Too Hot to Handle

Too_Hot_to_HandleWide lapels, wah-pedal funk guitar, stick-fighting, S&M, avocado target practise, (real) cockfighting and a femme fatale? All key ingredients  to a fantastic 70s B-movie stew.

Too Hot to Handle, a 1977 Roger Corman production, also features a slew of international accents (Dutch, Floridian, Filipino, Israeli) and is set in beautiful Manila, making great use of local beaches and the city’s Chinatown.

Cheri Caffaro, best-known for the sleazy Ginger trilogy, plays Samantha Fox, not to be confused with the East London glamour girl and 80s dance-diva responsible for Touch Me (I Want Your Body).

Fox is a contract killer who is hunted by and then promptly seduces, detective Domingo De La Torres (Aharon Ipalé, a long-time character actor best known for playing the pharaoh in the Mummy movies).

Too_hot_to_Handle_fightAlong the way, she doffs her clothes at a moment’s notices, takes out street toughs with slow-moving martial arts, hits nightclubs and lounges about with drinks, a kind of exploitation James Bond, but maybe with a license to kill time.

A bikini-clad Dexter, she only dispatches gangsters (one by plastic bag asphyxiation and S&M foreplay), pimps and slave-traders. She does this (we’re not exactly sure how as a solo operation) with impeccable research, guile and disguises including some not-very-convincing yellow-face and an inability to speak Tagalog, which would’ve been helpful.

Detective De La Torres has enough chest hair to replicate a bearskin rug and he’s of course reluctant to bust the blonde Batman, who is seemingly a sophisticate, great in the sack, but is also turned on by cockfighting (!).

Strange cuts, splits screens, car chases, a machine-gun shootout on a baseball diamond (sure!)  and a fantastic score propel this along to a compelling conclusion aboard a yacht.

***1/2 (out of 5)

Published by Really Awful Movies

Horror movie authors and journalists who also review exploitation, action, grindhouse, kung fu, sci fi and other genre films. We are hosts of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a celebration of low budget cinema - smart genre film chat, predominantly horror movies.

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