In honor of my upcoming interview with Sybil Danning (which is AWESOME by the way) I will be doing reviews of several of her films, starting with a couple of her “trashier” efforts…
But, first, before we go any further, let me get this out of the way, Sybil Danning is an absolute good.
And, of course, there are many things in this world that I consider “absolute goods” but Sybil Danning is in the lofty upper echelons of that classification. She stands along side Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Jamie Lee Curtis, Linda Blair’s Breasts, Clint Eastwood, Xanadu and Megaforce as one of those forces of nature that never fails to bring a smile to my face. (Also, speaking of breasts, if the Smithsonian ever does an exhibit of Best Racks in History Ms. Danning’s will be at the top of the heap along side Adrienne Barbeau’s legendary assets and Dolly Parton’s original twins.)
Oh, by the way, if you don’t know who Sybil Danning is 1. Why are you reading my stuff? 2. Go do a google image search, and bask in her Nordic Goddess glory for a minute THEN find yourself some copies of Reform School Girls, Battle Beyond the Stars, Chained Heat, Operation Thunderbolt and Howling II (among many other cheddarific choices) and bone up, both literally and figuratively.
OK. Now we can get on with the shows…
They’re Playing with Fire (1984) is a terrible movie, but terrible in the best of ways. (And, as she is time and time again, Sybil is far better than the material deserves. She’s one of those actors, like Pam Grier, who COULD consistently be in “quality,” “respectable” films, but sticks to the B’s for better or worse and I say, God bless her for it.)
Plot wise the film is sort of a mash up of the cheeky “Teacher Seduces Student” comedies (Private Lessons, Homework, etc.) and a slasher film; and since those genres weren’t really made to interact at all it doesn’t work in any way, but it sure does try hard.
As you can guess, Sybil plays the sexy teacher (and not only is the film a showcase for her ability to act circles around the rest of the cast, it’s also a loving cinematic homage to her ample bosoms) and Eric Brown (of the previously mentioned Private Lessons) plays the student (he’s terrible. Like, horrible. I mean that in the most deadly serious of ways. Not bad to look at, but acting wise… Imagine early era Tom Cruise ACTING like he had downs syndrome, but that’s just how he actually is all the time. I challenge you NOT to laugh during his first sex scene with Sybil. It’s impossible.) Anyways, anyways, anyways…
Sybil and her smarmy professor husband enlist the seduced student to scare some batty, wealthy, elderly relatives of his out of their massive estate, so he can force the old broads into a retirement home and control all of their money n’ such.
This of course doesn’t work, and there are some comedic mishaps, then some brutal (seriously, BRUTAL) murders and everyone ends up a suspect. After that there’s lots o’ pointless nudity, a TON of running around aimlessly (the movie was in point of fact edited by an automatic deli meat slicer,) some chick randomly gets baseball batted to death by Santa Claus in a bathroom, the catchy/horrible Eurotrash Pop/Disco theme song which repeats the title of the film ad nauseam is played literally thousands of times, the killer turns out to be some out of left field, highly implausible character barely connected to the plot and Sybil and Student, somewhat unusually, travel off into the sunset together with a fat wad of cash and absolutely zero plausibility as to how they could keep said cash.
As I said, it’s terrible, but in the same breath I think you should go out and watch it right this minute.
It’s like a sexy, pantyhose clad, thigh hug for your brain.
Also, to be of note, I’m under the belief that the very misleading title, really should have been used for a film in which Sybil plays the head mistress of an all boys school somewhere in Italy, that comes under attack by guerilla feminazi’s that she must then ward off with a flame thrower. Can anyone say BEST MOVIE EVER?
Have you ever wanted to see a feature length, kind of crappy, overtly silly episode of Magnum PI, with more breasts on screen than there is actual running time? Yes? Then Malibu Express (1985) is the movie for you.
Written and Directed by legendary shlock maestro Andy Sidaris, Malibu Express is a cheesy, ludicrous, ultimately halfway decent little slice of softcore porn/action-comedy.
Essentially if Marshmallow Fluff could be a film, this would be it.
The stunningly handsome Darby Hinton plays blonde Tom Selleck Clone, “Private Dick” (wink wink, nudge nudge) Cody Abilene, who is hired by the Feds to root out the corrupt elements of an absurdly rich family that is funding some shady Computer Technology company, with his penis…
There’s talk of communists, some seemingly gay overtly muscular hit men, a lot of car chases, a ton of sex scenes, a few decent one liners, a character named June Khnockers and a complete void of logic… Still, it’s fun.
Actually, to be honest, I can barely remember any thing about the movie but boobs but I don’t regret watching it at all. In fact, it’s one of those movies that I would trot out at parties. It would be amazing to watch drunk or high, I’m sure. (Really, much like my friends and I enjoy doing with Chained Heat, one could take a shot every time a pair of tits is whipped out and have some REAL fun, REAL quick.)
OH! And I didn’t mention Sybil yet! She plays, in a sort of glorified cameo, the Contessa Luciana, a friend of the Feds, a friend of the wealthy family, a friend of Cody Abilene’s penis and all around a sort of mystery woman… in that the character is kind of under written and like the rest of the film, doesn’t really make much sense. Still, it’s Sybil Danning and she’s wonderful (once again, miles better than anyone else in the film besides Hinton.) Also, she wears a red sequin outfit midway through the flick that displays more side boob than is scientifically possible.
Lastly, to be of note, there are ALMOST as many loving, close up, cheesecake shots of Darby Hinton and his sexy, sexy body (and glorious mustache) in the film as there are naked ladies… ALMOST. Which is a refreshing change of pace for a gentleman of the queer persuasion, such as myself, to find in a macho 80’s flick; so, I tip my hat to Mr. Sidaris up in the Playboy Mansion in the sky.
That’s it for this one me thinks!
As mentioned up top, this is the first of a few Sybil Danning heavy posts, leading up as I often do, to my interview with her. (It’s wonderful by the way, my favorite so far. So stick around for that please.)
They’re Playing with Fire 5 out of 10 nosy bitches listening at doors.
Malibu Express 5 out of 10 “This car is tits. Seriously, it’s tits!”