Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

What is it about a terrible movie… and believe me when I tell you that ‘Catch the Heat’ is absolutely terrible… but what is it about a terrible movie made some twenty five years ago that makes it so much more enjoyable to suffer through than a terrible movie made like yesterday? We are going to try to break down that odd phenomena, one that might only affect me for all I know, as we take on the complete and utter ridiculousness that is ‘Catch the Heat’.

Our movie opens with the legendary Brian Thompson as the character of Danny Boy waiting to make a drugs for cash transaction. A hot Asian chick rides up on her motorbike, they make the transaction then Danny Boy tries to rape this woman at gunpoint. He wants to ‘mow her lawn’ is what he says. Turns out this hot Asian chick is undercover cop Checkers Goldberg (Tiana Alexandra). I have no idea how they came up with that name but there it is. So Danny Boy is accosted, the pair have some inspired conversation which basically consists of the two calling each other ‘mother fucker’, then Checkers roundhouse kicks this cat to the face completely violating his civil rights. ‘What’s that broad’s problem?’ Danny Boy would whine to Checkers partner Waldo Tarr (the late David Dukes). I was thinking that this question didn’t require an answer considering this dude just tried to rape this woman at gunpoint which could attribute to her ‘problem’, but Waldo droned on about her sister getting raped and murdered or something and then played Russian roulette with Danny Boy’s nutsack until he told him where his smack came from. Yet another violation of Danny Boys’ civil rights.

Turns out this smack is coming from South America somewhere courtesy of one Mr. Hannibal (the late Rod Steiger). What we need is another undercover operation and thus Waldo paves the way for Checkers to assume the character of Cinderalla Poo… that’s right… Cinderella Poo and use her dancing skills to be a part of the South American tango revue. Or something. So armed with some clearly fake wigs, the world worst broken English accent and a couple of really sexy cheongsams, Checkers is on the job.

Wanna know how Hannibal moves his drugs? I’m going to tell you. He’s putting them into the breast implants of the unknowing girls of his show and then tells the girls they are off to the U.S. to be stars. While that’s a clever way to move contraband, it does seem somewhat inefficient since boobs can only be so large. Checkers has figured this out and against the wishes of her partner, who has declared undying love to her, has chosen to play out the string of this sting since Hannibal wants her to get ‘breast implants’ so she can be a star in the U.S. as well. Note that the last thing this eighty pound woman needs, with 20 pounds of that weight being breasts, is bigger breasts.

Eventually it all comes down to big shootout at a posh out of the way cosmetic surgery villa where Checkers will dance and do kung fu. It’s a little complicated.

What an oddly incompetent movie ‘Catch the Heat’ turned out to be and we know exactly who to blame for this, that being director Joel Silberg. We know this is Mr. Silberg’s fault because he also directed the film ‘Rappin’, a movie that did for hip-hop what syphilis did for sex. Here Mr. Silberg tried to destroy the action flick and despite the poorly shot action sequences and incredibly weak kung fu scenes he couldn’t quite complete the mission. The reason he failed is because there was so much other wonderful, wonderful stuff in this terrible action movie. Let’s start with our star Tiana Alexandra who might not have been much of an actress back then but she sure did have a lot of energy as she ran and flipped and danced and kicked and kicked some more, and did it all while looking like brand new money. This particular time period also gave us Cynthia Rothrock and while I don’t know who would’ve won in a fight, I do know who I enjoyed looking at more. It is a crying shame that this woman’s action film career ended before it even got started, and I’m certain Joel Silberg’s incompetence had something to do with this. Another thing that didn’t help this movie was that our villain, Rod Steiger, looked as if there was a way he could’ve been somewhere else, he would’ve been somewhere else. I’ve seen some phoned in performances before but this might be the first Western Unioned performance I’ve ever seen considering how bored and disinterested he looked. Thank goodness David Dukes was on board to offset Rod’s under acting with some super high energy over acting.

So why is this old bad movie so much better than a new bad movie? Where to begin? Big hair, leg warmers, a terrible synthesized music score, cars that get sideswiped and then burst in flames like atomic bombs, seeing a cast of glorious actors who are no longer with us such as John Hancock and Toru Tanaka in addition to Steiger and Dukes, dialog that would be painful to listen to no matter what era and so much more nostalgic 80’s type stuff that we just don’t have the time to get into.

Make no mistake about it, ‘Catch the Heat’ is pretty damn bad on almost every level, including the fact they made our star drive a Mercury Topaz. Come on… couldn’t they have gotten the woman a high quality vehicle like a Fiero or a Merkur XR4Ti or something? Outside of watching Tiana Alexandra bounce around there’s really not much to recommend about this movie, unless of course you’ve spent some quality time in the 80’s, then this cinematic disaster is almost can’t miss DVD viewing.

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