A Change of Seasons (1980)

A Change of Seasons is a bittersweet romantic comedy - sorta, kinda. Hannibal Lecter is an English Professor who is married to 40ish Shirley Maclaine and having an affair with 20ish Bo Derek to reaffirm his continuing sexual appeal during his midlife crisis. (You go, Doctor Lecter!) Ol' Shirley comes to the conclusion that she may as well make the best of the situation, so she finds her own young lover and reaffirms her own attractiveness. Once everybody is reaffirmed, the four of them decide to go on a skiing weekend together for some reason or another. While they are embarrassing the crap out of each other, their daughter shows up to announce that she's lost the love of her life. Then Bo Derek's father shows up. Then the daughter's boyfriend shows up. Hilarity ... doesn't ensue. It isn't really a comedy at all, but a sort of meditation on getting older without getting wiser. It's not very good as a drama either. The plot unfolds like a talky two-act play with two sets and a small cast, the dialogue is artificial (especially the daughter's boyfriend, who makes speeches rather than statements), the direction is pedestrian, and the whole thing gets resolved sadly and ambiguously.

The author, or at least one of the authors, is Erich Segal. If you are under 40 that name probably doesn't mean a thing to you. If you are a baby boomer, you probably have the feeling that you should know who he is, but can't quite bring him up to the top of your consciousness. You'll remember when I tell you, because ten years before this film came out, he had his full fifteen minutes of fame. He's the Ivy League classics professor who went slumming long enough to write "Love Story," the incredibly successful script-turned-novel-turned-film. It was actress Ali MacGraw who found the script and took it to her husband, Robert Evans, the executive vice-president of Paramount. Although the script had already been widely shopped and rejected, Evans chose to back it as a starring vehicle for his wife because, "I thought it might be a good, small, profitable, trend-bucker away from all those 'now' movies I hated." While the script was being made into a movie, Segal turned it into what he called a "one-sitting" quickie novel. The book was a runaway best seller, thus building up anticipation for the movie. The film itself was virtually a license for Paramount to print money. It was produced for two million bucks and grossed more than the GDP of Western Europe, finishing as the top-grossing film of 1970. Why? There are many theories, and I suppose the most prevalent is that the simple, apolitical, old-fashioned and conventional Love Story seemed to be an anodyne for the divided nation's suffering during the darkest days of the Vietnam era.

Whatever, dude. There's more than a whiff of bullshit in that theory, but there's probably some truth to it as well. Evans obviously was not the only one sick of "now movies," and he made exactly the right call.

Whatever the explanation, there is no denying that in 1970 the book and the film were ubiquitous, as was Segal, who seemed to be on Johnny Carson or Merv Griffin constantly, first that summer when he promoted his book, then again in December when the film came out. He was younger (33) and hipper than our image of a classics professor, so he seemed pretty cool at first, but by the end of that year he was over-exposed and it seemed that pretty much everyone was sick of Segal and his made-for-Hallmark catch phrase, "Love means never having to say you're sorry," which adorned about 103% of the girl's t-shirts in the world.

For reasons which have never been very clear to me, the film version of Love Story was honored by the Academy, which nominated it for seven Oscars, including five major ones (best ... adapted screenplay, actor, actress, director, picture). Its nomination for the best picture Oscar and the nomination of Ali MacGraw as the best actress remain two of the most embarrassing moments in Academy history. Pauline Kael, the New Yorker's legendary film critic, said that "... its venality and infantilism make us reach for the barf bag instead of the Kleenex." Whatever lightning had sparked the success of Love Story, Segal could never really capture it in a bottle. The sequel, Oliver's Story, bombed with both the critics and the public, as did A Change of Seasons, the movie I'm supposed to be writing about here. A subsequent screenplay called Man, Woman and Child earned him some respect, but not many simoleans, although it had been a successful book. His fifteen minutes having expired in the film world, Segal departed from the top of the public consciousness, but has continued to this day to write both bestsellers and scholarly books.

As for A Change of Season. Well, you already know that it features Hannibal Lecter in love with Bo Derek, as scripted by the author of Love Story. What more do you need to know?

Actually there is one more interesting tidbit. This film was already "in the can" when Bo Derek was transformed from an obscure pretty girl into the sex goddess of a generation. Bo's career-making 10 came out in October of 1979. When that happened, the director of this film called Dr. Lecter and Bo back for some more footage of them making nice-nice. The result of that was the opening credits, in which Bo and the Doc frolic wordlessly in a hot tub - in slow motion!! My kind of exploitation. Unfortunately, the opening sequence is the highlight of the film in more ways than one. Once the film actually begins, Bo keeps her clothes on except for a brief peek-a-boo tease behind a frosted shower door. Although this film opened at the height of Bo's popularity and during the lucrative period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it could muster no better than $16 million at the box office, and was soon forgotten.

