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L.A. Heat (1989)

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

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Writers:

(additional dialogue) (as Lawrence Hilton Jacobs),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Captain
...
Clarence
Myles Thoroughgood ...
...
Jane (as Pat Johnson)
...
Boris (as Jay Richardson)
...
Sylvio (as Bob Gallo)
Raymond Martino ...
Raymond
Joe Verroca ...
Bobby (as Joe Vance)
...
Tina
Jamie Baker ...
Bill
Pamela Dixon ...
Mary
Crystal Dawn ...
Mary's child
Renny Stroud ...
Gang Member Rollo
Carl Augustus ...
Stick (as Carl C. Augustus)
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Storyline

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 <KDaDDyChOi@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action

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Language:

Release Date:

February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goraczka  »

Box Office

Budget:

$175,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Chance (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

This film is the apex of Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs's transient movie career!
14 August 1999 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

I'm sure all of you remember Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, right? Yes, he was the man who made a name for himself starring as Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington in the TV hit sitcom, "Welcome Back, Kotter" back in the 1970s. Recently, LHJ has just attempted to make a name for himself in the B-movie market as evident in such works as L.A. VICE (1989), QUIETFIRE (1991, his best film to date), and the original L.A. HEAT...

In the city of Los Angeles, California, no one is to be trusted. No one really knows who are the true good guys and bad guys. Detective Jon Chance (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) on the other hand, always dreamt 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 (Kevin Benton). This assignment has escalated into a personal vendetta for this vice detective when Chance's partner, Carl (Vince Inneo) is murdered by this nefarious drug dealer during a routine drug bust. The predicament gets even worse when, during a second undercover stakeout, several more cops are fatally shot. A drug war ensues between Clarence, who is trying to retrieve his drugs and money, and the police, who are out to avenge the loss of their men...

An authoritative police Captain (Jim Brown) enters the scene, disappointed at the lack of results Chance is able to materialize. Jon Chance is down-on-his-luck. The Captain gives Chance 72 more hours to apprehend Clarence or else...it's his badge and dignity that are on the line...

To complicate the situation even more, Chance must deal with a small-time drug dealer named Spyder (Myles Thoroughgood). Spyder requests to Chance that he must exterminate a pitiless mob boss named Sylvio (Robert Gallo). In exchange for this favor, Spyder may or may not be able to help Chance find Clarence. Chance is obsessed with arresting Clarence, but in these modern times, every step could be his last. He must remember not to make any rash moves. Meanwhile, Chance also learns that the boys with badges may be the ones behind this conspiracy...

Chance declares a one-man war against corruption in the streets...and in the police department.

L.A. HEAT is possibly the first PM Entertainment movie to include "name" actors such as Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Jim Brown. This movie also makes use of the seedy locations of Los Angeles. Quite frankly though, this low budget thriller has many problems. This movie starts off extremely well, but for reasons unknown, this movie starts meandering a bit too much. For one, the characters spend too much time just standing around and being idle. They also enjoy arguing and grousing towards each other too. While some of the dialogue is needed to advance the movie's plot, much of the inane one-liners and irrelevant conversations could be deleted just for the sake of picking up this movie's arduously slow pace.

Though this movie moves at a gratuitously sluggish pace, what L.A. HEAT lacks in energy, it compensates that fault with a raw sense of humor. Some of the welcome dialogue is intentionally funny, especially in the beginning when Chance converses with his partner. It's also funny to hear these people, both cops and criminals, curse at each other's throats.

Believe it or not, the script does allow for character development. The dream sequence in the beginning is effective, providing an insight about Chance's character. Kevin Benton's high-spirited performance as a lady-loving drug dealer with an animadversion towards cops gives this film some texture. Pat Johnson contributes adequate work as Chance's love interest and Myles Thoroughgood is good as a deceptive delinquent.

It's hard to believe that this movie was directed by the legendary Joseph Merhi, the same guy who hailed masterful pieces of art such as RAGE (1995), and LAST MAN STANDING (1996). L.A. HEAT is enjoyable, considering the lack of action, but it's low budget places this film at a major disadvantage. This film needs more action. Otherwise, it would have been much more acceptable as a superficial time-killer. Then again...could the PM guys just please get rid of that annoying high-pitched voice which sang that disruptive theme song!

Think you can handle the heat...the L.A. HEAT? Well, L.A. HEAT is worth watching only once. Then stash this film away where you will never again be reminded of the burden and boredom you have suffered through watching this movie. This movie is exploitative junk aimed for the crowd who likes these type of films. This movie though is a well-meaning effort from Joseph Merhi, but it is just too mundane for my tastes. It is followed by a not-so-needed sequel, L.A. VICE (which had better action, but weaker performances). This sequel was made within a year. Go figure.

Now, back to Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. Will LHJ become a household name after starring in a few B-movies? Probably not, but he will be back. (As a matter of fact, LHJ fans, this actor is lucky enough to have appeared in Mya's recent video, "My First Night With You." Believe your eyes when you see LHJ featured there as Mya's father.)

RATING: ** out of **** (For effort.)


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