The Seniors (Review)

The Seniors


1978
Starring
DENNIS QUAID!!! as Alan Darby
Lou Richards as Steven Elliot
Gary Imhoff as Ben Adler
Jeffrey Byron as Larry Bronson
Rocky Flintermann as Arnold
Priscilla Barnes as Sylvia
Alan Reed as Professor Heigner

Ever wonder what 1970’s college sex comedies look like? You have? That’s odd, because really no one cares. Not one bit. This is the 21st Century, we are saturated with good sex films, mediocre sex films, terrible sex films, Skinimax, Showtime, HBO, the Internet, The Lion King, and Girls Gone Wild. Going down memory lane is a waste of time for our instant gratification society. Once you head down that path, you encounter junk like this that makes you wonder how people in the Seventies could watch such trash, until you remember everyone was on drugs. That also explains disco. The drugs. Seriously, just look at Staying Alive. They’re all high on cocaine. Cocaine would help with this film immensely. If you enjoy long drawn out plot filler (but little actual plot), sex scenes with little nudity (and not much sex), and long montages to terrible 70’s folk rock, then this movie is your holy shrine! This movie managed to be a beginning point for Dennis Quaid, while several other stars give swan songs or almost swan songs. Let’s not forget the nobodies who went no where. Most of them died undignified deaths such as being stabbed in a clamdigger bar or trampled by emus or by swallowing a Slinky. Just kidding, none of them ever swallowed a Slinky.


This film’s print that made it to the bargain bin DVD is terrible, looking like it survived a war. It opens with a cartoon professor explaining the beginning of the plot, and watching on a little movie screen. At one point he lists a bunch of big named actors, and states that none of them are starring in this movie. Ha. Ha. Ha. Funny. Like herpes. The actors are: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Ryan O’Neal, Robert DiNiro, Clint Eastwood, and Charles Bronson. If you’re wondering who Robert DiNiro is, so are we.

Thank goodness this isn’t a sex cartoon, and we jump to live action. Our four heroes (Ben, Steve, Larry, and Alan) are about to graduate school, and aren’t looking forward to going out into the real world. Besides Dennis Quaid, the actor playing Larry went on to voice Leader-1 in the Go-Bots cartoon. That’s bordering on cool. They try to get money from their parents but fail miserably. Our four heroes also live with a super-nymphomaniac named Sylvia (Priscilla Barnes…Three’s Company Priscilla Barnes….Mallrats‘ Priscilla Barnes!) as all college students do. Our heroes are visited by the local nerd, Arnold, who is madly in love with Sylvia. Arnold worries about being a virgin (apparently he is going blind from….you know! Sitting to close to the TV! Just kidding.) Arnold mentions he is staying in college to do some post-graduate work. Arnold helps the boys apply for a grant in post-graduate studies, despite his whining protests, and becomes engaged to Sylvia as a reward. Arnold is played by a nobody who will only act once again, a sad loss to the nerd community. The heroes amazingly get $50,000 to study the sex lives of college girls, because otherwise we wouldn’t have a plot! The boys form “Phantom Research” and set up shop. This gets Arnold in with Sylvia, and his sex-life begins. Arnold is worn out by Sylvia, who is, in the words of Stan Gable (Ted McGinley) in Revenge of the Nerds, “like a goat.” It makes sense if you’ve seen the film, otherwise I look like a creep who thinks women are farm animals. Well, BAAAAAAAAAAAAA! to you, buddy! Arnold should have replied to Sylvia a quote from Blazing Saddles: “Damn, baby, I’m not from Havana!” Arnold is fed revival soup and injected with vitamin B12. But he survives, and Phantom Research starts taking applications.

We are treated to the classic line “Screwing is for Arabs, knowledge is for Jews, that’s why my father has a Syrian mistress.” Ah, the 70’s! This line alone was the reason for 9-11, I’m sure. The heroes are using the name of Arnold’s professor, Professor Heigner, to get their grant. Heigner is a three time winner of the Nobel Prize, and is an expert in the field of insect sex (I was unaware that was a Nobel Prize Category, time to apply for a new grant!). Professor Heigner is played by Alan Reed, the voice of Fred Flintstone, in one of his last roles. Unfortunately, he doesn’t use the Fred Flintstone voice, so we are denied hearing Fred talk about insect sex. Heigner is obsessed with developing a new super mosquito that will be invincible, so it will survive when man destroys himself. He starts work with a mosquito that is able to mate for hours on end. If the mosquito can mate for hours, how is it going to find time to hunt for food? Where will female mosquitoes get blood if all other life is dead? Nobel Prize my foot! Heigner is visited by Elizabeth Crayton, head of the Foundation that gave our heroes money. Crayton becomes obsessed with the professor after mistaking him for a super-Cassonova. This is the sex comedy movie that is more than a sex comedy movie, it also preaches environmentalism, mad scientists are sex gods (something very true!), and is full of misunderstandings leading to wacky hijinks ensuing. Thus this film is the forerunner of the sitcom Frasier. Actress Lynn Cartwright, best known for being the older Gina Davis in A League of Their Own.

