Sunday, June 30, 2013

Midnight Heat (Roger Watkins, 1983)

A hitman for the mob sits in a sleazy hotel room and reflects back on all the mistakes he's made over the course of his life. One of the mistakes, no doubt, was that time that he and a large breasted woman stood on a balcony overlooking New York City. I know, that doesn't sound like the kind of thing you might regret one day. Okay, how about this, the woman, whose large breasts have just been fondled by the hitman, initiates oral sex, but he tells her, "I'm not in the mood." After the hitman refused to have his genitals orally massaged by a large breasted woman, one who was wearing a black nightie, no less, I sat there in awe of what the hitman just did. And, no, I wasn't in awe of the hitman's herculean brand of self-control, but because never in all my years of watching sleaze have I seen a man stop a woman–who was in the middle of  implementing her descent to crotch-town, mind you–from performing fellatio on his slumbering member. Anything, whether it be intentional or not, that interrupts the flow of seminal fluid makes me happy. You heard me. Any film that causes the self-abusers in the audience to lose the ability to masturbate in the manner in which they're accustomed is doing something right in my book. And the gritty Midnight Heat is definitely one of those films. You want to make sperm? Grab the Sears catalogue, flip to the pantie section (use the handy index if you have any trouble finding the pantie section, but knowing you, that shouldn't be a problem), stare at the seemingly unending array of pantie-covered undercarriages by employing your eyes (don't bother looking for camel toes, as they have been air-brushed into oblivion), and, well, you know what to do next. However, if you want to watch artful smut with a hint of menace, Roger Watkins (Her Name Was Lisa) is here to provide you with a stimulating alternative.    
Am I tired of seeing Jamie Gillis' scrotum under constant mouth-based duress? You bet am I. On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure what a "scrotum" is to be honest. It's true, I could look it up. But I think I've past the point in my life where looking up the definition of scrotum is a viable option. Every man comes to what I like to call a "scrotal impasse," and looks like I just hit it. Either way, if you were to show me a picture of Jamie Gillis' scrotum, I could probably identify it without much difficulty.
Most x-rated movies, or "fuck films" as they're sometimes called, seem only interested in showing you the mechanics of sex. But what if these so-called "mechanics" were accompanied by shots of destitute souls wandering the streets of New York City during a rain storm? How would your raging hard on and/or perspiring clitoris feel about that? I think I can safely say that I bet they would be none to pleased to see their pornography treated that way. Well, you know who doesn't care about you or your poronography? The writer-director of Midnight Heat, that's who; hell, I bet cinematographer Larry Revene doesn't care, either.
On top of his scrotum, you better get used to the sight of Jamie Gillis staring out a window, as it's where Alan, a hitman for the mob, does his best thinking. And besides, why wouldn't you look out the window? You live in New York City. I mean, the idea of someone watching television in New York City doesn't make sense to me. Anything happening outside in New York City at any given moment, especially in 1983, is a thousand times more interesting than any show on television.
Opening with Alan sitting by a window, no doubt doing some of that thinking I alluded to earlier, when suddenly, he receives a call about a job. Utilizing a point-of-view camera angle, we find ourselves walking down the hallway of what looks like an office building. Coming to a doorway, a man sitting at a desk asks Alan, "What are you doing here"? Without saying a word, Alan calmly pulls out his gun, points it at the seated man, and shoots him.  
To celebrate yet another successful hit, Alan heads over to the apartment of his milf-tastic mistress (Dixie Dew), who is smoking a cigarette in an old school lingerie, for a little informal fornication, if you know what I mean. Yeah, we know, they're going to have sex. You know how I implied that all the sex scenes were peppered with these grim shots of authentic New York City street life? Well, this particular sex scene features shots an older gentlemen driving a car. In fact, this "older gentlemen" looks exactly like the guy in the picture that was standing upright on the milf-tastic mistress' vanity–you know, before she turned it face down (I guess she didn't want him looking at her as she brushed her teeth with Jamie Gillis' darkish cock). You mean to say that the guy in the car is the milf-tastic mistress' husband? Yep. And he's coming home.
What are the odds that the milf-tastic mistress' husband is also Alan's boss? I'd say they're pretty high. And since Alan works for the mob, that would make his boss a "mob boss." Instead of getting angry, the mob boss plants a big wet kiss on Alan's face. It would seem that Alan's days are numbered (he received "Il bacio della morte"). In order to delay his fate, Alan decides to hide out at a cheap hotel.
As he sits on the chintzy-looking bed, Alan reflects on his past mistakes. Well, I wouldn't call having sex with Tish Ambrose a mistake, exactly. However, when you take in account that Tish is playing Susan, the boss's daughter, the decision to do so seems fraught with more danger than usual. Oh, haven't you heard? Danger is Alan's middle name. It's true, I'm not even sure what his last name is, but I bet his middle one is Danger.
Anyway, after Tish Ambrose's mobster's daughter uses the word "facetious" in a sentence, Jamie Gillis pulls out his wiener. There's no lingerie in this scene, but Tish's terrific backside and the birthmark on her left breast are both prominently displayed. And she wears whites pumps throughout her encounter with the junk attached to Jamie's scrotum.  
While flipping through the hotel room's Bible, Alan comes across a flyer for "Mr. C's Escort Agency: "Beautiful People for Friends." And before you know it, Shirley (Joey Karson), a sexy blonde, and Diane (Cheri Champagne), a quiet brunette, are knocking on his door.
Telling the women that he likes to watch, Shirley and Diane perform the sixty-nine position on his bed. The erratic nature of the seams on the back of Joey Karson's fishnet stockings was the sexiest thing about this particular scene. I also liked Cheri Champagne's red satin garter belt; very classy.
When they're done, Alan asks Diane to stay. While Shirley protests at first, she eventually agrees to leave Diane, who is relative newcomer to the whoring business, all alone with Alan.
Proving that "Danger" is in fact his middle name, Alan, while looking out the window, of course, tell Diane that "danger motivates people."
In another flashback, we see Alan and his wife (Sharon Mitchell, fuck yeah!), sharing a passionate embrace. This so-called "passionate embrace" leads to oral and vaginal sex. The great thing about this scene is the way Sharon Mitchell's nose looks whilst filmed in profile.
During their post-coital chat, Sharon informs Alan that she is leaving him. Standing by a window, as usual, Alan seems unmoved by what his wife just said, as he basically shrugs his shoulders and says, "Do what you want, I can't stop you."
Just when you thought the film couldn't get anymore cynical and dark, we hear Alan, again, standing by a window, utter the line, "There's a lot of fucking weirdos out there." Of course, this line is accompanied by some street level shots of New York City that look like they were filmed with a hidden camera. As I watched the "fucking weirdos" shuffle down the street to classical music, I thought to myself: Is this film the most depressing porno ever made?
The film does nothing to counter its bleak reputation when we see, Diane, who gets her own flashback, waiting for her husband (Michael Bruce) to come home. Wait, that doesn't sound so bleak. Yeah, but the sex they have is not even close to being erotic. In fact, he pretty much treats her like a piece of meat. 
It would seem that it was a prostitute, played by the alluring Susan Nero, who suggested that Alan join the mob. Now, typically, after Susan Nero tells Alan that the mob is currently hiring, this is the point in the film where Jamie Gillis and Susan Nero begin to have sex. But Midnight Heat seems to shun convention at every turn. Even I was shocked when Susan Nero's pussy didn't get properly poked and prodded. Actually, if you think about it, Alan, as we learned during the scene with Shirley and Diane, has a no-sex rule when it comes to hookers. So, his not having sex with Miss Nero was in keeping with his character's unique temperament. However, that doesn't mean he can't break his own rules, as we'll see during the film's disturbing, and, of course, bleak finale.
As with all the Roger Watkins/Richard Mahler directed films I've seen so far, I would have loved to have seen the looks on the faces of the movie patrons as they filed out from the 42nd Street theatres that were showing this movie; what a confused lot they must have been.

