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L.A. Heat (1989)

 -  Action  -  February 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 94 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

L.A. vice detective dreams of becoming a cowboy hero.



(additional dialogue) (as Lawrence Hilton Jacobs) ,
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Benton ...
Myles Thoroughgood ...
Jane (as Pat Johnson)
Jay Richardson ...
Sylvio (as Bob Gallo)
Raymond Martino ...
Joe Verroca ...
Bobby (as Joe Vance)
Jamie Baker ...
Pamela Dixon ...
Crystal Dawn ...
Mary's child
Renny Stroud ...
Gang Member Rollo
Carl Augustus ...
Stick (as Carl C. Augustus)


Detective Jon Chance always dreamed of being a cowboy hero, living by the "code of the West." He always pictured himself as an exemplary hero who always felt that the use of guns was not a necessity. However, Chance needs to stop dreaming. He must return back to reality! Chance's assignment (and he has no choice but to accept it) is to capture this mean faced drug dealer called Clarence. This assignment has escalated into a personal vendetta for this vice detective when Chance's partner, Carl is murdered by this nefarious drug dealer during a routine drug bust. A drug war will soon ensue between Clarence, who is trying to retrieve his drugs and money, and the police... Written by David Choi <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goraczka  »

Box Office


$175,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


Followed by Angels of the City (1989) See more »


L.A. Heat
Words & Music by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (as Lawrence Hilton Jacobs) and Jastereo Coviare
Performed by Jastereo Coviare (as Jasterio) and The Fourth Element (courtesy of Azelie Records)
Recorded at Tribal Music Studio
Re-mixed by Jastereo Coviare
Engineered by Jastereo Coviare
Assistant engineer Chenoa Natani Coviare
See more »

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User Reviews

Absurdly Bad
2 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film either gets one star based on objective merit, or ten stars on how well it infringes on the rarefied thin air of Ed Woodish pretensions to greatness. I mean, I think it tried to be good. Everybody seemed pretty earnest. But what a POS.

I saw this movie a while back, but just saw it again on Action Channel. Missed the classic beginning chase. Comments follow on what I did catch this time around...

This movie is like a lesson on how not to make a movie. Major points of incompetence...

EDITING: Typical scene starts off with a coffee pot on a kitchen counter. Girlfriend walks into scene, gets a mug and glass from the cupboard, pours a coffee, then opens fridge to fill glass with orange juice, then walks out of frame. Empty kitchen. Continuous shot, static camera. What's the point? Why did we have to see this? For real, I was actually starting to fall asleep.

Over and over we see an empty room, characters walk in, barely ever a cutaway during conversation (and usually to a person not speaking???), then characters leave, and we see an empty room again. Why? About eight consolidated minutes of empty room shots. What the hell.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: There's this scene where Jacobs sneaks up on his girlfriend on the couch. Lazy ass director/DP never moves the camera. So the whole time the girl is talking to Jacobs, you only see the side/back of her head via this wacky low-angle shot that is dominated by a couch...the bottom part of the couch. In another scene where this mobster is talking to his girlfriend (just before he kills her!), there are weird stick-like shadows all over his face. Didn't anyone notice this during filming?

AUDIO: Frankly, I never clearly heard the director comments others have noted because he was drowned out by other ambient noise. Noises like feet shuffling, traffic, airplanes flying overhead. Makes you really appreciate the sound design on auto dealership commercials, etc., where you hear the talent and only the talent.

ACTION SEQUENCES: Hard to believe this film is a contemporary of Hard Boiled. In one ambush scene, three killers with M-16's and Uzis fire a total of five shots, sequentially, of course. One of the bloodpacks doesn't blow, so you just see this wad of white fabric explode out of one victim's shirt. Just before they're shot, all the actors look like you do when you're going to pop a balloon, stiff and all, cus you know the bang is coming. One of the urban gangster killers then actually slings his M-16 before hopping off the backyard deck. Surreal.

WRITING: There are too many inexplicable nonsense scenes, like when the urban gangster punks bust into the cop's house and play darts with the lights off. Huh? Was ist das? It's like, wow, maybe i did fall asleep because this stuff is so complex. I don't understand!

Actual dialogue sample from another scene: "I'm gonna cut you, man!"

Eh, all the rest is on a similar level. The actors seemed into it, as if they cared, but the performances were bad. I guess you gotta lay that on the director. So there: horrible, lazy DIRECTION. As actors, only Jacobs seemed to mail it in, but I think he was trying to play his character just a bit too cool, so it just seemed like he was sleepwalking. His name is in the end credits like six times, so he must've made an effort.

After watching this, you will want to buy a handycam just to prove anybody off the street could do better. And, yes, you would.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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