Now our heroes are having the time of their lives, and various sex acts are almost seen, and sometimes we glimpse a naked woman for as long as 5 seconds! But we do get an extended sequence with one of the guys dressed as King Kong for some gorilla sex fun (sadly, the zipper sticks, and a running gag is tried, but mercifully killed, or else forgotten by the writers.) The movie seems to be under the impression that college girls are so liberated that they will volunteer for sex experiments because it’s feministic or something. I tried the same thing at a NOW meeting last week and was beaten into a bloody pulp. Things have changed since the seventies. After screwing their brains out, the boys realize they will be out of money in five months. To keep up practice, they hatch up a scheme to sell sex services to business executives. So of course they become the most busy call girl house in town. Geez, these plots haven’t changed much in thirty years. We also see our first minority, serving coffee at the country club. Hope you liked him, since he won’t be around for long. And we are treated to an E.F. Hutton broker joke, THAT aged well! Those were the old old commercials where someone would mention E.F. Hutton and then the entire restaurant would stop talking and eavesdrop the advice the brokers gave. I’ve never seen one of these for real, just referenced.

Now aged business men can have their college girl sex fantasies fulfilled. Like the sound of that? Because that is all you’ll get, since the movie skimps on the nudity and sex, instead giving us a montage sequence of the Phantom Bus picking up women to one of the worst 70’s type sing-along rock songs I’ve heard. “Sail On,” indeed. “Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on…..” I’d like to Sail Off this movie. Seriously, this “song” is terrible, and prolonged exposure can lead to tumors of the ear, if the constant bleeding of your teeth doesn’t kill you first. I was in the hospital for a week after the montage. The song returns during the second bus montage sequence, only now there are NUNS! Was that what passed for sex films in the seventies? Good Gravy Jesus! It’s a wonder people in the seventies knew what sex was! Why bus montages and not sex montages? You remember sex, right movie? It’s what you’re supposed to be about? Sex? Stupid movie. Repeated exposure to the song left me in the hospital for two more weeks, destroyed use of the left side of my body, and rendered me sterile. I do all of this to protect you, the readers at home, from making the same mistake. Also, thank goodness rich businessmen can now go have sex, because that hasn’t happened ever. This is the movie that encourages exploitation of the lower classes in the name of science. Sex science!

Back in non-montage land, Arnold has slowly become worn out due to his Sylvia-loving, we see him more and more haggard, using first one cane, then two, than a walker, and finally wheelchair. Phantom Research starts making thousands a day, and cons a church into helping them get new girls for the sexing. Phantom Research becomes a corporation because of it’s success. Professor Heigner has finished his work on the super mosquito, but becomes convinced to marry Elizabeth Crayton. Somehow, to save the corporation, they must kill the Professor. I got confused here for a bit, as I was still getting over the traumatic effects of the “Sail on” song. The boys object, but the corrupt businessmen they are partnered with disagree, forcibly take over the company, and imprison them. The plan is to drop the truck our heroes are in into a lake by a giant magnet. But the wrong car is dropped in, killing the bad dudes and saving our heroes. Talk about your deus ex machinas! The writers come up with THAT solution, forget about including more sex scenes, and conspire with the “Sail on” song guy? NAAARRGGGHHHH!!!

Then they shut everything down and graduate. Their names are listed in the yearbook differently than they are called in the movie (including Larry being called Lisa) and Arnold dies. Hey, it all happens so fast there which is why it’s written so fast here. Were yearbooks still standard in colleges in the 1970s? Then Our Heroes set up shop boinking the newly widowed wives of all the executives that first patronized them and then tried to kill them. But there isn’t any nudity now, either. And then they PLAY THAT DAMN SONG AGAIN!!! SAIL ON………….TO HELL!!!!!!

So in conclusion: Boring plot, little nudity, seventies crap, song from Hell, Three’s Company chick naked, Nerd killed by sex. At least the nerd actually had sex, lots of it, and died in the saddle. It took years for producers to learn that you need actual sex in your sex movies. Now, we got sex all the time in them, all over Skinimax and Showtime, yet the women are all silicone enhanced. Had we made good films back in the Seventies before most actresses became walking plastic, we’d have an archive of quality films that would be a beacon of light to the world. Instead, we have just a big bunch of useless crap, now being preserved forever on DVD. Yuck. Avoid this film like it will give you AIDS. It gave my friend AIDS. Because of the DAMN “SAIL ON” SONG!

For your horror, some lyrics to Sail On!

When you’re rolling
you’re just rolling along
and love is always by your side
there’s a reason
that you’re never alone….

Sail on!
Sail on!
Sail on!
Lord, keep us sailing along
Love is in your pocket
don’t you say I don’t know
don’t you say I don’t know!

keep on rolling
things will never go wrong…

Note: This review is around two years old. It’s been revamped and had information added twice, but it’s still much shorter than the recaps I’ve been writing lately. Going back and grabbing some of the lyrics to Sail On was hard enough, there is no way I want to waste the time it would take to rewatch the film again. I did feel I should let this review see the light of day, before it got bored and decided to leave and join up with several other old reviews I have lying around, forming their own rival site. Were they to get more popular than here, I wouldn’t know what to do…

Rated 2/10 (Yin-Yang Bus, Monkey Business!)


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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!