Phillip is a bit weird. He lives with his dad Andy and his new wife Helena (Alice Arno) in their attractive country home. He likes to keep illicit photos of the latter under his bed, and spy on her at the bedroom door as she lies naked on her bed. In Phillip's defence, she is Alice Arno.

One morning, Phillip greets his stepmother and asks where his father is, only to learn that he's gone to the train station to collect their new maid. "I hope this one won't be a bag like the last one" Phillip moans. No worries there: Eve-Chantal is young, slim and brunette. Very fetching, especially the manner in which she wears her pigtails.

Back at the country estate, Helena shows Eve-Chantal round the grounds and house, introducing her to snap-happy Phillip (he can be quite charming when required) and appointing her the bedroom right next to his.

Eve-Chantal settles in effortlessly. She's good at her chores and popular in the household, even if she doesn't tend to smile too often. Phillip, camera permanently hanging from a strap around his neck, gives her a guided tour of the stables. All seems well and the young man's relationship with the maid appears to be flourishing: they begin sharing pillow talk, he does her make-up for her, and he takes to spying on her through the keyhole of her bedroom door. Inevitably, they end up shagging.

But Phillip's favourite pastimes remain spying on his dad rogering Helena, and - in the film's weirdest moment - writhing naked and sweaty against a wall covered in photos of her.

It soon transpires that Phillips obsession with Helena stands undeterred, and he has grown close to the comely Eve-Chantal simply so he can coerce her into seducing Andy, in turn leaving his path clear to make a move on his stepmother.

The seedy bastard...

Evidently a French production from the early 1970s, I know very little about this film. It's directed by Daniel Daert - that much I do know. When I've looked on IMDb etc, I can find very little else about this film. It's certainly a new one to me.

It's not hard to see why it's so obscure. Even without the rather poor English dubbing, I suspect the performances here wouldn't resemble anything approaching charismatic. Arno and her co-star (the film has a singular "Summer Heat" opening title and no closing titles whatsoever; there's no cast information on the DVD's cover) are of course attractive, but neither has much interesting to do for the most part. There's very little chemistry between them and their male colleagues; pouting ad iconic sexiness are kept to a bare minimum.

That's not to say there isn't nudity. It comes in fits and starts, and is very much of the softcore variety. The female flesh is certainly toned and young enough to be attractive, but the lacklustre sex scenes are hardly shot in titillating fashion.

Elsewhere the film attempts to play out as a psychological sex drama but fails miserably due to a complete lack of character development. The closest it gets is by employing a thriller-type score on the occasions that Phillip becomes a peeping Tom.

All in all, the film is tepid and ineffectual. It's not slow, to be fair, and the plot is kept simple enough. But if it's erotica you're looking for, you are most likely going to come away from this feeling short-changed.

For Alice Arno completists only.

Cheezy Flicks' DVD opens to a THX visual optimizer screen, assisting viewers in getting the most out of this stunning anamorphic 4k restoration of SUMMER HEAT.

I jape, of course. The film looks like crap, as is par for the course with Cheezy Flicks releases. The 1.33:1 ratio appears to frame everything too tightly. Colours are worn and dull. Images are soft, occasionally blurry. At best, this appears to be sourced from murky VHS. Not that the film looks to have been particularly stylish, but you'd never know from this exceedingly poor presentation.

Is it uncut? I don't know, I'm new to the film and I can't find much information on it online. At 67 minutes it does seem short, but there are no obvious instances of censorial hacking during playback.

English dubbed mono audio is flat and listless. It's clear but hardly clean, with a muffled quality fighting against occasional background noise for the position of most annoying flaw.

A static main menu page opens proceedings. A similarly lifeless scene selection menu allows access to the film via 10 chapters.

The sole "bonus feature" on the disc is a 4-minute trailer reel for other titles available from Cheezy Flicks: THE TEACHER, EMANUELLE QUEEN OF THE DESERT and MISTRESS OF THE APES. While none of these are stone cold classics, they all deserve to be treated better than the horrible video-quality presentations inferred at here.

A mediocre film on an atrocious disc.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Cheezy Flicks
Region 1
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review