I did love the theme song:

Oh, you don't wanna be a rejecter

When your suitor is Hannibal Lecter ...

I-in love


Lecter in Love, Lecter in Love

He's gonna eat her below and above

You're gonna need a protector

If your boyfriend is Hannibal Lecter ...

I-in love


Is he a lover or a meat inspector?

No, he's just Hannibal Lecter ...

I-in love

Bo Derek

Other Crap:

Researcher: Early Man Was Hunted by Birds, thus explaining Jude Law.

Universal Pictures 2006 Preview

Conan's Endorsement No Joke to Some Finns

Daily Box Office - Friday, January 13, 2006

  • New releases: Glory Road (Disney basketball flick) takes #1, Last Holiday (Latifah) does a little better than expected and slides into the #2 spot, knocking Hostel down a peg lower than expected. Hoodwinked kicks off in the #4 spot. Tristan and Isolde finishes sixth.
  • Hold-overs: Narnia and Kong drop to #7 and #8, Dick and Jane holds up a little better and passes them both to finish #5.

I just found this out. Contrary to Captain Kirk, the correct route to Neverland is: "Second to the right, and straight on till morning."

Rowan Atkinson as the Devil in Hell where, ironically, he will have to go for playing Mr Bean. Sorry, old ... er ... bean.

Golden Globes may make a star of 'Brokeback' Or not.

Funny rant from Bill Maher on Iraq

18 pics from the set of 'Superman Returns'

"Brad Pitt, newly of Brangelina, neglected to tell his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston that he will be the father of Angelina Jolie's next child" - Our panel responds

"Stephen Colbert Is A Lying Scumbag"

"Top Ten Chuck Norris Facts"

The Washington Post review of Wonkette's new novel - as written by the ever-prickly P.J. O'Rourke

  • "Ana Marie Cox made her name writing a political blog, I've never seen it. As far as I can tell, no one has."
  • "She combines this with a likeness of the Kerry campaign so thinly veiled that it's like seeing John Kerry in a John Kerry mask at a Halloween party."
  • "It's a novel torn from the day before yesterday's headlines."
  • "Dog Days is devoid of ideas or even references to ideas, thus giving an accurate picture of practical politics at campaign time, as if anyone needed this."

"Former Federal Prosecutor Edward Lazarus talks to Jon Stewart about his book 'Closed Chambers.'"

The trailer for Curious George

Oscar Winner Shelley Winters Dies at 85

The trailer for Akeelah and the Bee

  • A heart-warming, triumph-over adversity drama, "Akeelah and the Bee" centers on a precocious eleven-year-old girl, Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), from south Los Angeles, who is discovered to have a talent for words. In spite of the objections of her mother Wanda (Angela Bassett), Keke enters a spelling contest. Her gift takes her to compete in the National Spelling Bee, the most famous competition of its kind in the world. On the way, she is helped by a forthright, mysterious teacher, Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) and a cast of colorful characters from the community. Her journey evokes pride in the neighborhood, bringing them together and, in the end, all witness the courage and inspiration of one amazing little girl.

The R-rated trailer for Slither

  • The sleepy town of Wheelsy could be any small town in America--somewhat quaint and gentle, peopled with friendly folks who mind their own business. But just beneath the surface charm, something unnamed and evil has arrived and is growing. No one seems to notice as telephone poles become clogged with missing pet flyers, or when one of the town's richest citizens, Grant Grant, begins to act strangely. But when farmers' livestock turn up horribly mutilated and a young woman goes missing, Sheriff Bill Pardy and his team, aided by Grant's wife Starla, uncover the dark force laying siege to their town and come face-to-face with an older-than-time organism intent on absorbing and devouring all life on Earth.



Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.




"Hidden Beauties"

Hidden Beauties (1999) is a soft core that has Michelle Hall, Catalina Larranaga, Hall's brother, and her boyfriend visiting a castle she is to inherit. The lord of the castle died when the three women he was engaged to compaired notes, and then screwed him to death. A devoted Nikki Fritz cast a sleep spell on them, and kept up the castle for 100 years. The sleeping beauties are awakened, and everyone finds the perfect partner. Now all that remains is to break the spell so everyone can get to the happily ever after part.

This film does as good a job on photographing nudity as I have seen in a soft core effort. All of the women are seen clearly in a huge variety of positions, resulting in a huge image count.

Tonight, we have the nudity from Nikki Fritz, who seduces Hall's brother, and Catalina. All of the women in this film give three B performances.

Tomorrow night, the other women, and the rest of the review.

