Now That The Summer Heat Is Here: The Sweatiest Movies Ever

How 'bout this heat? Spring has officially finished her fleeting annual jaunt through SE Texas and abandoned us to Summer, which is set to squat uncomfortably upon us for the next five months like that hippo ballerina in Fantasia.

Not that you were caught unawares, of course. After all, humidity is as much a part of Houston as road rage and disappointing pro sports franchises, and every year it sends the majority of the population into the sub-tropical equivalent of hibernation until early November. While you're cowering in your homes until October and nervously refreshing the Weather Channel's Tropical Update website, here are some movies to remind you what life would be like around here without sweet, sweet refrigerated air.

5. Airplane! (1980)
As a rule, airplanes aren't supposed to cause a great deal of perspiration. This has become more of a guideline in the modern era, however, where it's not unheard of to be sitting on the tarmac for three hours waiting for clearance. And trying to land the plane after losing your whole squadron over Macho Grande? Bring a mop bucket (3:12 mark):

4. Cool Hand Luke

It was a toss-up between this and Top Gun for Best Shirtless Beefcake Scene, but I had to give Luke the edge because George Kennedy Newman is such a hunk.

3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The brutal Lone Star heat is indirectly responsible for the deaths of Jerry (sledgehammer) and Pam (meat hook), as they were scouting for an alleged "swimmin' hole" when they stumbled upon Leatherface's house. This movie (and that one August weekend spent in Sam Houston National Forest) is a big reason I only go camping between the months of November and April.

2. Do the Right Thing (1996)

While the rising mercury -- proof that it occasionally gets hot up north, too -- certainly contributed to the explosive movie climax, one has to wonder if wearing excessive amounts of neon-colored clothing might also have led to unbridled spasms of rage.

1. Body Heat (1981)

This and A Time to Kill are the only film you need to watch to get a feel for how backwoods Southerners are in Hollywood's eyes. Not only are we racially prejudiced and sex-starved, we're also apparently too stupid to operate air conditioners, even with our clothes clinging annoyingly to our bodies. I suppose we should be thankful the filmmakers graciously showed that we're capable of driving cars.

Honorable Mention: Transformers (2007)

Who says Michael Bay doesn't respect women? Isn't he giving Megan Fox's glistening torso at least as much screen time as that Camaro engine? What do you dames want?

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar