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Musician Paul's girlfriend Alison has disappeared 2 weeks ago. The
police has promised to help out, but there's very little they can do. You
know, Alison was a drug addict, and someone high up in the police is on
the drugrunners' payroll. So Paul teams up with Alison's lesbian
girlfriend Melissa (Lina Romay), and she leads him to the man who supplied
Alison with heroin - whom Paul promptly stabs to death. When Paul and
Melissa make a getaway, running from the dead man's henchmen, she gets
killed, but he gets arrested by the police. Only that the arresting
officer Al (Óscar Ladoire) doesn't throw him into jail but persuades him
to join an exclusive club formed to fight the drug trade.
You know, Al's
partner has been killed by the drugrunners not long ago, which not only
infuriated him but also the partner's wife Maria (Josephine Chaplin). Al
and Maria know who is behind the drug cartel, Don Tomas, but their chief
Badal (Philippe Lemaire) won't allow them to act against Don Tomas. Why,
you may ask, because he's on Don Tomas' payroll? Nope, but his boss, the
commissioner (David Fulton) is, and he has some information to blackmail
However, Al, Maria and Badal are all interested in busting
the drug cartel, and because of this mutual interest, they have invited
Paul to join. And they have also flown in an American specialist (Mike
Connors) to lead them ...
Since there is no way our heroes can capture
Don Tomas legally, they kidnap his promiscuous daughter Lapita. Then they
tell Don Tomas to go to the opera if he ever wants to see her alive again.
At the opera, Al and Badal kill the police commissioner in a spectacular
manner - and they are not even suspected, because everybody thinks they
were there to guard him. With the commissioner, they leave a note for Don
Tomas. Then they go after Don Tomas' other ally, a local banker (Mir
Ferry), and drop him off a bridge onto Don Tomas' car, with another
message attached. Now Don Tomas should know they mean business.
heroes send a message to Don Tomas telling him to give himself up in
exchange for his daughter. Don Tomas, who loves the girl more than
anything else in the world, is wiolling to do so, but his right hand man
has other ideas, and the whole thing leads to a big shootout. Don Tomas
gets away, but most of his men die, and at his own house, he is caught up
by out heroes, who arrest him fair and square - but then Maria is so
overcome by grief over her husband's death that she shoots him ...
everything else, Downtown Heat is a rather slick crime thriller.
Sure, it was made on a budget, and its vendetta message might not be to
everyone's liking, but the whole thing is decently paced, features plenty
of action (which admittedly is not all that well-choreographed), it has a
cool look to it, and the story is rather well-constructed.
At the same
time though, Downtown Heat will very probably be a disappointment
for Jess Franco-fans and -detractors alike: Fans will miss the unorthodox
camerawork that has become a trademark of his over the years, the
dreamlike atmosphere, the spots of surrealism and tongue-in-cheek horror,
while detractors will miss the crude ways in which Franco tries to make
his low budgets work, the carelessness Franco often puts into certain
uninteresting scenes, the badness of many of his films as such. And
both fans and detractors will miss the inherent sleaze element of many of
his movies, his many excuses to get girls naked, his almost endless
nightclub acts and the like.
So no, I'm not saying Downtown Heat
is a bad film, actually it's pretty ok routine low budget thriller
entertainment - it's just hard to get yourself to believe this is a Jess
Daniel J.White's musical score, basically modern and
jazzy variations of several of his recurring themes, is pretty good