Genre: Thriller Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
Release Date: December 15th, 1998 MPAA Rating: R
Director: David Blyth Actors: Kari Wuhrer, Kristoffer Ryan Winters, Burt Young, David Keith, Elaine Martyn, Clinton Walker
recent Pennsylvania high school graduate, Trent Colbert (Kristoffer Ryan Winters), cruising in a fast Mustang that he got as a gift, decides to drive aggressively against a Texas-registered truck, presumably just for fun. He’s clearly an idiot, but he’s on a mission: to get home in time for a Thanksgiving meal. On the same road, during the same humid night, truck driver Roy Falk (Burt Young) pulls into a gas station for a quick break. When prostitute Miya (Kari Salin [now Kari Wuhrer]) approaches him, it’s revealed that she’s actually his daughter, and that he has no problem revisiting their past abusive, incestuous relationship. But after he chokes her to near unconsciousness, planning to rape her in the cabin of his semi, Trent happens along, knocking down a trucker attempting to intervene (a hit-and-run accident) and scooping up Miya to safety.
Although he wants to call the police, Miya insists that they hit the highway and don’t look back. In the blink of an eye, she’s racing down the blacktop, he’s several beers deep, and the car pulls into the convenient Foster’s roadside motel. With the help of a bottle of bourbon and Miya’s predilection for stripteasing, the two are soon in bed, with Trent handcuffed to the frame and Miya writhing around on top of him. To this uncomfortable sex scene comes some nipple biting, lashes with a riding crop, toe-sucking, hot candle wax to the torso, and a peeping tom (actually named Tom) lurking outside.
“Hot Blooded” is very much a softcore picture, unsubtly hiding behind unoriginal crime thriller notes. Strangely, despite Wuhrer starting off in a flesh-hugging vinyl outfit, before donning stockings and then sliding out of her top, the nudity is mostly only suggested, not shown outright. In fact, during the first three sex scenes, intimate body parts remain entirely obscured.
But perhaps sexier (or more dangerously inviting) than her figure is her domineering, take-no-prisoners attitude; Miya is devious, strong-willed, and crazy – but in an alluring, fantasy sort of way. Unexpectedly, she’s also a stuntwoman, jumping from a car window onto another vehicle, hoping to shoot the driver – all while wearing a skintight miniskirt and high heels. Wuhrer was likely cast for her body alone, but her acting skills aren’t too shabby; she’s quite convincing as a trashy, rebellious, venomous dominatrix. Men are her playthings, and she gets off being able to coerce and intimidate them. But it’s believable, since her tragic background is evident. “You’re not going to pout all day about being an accessory to murder, are you?” chides Miya, as if an evil Jiminy Cricket tempting Trent into misbehaving.
“Please make love to me.” The scripting is enormously pathetic and the story components make little sense (at one point, Miya verbally references a line that she wasn’t privy to). As Miya transforms into a loud, commanding femme fatale, seducing – and then corrupting – Trent with her brazen, manipulative ways, he becomes caught up in her sordid affairs and lifestyle, like a fly in a spider’s web. And to think that he was merely interested in having a diverting road trip for some turkey and stuffing. By the end of the journey, Trent does learn a thing or two about taking control (and getting a piercing and a tattoo), and how easily situations can spiral out of control (akin to “Thelma and Louise”). But the general titillation is more comical than erotic, while the consequences for a sex-soaked joyride somehow devolve into an undercover SWAT team plotting an elaborate ambush inside a stately home. Without genuine suspense or actual nudity, ”Hot Blooded” is about as pointless as they come.
– Mike Massie