In Hot Blood (Review)

In Hot Blood

Doris Porro as Rita
Ruth Colon as Roberta
Tom Zolfo as Photographer
Dolores as Sandy
Directed by Leo J. Rhewdnal (Probably Joel Landwehr)

An Asianish model gets involved with sex, drugs, bananas, and lesbianism, and then everyone dies.

That’s the whole movie right there. Okay, fine, you want more in depth. Well, there isn’t that much more in depth. Perhaps we can talk about the origins of the film, who Leo J. Rhewdnal really is, the history of roughies, and the righteous soundtrack. It totally rocks. The soundtrack is the type of cool jazz music they rarely make anymore, the kind of music you’d play when you need to get motivated to do practically anything unpleasant, and you’d get finished before you even know it. Sad, that most of the songs are uncredited, and I’ll probably never hear them again except if I were to replay this movie. The only thing ruining the soundtrack is the narrator, as In Hot Blood follows the Coleman Francis line of movie production and had no sync sound. Something very common for this type of picture, as guys in raincoats weren’t exactly caring what the actual plot is, or if Rita’s lips were moving perfectly with the sound. They would care if her lips were moving perfectly with the banana. Which they do. Later in the film.

This film has oral sex with a banana. Take that, Brown Bunny! Actually, take that, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, your carrots are no good here anymore. Director Leo J. Rhewdnal is credited, speculation over just who he is has raised one possibility. A film student named Joel Landwehr (rearrange the letters of “Leo J. Rhewdnal”) was active making short films in the mid-to-late 1960s, and probably this and another sexplotation movie named Fluctuations to either learn the film business or to earn money for tuition or to fund more serious projects, or possibly both. (Some of this is cribbed from DVD Drive-in) Something Weird dug this up, like they dig up so many wonderful things, and threw it into a triple feature (with The Ultimate Degenerate and The Lusting Hours, which I won’t be reviewing here.) Just to be technical, this film is a type known as a “Roughie” which was a cheaply produced nudie/violence flick (because nudity alone doesn’t get the release, we need the violence pay off!) that was shown in back alley theaters. Now the back alley theaters are in your living room!

We start out with the title cards written in poster paint smeared on cardboard, or on the bodies of nubile young women of the female gender. The main title’s cardboard manages to catch fire as well. The Narrator, probably the director himself dubbed in later once he got a hold of a microphone, recites to us a not very good poem, which the girl repeats to herself. The girl is Rita, who is either Filipino or Hispanic who can pass as such, and is on her way to try to become a model. The Narrator explains that she is “an ordinary girl with an extraordinary body, who decides to put that body to work!” We follow her to her first time at the photographer’s. This particular photographer is photographing four other models, and the Narrator is quick to tell us the girls are eyeballing Rita with evil intent, while Rita watches the models, learning. It’s actually just a big excuse to fill up time with pretty girls being models and getting photographed. The photographing goes on and on, but you don’t notice the filler thanks to the wonderful music blaring in the soundtrack, you get lost in the rhythm. The photographer cops a feel on one of the models (perks of the job, I guess) while the song changes to a new track, just as rocking as the last. The models are all still clothed at this point, of the four, the blonde one is the oldest, at least in how old her face looks. She looks like she’s 30 going on 55 with 15 pounds of makeup on to try to cover it up. A trashy story in each line on her face. Great, now I am cribbing bad lines from Girl in Gold Boots of all movies. Finally, the models get naked, including the Black One (we later learn is named Sandy.) The song moves on to the third “getting photographed” song, but that abruptly stops as the photographer is chatting with Rita.

Rita is willing to get naked for a job, and will let the photographer paw her a bit. The songs resume as the photographer measures her bust with a tape measure, touching as much of her body as he can get away with. It looks like he can get away with practically everything, as he tosses her on the mattress he happens to have in his studio (Note to aspiring models: Don’t pose for anyone with a dirty mattress in their studio) and they have the sex which involves sexual intercourse of the simulated nature as this isn’t a real porn, only a simulation. The Narrator informs us this is par for the course, and Rita is willing. This is in case some sensitive guys in the audience are truly concerned that poor Rita is being taken advantaged of by the mean photographer. We get some very odd angles during the sexing, including upside down. Hopefully the director was experimenting so his independent films would look better.

