Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Knocking on wood and soft serve: They're Playing with Fire (1984)

They're Playing with Fire (1984)
starring: Sybil Danning, Eric Brown and Andrew Prine

Was Ms. Danning's twins the reason why I went to see this film? Did my hormones got me going head on to watch this movie?

The answer was unfortunately no but I did watched it for the sake that I was young slasher completist and this one just happened to be up for grabs that one time. Let's see how well it did as a dead teen flick as well as a nudie flick.
Yes. You can call me a freak. I do not find Ms. Danning's tits that big at all...
They're Playing with Fire is a film of mixed bags; fusing Private Lessons-style erotica with campus slasher troping, it definitely had the sleaze make-out with the hack and slash elements quite nice, if getting quite lost in itself around the first running hour.

Hunting rifles: insert funny remark here...
The film definitely start off quite sleasy (get it? Easy? Sleazy?...beep beep, Paul...) Jay (Eric Brown), a teenage boy answers the advances of a sexy professor, Diane (Sybill Danning) but not before he helps her and her co-worker husband, Michael (Andrew Prine), with their little plot.

In order to get their hands on a family inheritance, Jay must scare the two old women related to Michael into giving up their home and plunge into retirement village. It wasn't as easy as they thought, as Jay barely escaped with almost a bullet wound rounded up in his head but somebody else finished the job. Someone in a balaclava and white sneakers, and had the guts to blew up the old crones' heads with their own rifle.

Now it could have been good news for them, if they knew who it was. The trio gets their trust tested as more people got involved in their trappings. Could the killer be Jay's ex-girlfriend? Or Micheal in a psycho-turn? Or could it be the creepy gardener? One of Jay's friends? With all these web of intrigue, who can be trusted? and how the heck does them tits kept ending up shown off?
psycho killer: shooting grannies and takin' names
As mentioned before, the slasher elements of this film got a little lost between all that cleavage and drama, until it somewhat made full force return around the last half hour. Til then, we do got a murder mystery soap that had the characters trying to sort out who's who doing the killing. Whoever it was had some personal issues that reminds me of the cooky crazy talk of Billy from Black Christmas (1976), spatting out nursery rhymes, drawing on walls, and dressing up in various suits for his murder spree.

I know what the next guy is thinking:
"Thank God I'm wearing loose shorts! aha~!"
As cheesy as it is, this film certainly tries to understand it's audience, giving a wide-eye cameos featuring folks like Dominick Brascia, who we all remember got the bitter axe in Friday the 13th part 5,  as well as Mortuary's own Beth Schaffell as Jay's blackmailing ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, the movie overlooked structure and instead went ahead to a more confused understanding of what it wanted to be; one part it's a sex comedy, and then shifts to a murder mystery, and then finalizes as a slasher film.

It's bound to distaste some fans as it left out the systematic teen-kill and at the same time, their marketing may also misguide those looking for a sex romp comedy. "His English Professor is giving him a real education" is hardly a tagline that screams hack and slash, and neither does the cover art of Ms. Danning giving ole Eric Brown the footsie! But otherwise, it does make up a surprisingly unique film for genre collectors. I mean, you can't blame them for trying to whip out something new, even if it had to come from stitched-up remnants of something old.
And just as this film nearly forgot to reintroduce the killer,
so will this review.
Not entirely sure what will that do to folks thinking with their second heads once they found out about the slasher elements, but I'm glad i wasn't one of them, I was in it for the gore. And even if its far from the slasher film I was expecting, nor is it the titillation that would excite me, it's yet to disappointment. It's slowly building up as a cult gem of sorts, and it does call for uniqueness despite it's identity crisis. Case that you love Ms. Danning's breasts, then this is your pie. (pun intended)

1 elderly female rifle shot in chest
1 elderly female rifle shot in head
1 female beaten to death with baseball bat
1 male repeatedly stabbed on the back with knife
1 male neck hacked and cut with machete
1 male shot in chest with rifle
total: 6


  1. Another one I saw on VHS back in the day - would like to see it again. Now, we have to have a word, Mr. K. Guess who JUST called my blog impressive after a recent visit? Ms. Sybil Danning, that's who! And her wonderful breasts! Don't make me send her over there after you!

    1. Really? That's awesome! how she got there?! 8D

    2. I had posted a link to her on a social networking site - and although it took her a while - she dropped by, then sent me a private message telling me it was impressive...she might be appearing over there again sometime in the near future...and hey - that was a great piece of art you linked to my Brain Damage post - would you mind if I showed it to Uncle Bob Martin and Frank Henenlotter?

    3. Do I mind? No! PLEASE DO! >XD