My blog’s one-year anniversary; or, Sybil Danning and me

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July 8 marks the first-year anniversary of this blog. My fervent thanks to its many readers, including the (to date) 108 followers who are kind enough to subscribe to it.

When I started the blog, I stated at the outset that I was no hard-core film expert, and the many movie blogs to which have since subscribed have proven me right. There are so many great blogs I follow which put my knowledge of some of my favorite categories (silent film, movie comedy, etc.) to shame. But I also stated that I have very definite opinions about the movies that I have seen, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading those.

Like (I suspect) most of my fellow bloggers, I didn’t expect to get rich and famous from writing a movie blog, but I was hoping to get a following of sorts — and I have, and I’m satisfied with it. Yet, for all of my impassioned writing about classic films, would you like to hazard a guess as to what has gotten my blog its most attention?

Sybil Danning.

Years ago, I saw a 1984 movie of hers titled They’re Playing with Fire. I won’t go into detail about it here, because frankly, it’s a pretty crappy movie (click on the movie’s title, above, if you want to read my review of it).

But the movie does have one amazing asset: a sex scene in which Sybil really gives her all. Usually, when some big-name (or even sorta-big-name) star does a sex scene, the movie usually cuts away just as things start to get interesting. Not this one. It unflinchingly shows buxom, nude Sybil on top of an insufficiently grateful college student, doing what she presumably does best.

“Don’t thank me all at once, kid.”

As I stated, the rest of the movie is really awful, so I wrote a tongue-in-cheek review of the movie for this blog, emphasizing the qualities of the sex scene and the dreariness of the rest of the movie. Well, the joke was on me. To date, that review has received 376 views since I posted it four months ago, and when you Google the movie’s title, my review is the fifth entry that pops up.

On the one hand, I suppose I should be grateful for anything that brings attention to my blog. However, assuming that anyone ever reads this thing after I’ve bought the farm, it sobers me to think that my critique of Sybil Danning shtupping some kid in his twenties is the piece of writing for which I’ll be best remembered.

I guess that where my blog is concerned, metaphorically speaking, it’s just the opposite of what T.S. Eliot wrote. My world will end, not with a whimper, but with a bang.

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POSTSCRIPT, JULY 25, 2015: On Twitter, I recently “tweeted” Sybil Danning about the “phenomenon” mentioned above, and the following exchange occurred:

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THEY’RE PLAYING WITH FIRE (1984) – Sybil Danning’s bod; everything else, bad

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I have what I call “The Adrienne Barbeau Theorem,” which is as follows: Big breasts, in and of themselves, are not enough reason to watch a terrible movie. Ironically, there are two movies that strongly test my theorem, and one of them is Adrienne Barbeau’s Swamp Thing (which see my review at this blog). The other is an abysmal ’80s slasher flick titled They’re Playing with Fire.

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Sybil Danning plays an English professor (so much for realism) who seduces one of her young students (Eric Brown) in order to make him a patsy in a murder plot in which she’s involved.

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Despite its familiar ring, this plotline is several generations (not to mention quality points) removed from Double Indemnity and its ilk. In fact, the movie’s slasher motif is so sordid, even for this genre, that it’s painful to watch. The movie would be deservedly forgotten, were it not for Danning’s astounding sex scenes.

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These scenes, particularly the first one, are as jaw-dropping as anything you’re likely to see in a mainstream, R-rated movie. While not as anatomically graphic as your average porn video, Danning in the altogether amply displays enough, er, enthusiasm to get her point across. In fact, she’s so enthusiastic, you lose any sympathy for the kid she’s seducing. Here’s this gorgeous, buxom blonde twisting the night away on top of him, and he can’t think of anything better to do than *make conversation* with her! Obviously, the kid needs an education in more than English.

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Other than the all-too-brief scenes in which Danning demonstrates why a date with her would fetch a small fortune on an auction block, the movie’s only element of interest is in seeing Alvy Moore (shown above, left). Moore, best known as bumbling Hooterville county agent Hank Kimball on TV’s “Green Acres,” here hits a career low as a gas-station manager who’s dumb enough to hire and re-hire the kid as an attendant even after he’s dumped the job on the promise of some loot from Danning’s English professor. The only thing that could have made this movie more bad-memorable would be to pair Danning with fluttery Hank Kimball: “Welcome to Hootersville, I mean Hooterville! Sorry, I was blinded by your headlights, I mean my car headlights. The car is strangely stacked, I mean built, I mean…”

Here’s a short trailer for the movie (minus, of course, Sybil Danning’s cinema-verite sex workout):