video uploaded by permateen


  1. Kinda gonna live blogment this puppy (it's streamable on xhamster but the audio is out of sync)...

    Judging by the 1st person hallway scene, apparently mob hitmen in the 80s wore clogs on the job.

    MILFtastic nothin, I'm hyped we got some rare she-mullet sex! Kind of disappointed that was a kiss o death and not the lead in to some unexpected bi action. Also, nice to see Alan didn't use his carry piece for the hit. That's the kind of professionalism you rarely see in a porno (although he held the gun during the hit like he'd never used a firearm in his life).

    Mangled TS Eliot quotes as foreplay? Kinky! Nice bum indeed. Rare for Tish to use the word 'asshole' while doggy stylin as something other than an invitation.

    Call me weird, but I really like that Champagne left one strappy heel on for the 69 scene. Man, dialog punctuated with thunder. They're pulling out all the stops on pretensions to art here.

    Sharon Mitchel's nose is epically sexy. Also, her lower back, right over the ass. And her ass. Hell, everything about the woman.

    Didn't realize how deadly being a hitman was? Danger may be his middle name, but moron must be his last one. Alan Danger Moron. Wait, one of those 'fucking weirdos out there' looked like Alan Moore in a mumu!

    Another hitman? Cleaning the chamber before putting his heater down. More consumate professionalism! But damn dude, you're right that this is one of the least erotic sex scenes ever filmed. Champagne fondling the gun in the cut-scenes is the hottest thing asbout it.

    Susie Nero's hair is fucking awesome. What kind of twisted freak eschews the chance of having that mane bouncing on his pecker!?

    I think Mahler must have owned that blue Cutty. They've shown that crappy car like four times. "How can we spice up this uninspired sweaty thrusting? I know, cut to the Olds again!" Pshaw. I saw a porno once where John Holmes drove a Type E Jag off a cliff! THAT is a sacrifice for art. This is just vaguely creepy. All these 80s street scenes and the closest thing to a cool car was a Datsun Z half hidden behind a moving van. Tragic.

    OMFG. Slo-mo Gillis o-face in red lighting. Jeebus. This is turning into a horror film. Somebody kill him before he strikes again! Or strokes again.

    Wait. Huh? WTF movie! Gah! That's it, I'm off to find something with Susie Nero actually performing in it...

  2. Wow, it totally sounds like you just watched an out of sync version of Midnight Heat.

    Tish's bum is a work art.

    Liking the fact that one of Champagne's strappy heels remained on during sex is actually the complete opposite of weird.

    "Epically sexy." Nicely put. Her nose rules.

    Call me kooky, but I desperately wanted to see Sue Nero penetrated by something after this film was over. So, yeah, good luck finding some Sue Nero fornication action to bask in.

  3. Roger Watkins reminds me of Rinse Dream. Not because their movies have anything to do with each other. Because they both wanted to make actual films (either serious or surreal), but somehow ended up working in, as Prof. Duke artful termed it, "Le Cinema de Boink."

    That being said, it seems that Watkins was able to squeeze every last drop (pun firmly intended) of meaning out of each frame he could. As rightfully mentioned, having the setting of early '80s NYC definitely helps.

  4. I hope you enjoyed my Roger Watkins/Andy Sidaris festival. ;)

    Glancing at my post queue, it looks like Jean Rollin week is coming up soon.

  5. Not bad. Jamie Gillis trying to do his best Elliott Gould.