JESS FRANCO MONTH: Downtown Heat (1994)

I never think of the world of Jess Franco existing in the same universe as the Hard Rock Cafe and their shirts, which were once everywhere, but here we are as the hero of this movie plays mournful jazz as he laments the death of his wife. Also: when they find the body of his wife, it’s in a junkyard and covered with mice and it turns out that she was having an affair with Melissa, who is Lina Romay and man, just when I was bored by this movie being a police sort of action movie, Lina shows up with a mohawk and eye makeup and a gang that looks straight out of the Bronx by way of Italy.

Oddly enough, this has some American names in the cast including former 20th Century Fox contract player, star of Desilu’s Whirlybirds and alleged early boyfriend of Rock Hudson Craig Hill and Mike Connors (I have no idea how Joe Mannix ended up in a Jess Franco film).

It’s also the last movie of Charlie’s daughter Josephine Chaplin, who was also in Pasolini’s The Canterbury Tales, Franco’s Jack the Ripper and Chabrol’s Cop Au Vin.

Unlike nearly every Franco movie, this was made in sync sound.

So yeah. Cop action. Dead wife. Evil drugs. Somehow the only movie that Jess made in 1994, which kind of blows my mind as much as this not being dubbed.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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