D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 05/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The phrase "scientifically proven" is so over-used these days that I usually brush it off as nonsense whenever someone tells me that such-and-such has been demonstrated "scientifically." Most people have little idea what the concept means, much less how it might apply to any sort of phenomena whatsoever.The present film is a bit of a satire on this point. Four college seniors (one of them played by Dennis Quaid, in one of his earliest movies) set out to get out of having to graduate & join the American workforce. But how can they avoid this fate if they can't afford graduate school?They come up with an absurd but comical solution. They apply for a science grant, attach the name of a Nobel prize winning hermit & set out to "study college-aged sexually liberated women." Obviously, no science is involved whatsoever, but the idea takes on a life of its own.It doesn't take long before they extend their idea and begin to have the study include middle-aged men. They, of course, must pay a fee to participate, which they gladly do. The students pay off the cops to leave them alone and start raking in the $$$.
The net result is scientifically sanctioned prostitution.In the meantime, their "study" is hailed as an enormously important scientific breakthrough - all because it has attached to it the name of a famous scientist. The fun seems to go on without any end in sight.If you're looking for a sexy comedy, this one just might do if you can get past just how 70ish it is. It has a surplus of topless women and makes one nostalgic for their college days. It does, however, end up being an unexpectedly dark comedy.On the downside, the master tape appears to have been damaged, so the transfer to DVD is rough. There is some distortion in the movie that there's nothing you can do about. If you're OK with that, this film might be worth a try."
"Schmucks graduate, smart guys copulate!"
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 06/26/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"When I first saw the cover of the Westlake Entertainment DVD release of The Seniors (1978), I thought it was picture of actress Mariel Hemingway, but it's actually Priscilla Barnes, who is probably best known for her `late in the game' role as Terri Alden from the popular TV show `Three's Company'. Written by Stanley Shapiro (Pillow Talk, Operation Petticoat, That Touch of Mink), the film was directed by Rodney Amateau, know for his work on TV shows like "The Bob Cummings Show", "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis", "Mister Ed", and "Gilligan's Island", to name a few. The film stars Dennis Quaid (The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow), Gary Imhoff (The Nude Bomb), Jeffrey Byron (Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn), and Lou Richards (Night Eyes 4). Also appearing is Rocky Flintermann (More American Graffiti), Alan Reed (who provided the voice for the Fred Flintstone character on the popular 60's primetime cartoon The Flintstone), Edward Andrews (Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Million Dollar Duck), Lynn Cartwright (The Ribald Tales of Robin Hood), and the aforementioned Ms. Barnes.
As the film begins we meet four soon to be graduating college seniors in Ben (Imhoff), Larry (Byron), Alan (Quaid), and Steve (Richards), who are not looking forward to leaving school for two reasons...number one is the general fear of actually having to get real jobs, and number two is they'd have to give up their live-in cook/cleaning woman/nymphet Sylvia (Barnes). In an effort to avoid this fate worse than death, they come up with a plan to obtain some grant money by pretending to be affiliated with the school's most distinguished, reclusive scientist, Professor Heigner (Reed), aided by the professor's nerdy assistant Arnold (Flintermann), who just happens to be in love with Sylvia (they basically offer up Sylvia to the reluctant Arnold in exchange for his cooperation). Their plan involves performing a sex study, using coeds and paying them $20 and hour for their participation (you know, there's a name for that where I come from, but the girls are presented as idiots, all believing they're doing their bit for science). Soon the applicants are pouring in, and the boys, who obviously are participating in the `study', are swimming in `tang, but discover that the grant money will only go so far so they decide to expand the operation, allowing for local businessmen to participate in the `research', if they make a donation of $100, $20 to the girls, and the rest going to the boys. The operation continues to grow, attracting the interest of big time investors and endorsement monies, eventually drawing in millions of dollars...but like any bubble that gets to big, theirs eventually bursts...
During the opening titles, we're treated to some extensive credits, initially listing such actors as Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Ryan O'Neal, Robert Deniro, Clint Eastwood, and Charles Bronson...to which an animated professor comes out and tell us none of these people are in the movie...har har, git it? Anyway...that's the extent of the comedy in this film (if I was one of these guys I probably would have taken exception to being even peripherally associated with this dreck). I'm no bastion of morality, so I can enjoy the occasional T & A comedy, but this one was a real dog. It reminded me a lot of those nudie cuties flicks (these were movies with paper thin plots displaying copious amount of nekkidness) prevalent in the 50's and 60's, but with better production values. As far as the T & A factor, it's mainly the `T' and not much `A', and only up until about halfway in, as after that the film foolishly forgoes its strongest element (in that of topless coeds) and focuses on the resolution of the sickly plot (check out the character of Marissa...if she had gotten her rack enhanced, she should have gotten her money back as it was a really poor job). Ms. Barnes does appear topless for a brief scene, and she's sporting a nice rack (you can also see her showing off her wares in the 1995 Kevin Smith film Mallrats, but the 1978 Pricilla looks much better). In terms of characters, they were all sleazy...generally with this type of film you do see a purveyance of sleaze in the beginning (generally one character is somewhat decent, usually the naïve, virginal nerdlinger), and the principles eventually learn the errors of their hedonistic ways...not so here as everyone wallows around in degradation like pigs in slop. The one aspect that seemed particularly vile is when the group decided to expand, and began allowing greasy, lecherous, balding businessmen to pay to get in on the action...I can't help but figure some of these coeds would have seriously objected to intimate relations with some of these jokers. Also, there's a whole subplot involving Professor Heigner and his experiments on insects, creating and documenting the prowess of his super mosquito (the bug can mate for hours, oftentimes taking multiple partners). As the nosey, older woman from the grant committee comes around in investigate, she misinterprets the findings to mean the professor is some sort of dynamo in the sack, and thus begins chasing him around because she's so in need of a good schtupping. And then let's not forget the lame running gag involving the nerdy Arnold character...as he gets what he wants, we see him at various points throughout the film, each time getting weaker and weaker (at one point he's walking with a cane, another with crutches, another with a walker, another in a wheelchair, etc.) due to the fact he's having so much intercourse (none of it shown) with Sylvia...har har...oh my aching sides (you see, they ache from so much laughter)...I didn't mind so much the sleaze, but more so just the utter stupidity and complete lack of fun was what I found offensive.
There are a few different DVD releases out there of this film, but the one I am reviewing has head shot of Ms. Barnes prominently displayed on the cover, and is released by a company called Westlake Entertainment. The picture on this release is presented in full screen, and ranges from so-so to pretty awful as film damage is persistent throughout (lines, speckling, etc.), even to the point of some frames missing from the film (if you own a VHS copy this probably isn't much of an upgrade). The Amazon website listed the audio on this DVD as being `DTS Surround Sound, Original recording remastered' but this is mentioned nowhere on the DVD case, and given the audio I heard, I think this may be a dubious claim. The DVD does have some menus, chapter stops, and extras including brief bios and filmographies for three of the actors, along with a short photo gallery. All in all a curious, but fairly uninteresting, bit of late 70's sleaze of moderate interest to those of wish to see either young Dennis Quaid in a role he'd probably rather forget, an attractive Pricilla Barnes popping her top (she's got no lines in the film, by the way), or both...