HEAT centers on innocent Carol Henderson (Linda Blair) who is sentenced to 18 months in a women’s penitentiary for accidentally killing a man. Carol realizes what a tough time it will be when some chicks in the holding cell get into a fist fight over their favorite soap operas. She quickly learns the prison's segregated caste system where the blacks are led by Duchess (Tamara Dobson) and the whites by Erika (Sybil Danning). Well, we assume there are black prisoners there as their wing is never really show and only two black girls are in the picture. Carol soon finds herself in the middle of this when she witnesses the killing of a black inmate…on her first day in the joint…on her way to her cell.
Of course, the film also holds a special place in our heart here at Video Junkie because it features one of moviedom’s most iconic image montages ever. Yeah, film scholars will talk about the editing of the stair sequence in Eisenstein’s BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925) or Hitchcock’s shower scene in PSYCHO (1960). But film history would be a total bust if it did not mention the topless shower encounter between Linda Blair and Sybil Danning. King Kong vs. Godzilla? You ain’t got nothing on this showdown of epic proportions. Rather than drool, er, talk about it, I’ll let the images doing the speaking:
No doubt the allure of seeing young Regan from THE EXORCIST (1973) nekkid drew a lot of people to the film, but director Nicholas is a man who knew his exploitation and paired her up with Austrian ultravixen Danning. This is truly one of cinema’s greatest back-to-back (front-to-front?) shots of all-time and probably sent Russ Meyer into convulsions.