Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Double Heat (1986)

Directed by:
David Michel

This obscure 80-minute adult video is divided into two parts and is rather atypical as far as these things go; featuring more story than sex and casting two lead actresses who don't participate in any of the scant hardcore action. I'm including it here because of its first story, which involves an Invisible Man. Up first is Double Heat, which takes up roughly half of the running time. At High Tech Industries, dull and uptight scientist Linda (Alexandra Day) is “on the verge of making an important discovery in the world of physics.” However, she's so involved in her work that she's become antisocial, frigid and an uptight bitch in the process. The fact she won't settle for anything less than someone she deems her intellectual equal doesn't help matters either. Linda's roommate / colleague Julie (Tamara Longley) doesn't have that same problem and keeps herself busy with another coworker named Tony (Robert Bullock) and tries to encourage Linda to put down the science books, loosen up and find herself a lover.

Unbeknownst to her, Linda does have a secret admirer in Ray Stavinski (Richard “Steele” / Karle). Unfortunately, he's about the polar opposite of what she thinks she wants. He's fat, balding, works as a janitor in her building and passes the days sitting in a room flipping through Polaroids of her saying things like “Oh, I love you. I love your hair. I love your eyes. I love your nose. I love your lips. I love your hands. I love your feet...” Ray agrees to work late one night for a coworker and ends up walking into a restricted area of the lab. He enters a glass pod, the doors close, the machines start up and he ends up making himself invisible. He then uses his invisibility to break into Linda's apartment, where he spies on her and causes other problems, especially since he can't keep his hands off the object of his obsession.

After Julie sets Linda up on a blind date with a sleaze ball named Allen (Lee Anthony), Ray cock blocks him by removing a photo of Allen's wife and kids from his wallet and sticking it to his forehead. Since she's already been kissed and touched by someone not even there, Linda eventually just goes along with it and Ray becomes her invisible lover. She goes to see psychotherapist Dr. Kinerd (H. Chris Cristano) to tell him about what's been going on and he recommends she pick the least likely candidate from work to date so she ends up with Ray, anyway. The end. There are some cheap special effects of the invisible man flipping through pictures, pouring himself a drink, etc. plus a scene of Day lying in bed nude writhing around while making love with the air. Strangely, there is just one hardcore scene between Longley and Bullock in front of a fireplace, which is stretched out over two scenes.

Under the name Lindsay Freeman or just "Bibi," the British Day began her career with a January 1976 spread in Penthouse magazine titled “Free as a Breese.” The fact she looked so young in her centerfold and wore a jersey with the number 12 on it caused something of a controversy at the time after Bob Guccione encouraged readers to write in and try to guess her age. Turns out she was actually 19 years old when she took the photos. Still, she used her jail bait notoriety as “Baby Breese” to land other modeling jobs (including the cover of For Men Only with the headline “I can't help it people insist I'm 12!”) and small parts in films like Young Lady Chatterley and Fairy Tales. In the 80s, she dyed her hair blonde, began professionally using the name Alexandra Day and became an even more in-demand men's magazine model plus landed a handful of other roles, including the lead in the original SOV horror BOARDING HOUSE (1982) and a bit in Brian De Palma's Body Double (1984).

Double Heat Part II, which also runs 40 minutes, is next. This segment has no credits but most horror fans will instantly recognize its female star as being none other than Scream Queen Michelle Bauer. Professional gambler Dice Whitaker (Dick Howard) goes to a stable to visit his favorite horse Lucky Star and ends up literally bumping into female jockey Susan O'Maly (Bauer). Though he's a smooth talker and popular with the ladies, Susan's the daughter of the stable owners and is spoiled, snobby and already has a rich older lover who takes good care of her. Not one to give up so easily, he later approaches her having dinner with her parents, makes a 100,000 bet with her father and gives Susan a 1 dollar lottery ticket before heading off. He goes to play poker with some friends, where he loses out on a bet with Jerry Butler to bed cocktail waitress Rita (Lois Ayres), then hits the Vegas casinos with Kimberly Carson to “blow some steam off.” These are the only two hardcore moments in this segment and both are brief and last only about 3 minutes apiece.

Lucky Star turns out to not be so lucky after all and Dice finds himself 78,000 short of being able to pay Mr. O'Maly. He also discovers via a newspaper that the lottery ticket he gave Susan is the winning ticket. Desperate to get it back before she realizes she's won, he breaks into her apartment and starts rummaging through her things. She returns home and he hides under the bed as Mrs. Bauer (who looks just stunning in this one) treats us to some gratuitous nudity as she strips off her clothes, jumps into the shower and then applies makeup in front of a mirror. An intruder breaks in and wrestles Susan onto the bed. Dice assumes they are having sex so he falls asleep. When he wakes up he finds Susan's been bludgeoned to death. This leads to a predictable twist.

Double Heat plays out more like a cheap B movie than a porn. They actually used a script, shot in many different locations and even attempted to do special effects and stylish lighting. If you removed all the explicit shots you'd still end up with a 70 minute movie so maybe at one time it was intended to be released in two different forms. By mainstream standards this isn't very good but by hardcore standards it's fairly ambitious. There are two men who appear mostly in the background in both stories and I assume they are probably the director and producer Dax Anthony, who also made a few other films around this same time with many of the same actors. I'd love to know a bit more about the background of this weird production. There was one VHS release, from L.A. Video in 1986, but that's it to my knowledge.


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