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L.A. Heat (1989)

Not Rated | | Action | February 1989 (USA)
L.A. vice detective dreams of becoming a cowboy hero.


Joseph Merhi


Charles T. Kanganis (as Charles Kanganis), Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (additional dialogue) (as Lawrence Hilton Jacobs)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs ... Jon Chance (as Lawrence Hilton Jacobs)
Jim Brown ... Captain
Kevin Benton Kevin Benton ... Clarence
Myles Thoroughgood Myles Thoroughgood ... Spyder
Trish Johnson ... Jane (as Pat Johnson)
John Henry Richardson ... Boris (as Jay Richardson)
Robert Gallo ... Sylvio (as Bob Gallo)
Raymond Martino Raymond Martino ... Raymond
Joe Verroca Joe Verroca ... Bobby (as Joe Vance)
Gretchen Becker ... Tina
Jamie Baker Jamie Baker ... Bill
Pamela Dixon Pamela Dixon ... Mary
Crystal Dawn Crystal Dawn ... Mary's child
Renny Stroud Renny Stroud ... Rollo
Carl Augustus 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 <KDaDDyChOi@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Goraczka See more »


Box Office


$175,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

PM Entertainment Group See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Followed by Chance (1990) See more »


We've Got to Stand Together
Music & Lyrics by Adrienne Miller, Roger Heath, John Gonzalez
Sung by Adrienne Miller
Produced by John Gonzalez
Recorded at Spartan Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

Absurdly Bad
2 June 2006 | by danichiSee 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.

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