"Heat" is the final film in Paul Morrissey's 'Bad Taste Trilogy', following "Flesh" (1968) and "Trash" (1970), all from the Andy Warhol studios. Joe Dallesandro, star of the previous two films, plays Joey Davies, an ex-child star, who comes to a run-down motel, populated by a variety of strange people, including masochistic lesbian Jessica Todd (Andrea Feldman), who keeps her baby quiet with sleeping pills, and the obese and flamboyant land-lady Lydia (Pat Ast). Jessica introduces Joey to her mother Sally (Sylvia Miles), who once acted with Joe on a TV show and who is now a fading Hollywood star. Joe starts an affair with Sally, hoping to restart his career, as well as having affairs with both Lydia and Jessica.
The film is more accessible than "Flesh" and "Trash", and is at least similar to conventional mainstream cinema, with something like a story, basically a pastiche of Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard" (1950), and actors playing characters. However it suffers from not being as affecting as the previous Morrissey films. The problem is that it is very ordinary, by Warhol standards. Certainly the sex and nudity are far tamer in this one, then in the other two. One of the film's main advantages though is the rotten "Hollyweird" atmosphere that the whole film has: something undeniably sleazy and rancid.
On a trivia note the film was shot mostly at the Tropicana Motel in Los Angeles where musician Tom Waits resided in the early 1970s, and co-star Andrea Feldman killed herself shortly after the film was released, indeed she does appear dangerously unbalanced throughout the film.
Contains swearing and nudity.
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