Wet Heat is definitely one of those films that require a certain adjustment of standards. Fans of B-movies know that you do not judge such films with the same standards usually applied, to, say, big summer blockbusters or prestigious end-of-year Oscar bait. You need to have a taste for trashy films, and to have immersed yourself in them enough to be able to distinguish between good trash and trashy trash.
In true B-movie fashion, Wet Heat has been paired with another feature called Film Crew. You can find both of them on the same DVD. Since many of the same people are involved in both films, you can, of course, expect similar themes and stylistic aspects in these two features. Actually, Chris Seaver tends to use many of the same characters, as well. Teen Ape (who is also listed in the casting credits as Teen Ape), has appeared in several outings from Seaver’s Low Budget Productions.
Chris Seaver’s film centers on Teen Ape himself, so we might start off with a few words about this character before we actually get to the plot. Teen Ape is a horny, violent, selfish, vulgar, hilarious creature played by an unknown person in a crude gorilla mask and furry gloves. In another Seaver film, he decides to work as a counselor at a camp for teens, which sounds very kind and worthy—until you realize he is just there to try to seduce young girls. This is, of course, is our hero.
The film starts off with Teen Ape in trouble with the law for pedophilic hijinks. He gets another chance when crazed drag queen/terrorist LaFemme LaDouche (Billy Gaeberina in mesmerizingly hideous makeup and a bad wig) kidnaps the President of Entertainment, thus putting the film industry in peril. Teen Ape is asked to come to the rescue.
Seaver’s style as a filmmaker is rather difficult to explain. The cinematography looks rather amateurish at times in terms of lighting, color, film stock, etc. The rough-looking shots also contrast strangely with the CGI gore, and one wonders about Seaver’s taste and priorities as a filmmaker, since he chose to expend some of his limited funds on mismatched computer effects, rather than investing in more conventional tools like better lights, etc.
Now, what about his way with actors? Well, Seaver certainly knows how to draw uninhibited performances from them, perhaps because he has worked with several of them many times. They have no problems looking absolutely ridiculous, and delivering dialogue that seems to be a nonstop verbal stream of obscenity. This may be unpleasant for some, but it can be rather bracing and refreshing for those of us who are numbed by the shellacked playacting crowding mainstream movie theaters. Also, speaking of acting, viewers are recommended to pay special attention to Meredith Host. Though not the main character, she steals the show as a sexy, hypermasculine-yet-ladylike killing machine. Even if you do not like B-movies and you find Seaver’s aesthetic appalling, her performance shines like a diamond in a dump.
Year : 2008
Director : Chris Seaver
Writer : Chris Seaver
Starring: Meredith Host, Billy Gaeberina, Teen Ape
Country: United States
Running time: 114 mins (counting double feature)
Genre: comedy, action, horror