We move on to a pot party where the reefer is passed around while 1960’s Hep Cats begin grooving to some acid jazz as the soundtrack kicks it up a notch. Rita is at this pot party, of course, as are several of the models. Soon, they are all getting naked, because that’s what pot makes you do. I saw it in a movie. There is a lot of dancing, both naked and clothed, while Rita seductively peels a banana. If you think that’s sexy, then what she does next will really turn your crank. Rita gives a demonstration of her oral abilities using the phallic-shaped fruit. And keeps demonstrating. It goes on and on. The director must have really thought this would have been a hit. Maybe it was, I have no idea. At one point, Rita keeps looking off camera, trying not to crack up and getting orders to keep bobbing up and down. While this Fruit Sex is going on, the pot party has turned into an S&M party, with women punishing some naughty boys. The Narrator gets back from his smoke break to inform us “Their buttocks are sore and throbbing, but these people are experts at distilling pleasure from pain.” Good to know. Rita is still going to town on the banana as Song #3 ends. It’s probably worn down to a stub, while in the background the S&M has just devolved to full blown orgy. This party has more themes than a frog has hops. Some odd looking vibrating/butterfly toy is brought out, and Rita becomes the new center of attention (how boring does the orgy have to be to cause everyone to simultaneously get distracted with a different girl?) Rita gets gang-groped, then whip creamed. As Song #5 starts, it’s time for S&M to begin again. The actress playing Rita seems to be not a big fan of the S&M stuff, but the Narrator takes over explaining how “Sex has become like a handshake” as we thankfully leave the party and get to a series of photoshoots of Rita’s. Luckily for her, her only competition in the high profile world of modeling is the four other girls from earlier. The various shots allow the film to be padded out a bit longer. Just to make the desperate guys from 1960’s look even odder, Rita and another model do some sort of flex thing that makes their breasts bounce but they just look like they have epilepsy.

The Narrator tells us that the girls entertain themselves at the end of the day with games. Games full of latent desires. Sexual desires. Of Sex. Latent Sex. Three songs worth of Ménage a Trios and then afterwards fellow model Sandy takes out the Methadone. No, she’s not treating her heroin addiction, they’re using is as a drug (it’s like using Pixie Stix instead of cocaine.) It causes the girls to stand around painting each other naked. Such realistic portrayals of drug addiction weren’t matched on the silver screen until Spun almost 40 years later. Also, methadone is taken by injecting it into your butt. Useful information. Rita is frightened of needles, and Sandy becomes enraged trying to jab Rita with the needle. Rita and the third model, Roberta, try to subdue Sandy, delighting us with some topless chick fighting. The two team up to beat down the psychotic Sandy, knocking her out, and the two other girls decide to leave before she wakes up. They head to Roberta’s apartment nearby, giving us many many shots of the girls running. At the apartment, Rita is upset, so Roberta will comfort her…with Lesbian sex! The girls are too focused on sexing each other good and hard to remember that Sandy will soon be waking up good and mad at them. Lesbian sex will do that to you. We bet ice on boobs. And then more Ice on boobs. By now, the background song has switched to some sort of Frosty the Snowman-sounding tune, like Frosty dropped some brown acid then hit the sax. The girls take to whipping each other on the butt with belts. We’re just rushing through the fetishes here, folks! Rita has never whipped anything in her life, if her wrist action has anything to say about it. Disgraceful. The girls make some odd faces, and then start slow dancing. Then they take a bath. Rita has enough good sense to put on a shower cap; I guess getting her hair wet was a step too far for her to commit to. This film has the distinction of being one of the few pieces of cinema that makes lesbian sex boring. Luckily, you can just shut your eyes and enjoy the smooth, awesome tunes. Seriously, these are the best music pieces put on film.

Sandy awakes, groggy but still enrages, and snaps up a butcher’s knife! She bursts into Roberta’s apartment, and chops the two girls up, but Roberta manages to shoot Sandy as well, so now all three promising young models are dead. Dead. DEAD! We end our film as the Narrator repeats the poem from the beginning, which is supposed to be an epitaph or sad or something, but we’re all just waiting for him to be quiet so we can hear the rest of the soundtrack. Seriously, as no one would be in the theater anymore, all the naked girls are dead, so even the violence freaks got their rocks off. In fact, it would be hard to find anyone who didn’t have a section of the nudity catered to them back in that day. It’s got women from all three major races, violence, sex, drugs, oral, lesbians, guns, knives, a Narrator, whipping, S&M, whipped cream, sluts, pot, man butt, dancing, bouncing, ice, baths, threesomes, orgies, models, and even a mystery director. Never mind the killer soundtrack. It’s so good, I can’t shut up about it. Even in short, easily explained films like this, some sort of golden lining is there, and it’s complete in the audio file. Time to see if I can extract it for my iPod listening pleasure.

Rated 3/10 (This way, Poor Stray Kitty, Stuffed Duckie)

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