**SPOILERS** Being called back to L.A by his friend Danny Rollins, Adam Ant,from his home in NYC photojournalist Eric Wright,Michael Pare,finds things a bit different then they were when he left the town four years ago.
His former girlfriend Julie, Daphne Ashbrook,owns and manages a bar/nightclub that he stops into and when she sees Eric there having a drink Julie almost has him thrown out of it. Eric who was involved in drug trafficking with his brother Michael, who died of a drug overdose, and Carl Madson, Dennis Hopper, before he left L.A also left Julie at the altar without even saying I do or I don't.
Getting friendly with Lena, Tracy Weed, a leggy fashion model who's in one of Danny's rock-videos Eric takes her to Danny's home overlooking the Malibu beach.It's later that Danny and a biker friend of his drive down to the docks to rip off one of Carl's drug shipments.As you would expect the planned rip-off of Carl's shipment didn't go as well as Danny planned with him being recognized by one of Carl's hoods, even with a nylon shock over is head, and in the shootout Danny's friend gets killed but he takes off the the $1,000,000.00 in cash from the smugglers.
Going to Danny's home the ripped-off drug dealers find Lena and with Eric taking off and running for his life, with only is pajama pants on,murder her but can't seem to catch or shoot him as he makes his getaway on the beach and surf. Eric on the run from Carl's hoodlums and the police, who think that he murdered Lena, goes to his old flame Julie for help. Instead he ends up having himself back in Julie's good graces as well as in the sack with her. One thing Eric didn't figure on, and Julie didn't tell him, was that Julie is now Eric's former business partner Carl's old lady.
The Carl's boys do catch up with Danny and end up blowing his brains out and then give the clueless Eric 24 hours to find the cash that Danny stole from them? was Carl and his gang on drugs or what? Danny was the only person who knew where the money was so why kill him and then want Eric, who didn't know a thing,to find it? It's not that long when Carl finds out that Eric and his woman Julie are having a tryst from one of his corrupt police employees Det. Cook, Luca Berovici. Carl has her kidnapped and threatens Eric that he's kill her if he doesn't get him his money back pronto. This forces Eric to take things into his own hands and together with Julie's younger brother David, Charlie Schalatter, a crack shot with a sniper rifle sets a trap for Carl and his boys by the Pacific shore.
The movie "Sunset Heat" ends with a wild shoot-out at the beach that has Carl's gang put to flight and Carl getting his arm almost blown off. Carl then has it out with Eric who has trouble taking out the now one-armed and much older Carl and needs in the end to empty an entire clip from a sub-machine gun to finally put him down and out.
Det. Cook, who seemed to be on vacation from the police department during the entire film is the only one left of the Carl gang the rest were either killed or just took off is about to shoot both Eric & Julie with his sniper rifle. At the last moment he's is disarmed and cuffed by highway policewomen Cheryl Freeman who earlier gave Eric a ticket for speeding, irony of ironies.
Nothing new here just 96 minutes of mindless sex and violence and a story that's as believable as a snail beating a cheetah in a 100 yard dash. Michael Pare looked like he wanted to get this movie over with as soon as possible. In the end he couldn't wait to get on his, the dead Danny's, motorcycle and together with Julie ride as far away from the movie set so he could forget that he ever was in it.