FLASHPOINT, VISION QUEST, LEGEND, and NEAR DARK.

The first job I ever had in film was on THE EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC. It wasn't really a job. I was a kid, and my friend's dad was a producer so I went into the city to watch...and was put to work. I thought I was really cool with a megaphone and name tag doing crowd control on 5th Avenue. By the end of the day- "People, please, we're trying to film a movie here!" But Pazuzu was in the details, and it was this day that begat my love of moviemaking. I started reading scripts that summer, then started writing them. So, in a way, without Linda Blair, I would never have come to Hollywood. Now if only I could figure out how this town works...

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