Monday, March 21, 2011

Pornonomy Reviews: Bodies In Heat

Bodies In Heat (1983)

Directed by:
Paul G. Vatelli

Annette Haven
Christie Kaye
Crystal Fire
Janey Robbins
Kimberly Carson
Laura Sands
Raysheena Mercado
Anthony Spinoza
Billy Dee
Eric Edwards
Gilberto Ciro
Hershel Savage
Jerry Davis
Jerry Gullo

Basically since rediscovering Stiff Competition, I've been on the lookout for a film that will give it a run for it's money. As a starting point, I've checked out a few Vatelli films from the same period, and while Lips was a disappointment, and The Girl From S.E.X. showed promise, Bodies in Heat has come closest.

Initially, I was going to comment that Bodies In Heat, like Lips, was a name that had little to do with the movie until I remembered, duh, Body Heat. While In Heat doesn't push the noir feel as far as Heat, the tone is undeniable.

Harry Green (Savage) is a playboy detective who is called in to investigate a robbery at the home of a high-powered lawyer Lawrence DeSalvo. He's met at the house by Laura DeSalvo (Haven), the lawyer's cool, beautiful wife. Green is seduced by Laura, and is further intrigued by her and her situation after a little digging shows her husband's clients are exclusively big time criminals.

Later, when Laura tells Green that she's afraid her husband is going kill her, Green concocts a scheme which ends up with an outcome that is only surprising if (1) you're delightfully naive or (2) are completely unfamiliar with the idea of a femme fatale. While the action/consequence is predictable, the veeery final moment was a twist that actual did surprise me. (Who knows, maybe I'm a little "delightfully naive"....)

With the exception of a pool party/orgy, the sex scenes don't feel too tacked on, which is always nice. Savage and Haven both do great jobs in their roles. The male lead, here, could have been more-than-capably handled by John Leslie, but it's actually nice to see Savage - who often seems relegated to second banana (no pun intended) roles. And Haven's reputed icy and professional demeanor fits the character to a tee. There's a pretty substantial cast list, but with the exception of Lisa DeLeeuw (unfortunately in a non-sex role) as Green's partner, and Kimberly Carson as the station dispatcher who's emotionally and sexually toyed with by Green, there aren't any identifiable characters. At least everybody else is competent, so there aren't any super distracting performances. (Unless you count Janey Robbins's wig in the first scene....)

Do I think there's a film that can unseat Stiff Competition from it's top spot? I hope so. Well, Bodies In Heat isn't it.... But it's not too shabby. B

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