Running Hot (1984)

Dunno who the busty red head in the poster is but she ain’t in this movie…

What?? You’ve never seen the freshman offering from the man who brought you LOVE’S UNENDING LEGACY?  Well if you liked that you are gonna shit your knickers if you see this.  Really…you should pass on it.  But if your a fan of Mark Griffiths’ better known works HARDBODIES and HARDBODIES 2…you will dig the hell out of some RUNNING HOT aka LUCKY 13.

A young and pre-MASK Eric Stoltz stars as Danny, the Silent Slayer, who quietly sits in the courtroom up until his sentencing for the murder of his abusive father.  He has a fan.  Yes, one of those.  A hooker with a heart of gold and a touch of Mary Kay Laterno going on.  Charlene is 30 and Danny is 17.  The difference between their ages is 13 years.  She has what passes for a normal crush if you are in bizarro world.  At least Danny isn’t a gay pornstar who dismembered his lover on camera.  She writes Danny a lot, gets 13 tattooed on her tit and masturbates to his picture while bathing.

This thing is about as sleazy as any offering from the mid-80s gets.  It has hookers, pimps, sugar daddies, shootouts, massage parlors, electrocutions, and a road trip.  The whole shebang. Shit, it even has a Lotus in it. And who the hell is Monica Carrico and why the hell wasn’t she in more than one other movie?

Young Eric Stoltz in a surplus jacket, beanie and sunglasses does not look ridiculously kitschy at all…really.  He plays naive really well in the flick with Charlene playing the part of streetwise hooker with equal aplomb.  Charlene offers Danny a freebie in her pimp’s massage parlor and Danny has no clue what the hell he’s getting into.  Expecting a “back rub” he is shocked when Charlene strips as well.    He flips out and bitches Charlene out for trying to molest him and then he calls his angel with the not currently dirty face an “old whore.”  It takes the hooker a few tries finally getting Danny warmed up by tickling him until his giggle fits lead to fucking, no joke… but he has a break down leading to the flashback of the night of the murder.  The end to this is special.  The film telegraphs everything from a mile away but the ending caught me off guard the first time, and it still delivered today.

This a real Hogan’s Alley of canned characters.  The threatening cop, hookers with hearts of gold, womanizing reporters, angry pimps, helpful ex-cons.  All these are portrayed with vigor if not skill.  Stuart Margolin does very well as the rogue cop consumed by revenge.  Eric Stoltz wasn’t quite Eric Stoltz yet and was still learning his trade.  He wasn’t great, he wasn’t horrible but he was still enthusiastic.  See above for my comments on the young woman who played Charlene.  She’s still good this far down the page too.

The soundtrack was pretty badass, I’m tempted to run some of the tunes down on iTunes.  Some good 80s kitsch for the eyes and ears.  Also nostalgic, look at the sister, does she ring a bell.  She should, it’s genre hottie Juliette Cummins from films such as PSYCHO III, FRIDAY THE 13th: A NEW BEGINNING, and SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE 2.  The most memorable quote, there’s some doozies but I’m gonna go with: “That’s my drinking water you’re wiggling your ass in little lady.”

This flick was released by Code Red and has an interview with Mark Griffiths, good commentary, and surprisingly no Code Red trailers.  You can get it here direct from Code Red himself! There are many worse ways to blow ten bucks!

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