Catalina Larranaga

Nikki Fritz


Today the old Time Machine travels back to 1980 for a Babe in Bondage bonanza from a little known flick called "Mysterious Jane". This one has never made it to DVD, so we did the best we could with these caps.

Amber Lee is the star, and she has one hell of a role as she is attacked in her shower. Then her husband ties her up for some rough sex. Then he has her committed to a nuthouse where a female and a male nurse have their way with her. As you might have guessed Amber reveals all.

Amber Lee

'Caps and comments by Dann:

"Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders"
Although this 2005 drama can't be much worse, the good news is Brittany Daniel finally takes off her bra, not just for a few topless scenes, but for most of the movie. Even better, much of her wardrobe is very revealing. And of course, the topless scenes are there, too; several of them. In addition, there's considerable other toplessness in this flick.

The Hillside Strangler, released in 2005, told the story from the murderer's point of view. Based on the many things I've read about this case over the years, they did a pretty good job. This version, however, tells a highly fictionalized account of the murders, and is surprisingly and disappointingly bad.

While they did include the two men ultimately convicted of the crime, the focus of this version is on a female psychiatrist, apparently completely fictional, who helped the police interrogate the suspects. To spice things up, the lady is a dope using free-will type whose live-in boyfriend is a dope dealer, and who loves to party and engage in swinging and three-way sex. This is the character played by Brittany Daniel, which explains the nudity.

This thing is a mess. Brittany Daniel was all wrong for this part, and it showed. The screenplay is bad. The cinematography isn't great, and the editor should be shot on sight for using overlays time and time again. Perhaps 30% of the film is overlaid. It is distracting and hard to see anything. Effective if used occasionally, it really sucks when overdone. To add insult to injury, it seems there were a few things they couldn't get by Big Brother and keep the R rating, so there are a few blur boxes floating around in some scenes.

Britt, what the hell were you thinking? It's inevitable given your looks and great figure you'd do nudity, but why in the world did you save it for this turkey?

Brittany Daniel Joleigh Fioreavanti Various

'Caps and comments by Spaz:

"Little Devils: The Birth" (1993)
This is a bloodless and skinless comedy horror starring Nancy Valen (billed as Nancy Allen) playing a stripper by night and a social worker by day. Stella Stevens is a cougar landlady on the prowl. Monica Talma and Kelley Grando are in a fully cloted threesome. And Tracy Wood and an unidentified stripper (Laara Daans was a no-show) are the obligatory peelers.

Nancy Valen Stella Stevens Monica Talma

Kelley Grando Tracy Wood Stripper

"Turning April" (1996)
An Australian-Canada co-production with an Australian cast loosely based on the Patty Hearst kidnaping. Tushka Bergen as the kindnaped socialite is stripped down to her panties for a shower scene. And Dee Smart and Oz singer Justine Clarke look sexy as the lesbian kidnappers in their skivvies.

Tushka Bergen
Dee Smart> Justine Clarke

"Dead Reckoning" (1990)
Television thriller starring Rick Springfield. Susan Blakely shows partial boob and Darcia Carnie shows some cleavage and pokies.

Susan Blakely Darcia Carnie

"Orion's Belt" (1985)
Norwegian action thriller set during the Cold War. A glaring error is the Soviets are flying American made Huey helicopters painted bright red so Viet Cong guerillas can shoot them down. Oh yeah, Kjersti Holmen shows her boobs.

Kjersti Holmen

"Dead End" (1996) aka Crisis
Dated Canadian action movie about some eco-terrorists. Julie Boucher politely takes off her blouse to get ravaged by one of the terrorists, Tiffany Shrimpton shows her buns in a revealing French Maid outfit, and Jennifer Grosy shows mega cleavage as a female terrorist in a catfight with the French Maid.

Julie Boucher Tiffany Shrimpton Jennifer Grosy

"Naked Frailties" (1998)
Pretentious drama starring mostly theatre students and with no nudity despite its title. Reagan Dale Neis shows some cleavage in a fully clothed sex scene while a theatre troupe looks sexy practicing pelvic squats and sword thrusts.

Reagan Dale Neis various

"Karla" (2006)
The most controversial Canadian movie that was never made in Canada. Based on the Paul Bernardo/Karla Homolka serial rape murders it was pending release for more than a year. The serial killer couple are played Laura Prepon from That '70s Show and Misha Collins best known for his role as ‘man hanging from the rope' in The Crux. The movie is coming out January 20 but these caps are from a television commercial. Not much from Laura Prepon yet but Sarah Foret is nude as one of the victims.

Laura Prepon Sarah Foret

Here are a few edits of recent paparazzi pics of "Lost" star Evangeline Lilly on the beach in a bikini.

More paparazzi-at-the-beach. This time it's UK pin up babe Nell McAndrew wearing nuthin' but sand.