Heat (1972)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 6-Feb-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 100:32
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Paul Morrissey
Andy Warhol
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Joe Dallesandro
Sylvia Miles
Andrea Feldman
Pat Ast
Ray Vestal
Lester Persky
Eric Emerson
Harold Childe
John Hallowell
Gary Koznocha
Pat Parlemon
Bonnie Walder
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music John Cale

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   Heat is the third in a trilogy of films presented by Andy Warhol, and involving two other key people. All three films, Flesh (1968), Trash (1970) and Heat were directed by Paul Morrissey and star Joe Dallesandro in the lead role.

   Although Heat is a more polished film overall than its predecessors, Morrissey still used improvisation for the dialogue. There is no screenplay credit, instead a credit for story, which was also by Morrissey. This technique has been used by many filmmakers over the years, and if done well, adds a certain documentary feel to a film. Some of the dialogue in Heat is very funny, either intentionally or unintentionally.

   Joey Davis (Joe Dallesandro) is an ex-child star, looking for that "big break" in Hollywood. He moves into a seedy motel, run (with an iron fist) by the landlady, Lydia (Pat Ast). The tenants of the motel are as weird a bunch as you would expect in a Paul Morrissey film. They include two brothers, Gary (Gary Koznocha) and Eric (Eric Emerson). Eric is mute, and has a fetish for wearing dresses and masturbating in public. They both have a bizarre stage act that involves, in Gary's words, "a little singing, a little dancing and a little sex on stage". Another tenant is "part time" lesbian, Jessie (Andrea Feldman). She lives with her demanding baby and neurotic girlfriend.

   Sally (Sylvia Miles) is Jessie's mother. She is a middle aged, self conscious, former movie star, reduced now to game shows. Jessie invites Joey to her mother's mansion, after she discovers the two have actually worked together many years before. When Jessie gets a phone call from her frantic girlfriend, threatening to commit suicide, she runs off leaving Joey and Sally alone. Seizing an opportunity, he seduces Sally, in the hope that with her contacts, a recording contract or film  may come his way.

   Joey moves into the mansion, much to the dislike of Jessie, and begins to exploit the love Sally develops for him. It's not long before Joey's sexual indiscretions and the lack of potential job offers begin to tear apart their relationship.

   Heat was filmed inside two weeks, with a budget of  approximately $50,000. It grossed over two million in the US alone. This film and the overall trilogy, are still cult favourites of many people worldwide.

   The underlying theme through the film is loneliness. Every character is searching for something in their lives, which was also certainly the case with some of the actors in real life. Sadly, Andrea Feldman committed suicide shortly before the film's release.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    This transfer, although slightly better than Flesh, still has many of the same source problems. The equipment and film stock used in production were not of a particularly high standard. It does however give the film a unique, raw quality that suits the content.

    The aspect ratio of the transfer is 1.29:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. As with Flesh, I believe this is probably a Full Frame transfer.

    Images are soft and lack any sharp detail. Shadows and blacks are quite poor generally, exhibiting varying amounts of low level noise. The opening outdoor scenes are incredibly overbright, but thankfully this settles quickly. Grain is consistent through the film, but is never overwhelming. Images are in and out of focus quite often - some of this appears deliberate.

    Colours are muted and have a washed out look in many scenes, which is consistent with the other films in the trilogy.

    MPEG artefacts were not a problem. Film-to-video artefacts were very minor. There was some telecine wobble at times, but all instances were minor. Film artefacts were the stand-out problem. Occurring a few times through the film are noticeable hairs and scratches that are visible for a considerable time. Examples are; a hair at the bottom of the screen which runs from 4.18 to 6.55, two hairs at the top of the screen from 39.30 to 40.51, and a scratch running the full height of the screen from 21.05 for about thirty seconds. There were also noticeable reel change markings at 21.02, 61.08 and 80.43.

    This DVD has no subtitles.

    Heat is a single layer, single sided disc. Therefore it has no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio was surprisingly quite satisfactory. Where Flesh was full of pops and clicks, Heat is very clean in comparison. Audio was consistently balanced, and at an even volume. This was a welcome improvement. There were, however, four audio drop-outs, which occur in quick succession at 50:04. They are very short and don't cause too much bother.

    There is one audio track on this DVD, English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s) mono.

    Dialogue quality was excellent, and was always clear and easy to understand, although there appears to be some audio sync problems in certain scenes. They are all relatively minor, but noticeable. An example scene starts at 63:47. I suspect some scenes were overdubbed, which may also account for the dialogue quality.

    The music is credited to John Cale . It is essentially one piece of music that plays during the opening credits and very briefly at the end. There is no other music played throughout the film apart from this.

    Being a mono soundtrack, only the centre speaker is used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras on this disc. The menu is static and silent, with one option, Play Movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this DVD also has no extras.

    There is an Italian version available in Region 2, with two soundtrack languages, English and Italian, which claims to be in stereo. It has no other extras.

    The best version appears to be the Region 2 French. It has considerable extras, including an Audio Commentary from Paul Morrissey, Scene Selection, Photo Gallery and a short film titled "The Origin Of Captain America". This version would appear to be the clear winner, subject to the removability of any French subtitles.


    The absence of any extras was a disappointment. Something similar to the French version would have been brilliant. Hopefully, a special box set of the trilogy may be released in the future. Apart from that, I found this transfer to be quite satisfactory, taking into account the film's age and its budget constraints.

    Heat is as close to mainstream as Morrissey and Warhol ever got. In my review of Flesh, I stated in the summary that if your film tastes were firmly planted in the mainstream, you may want to look elsewhere. If that is the case, go ahead and take a risk with Heat. Who knows - you might even be converted.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Friday, December 03, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Aspect Ratio/Censorship question - REPLY POSTED