S( KII.NnSlime After SlimenStar 80; Written and Directed by BobnFosse; Ladd Company/WarnernBrothers.nby Stephen MacaulaynAn ad for Star 80 claims that it isnconsidered “One of the Year’s [1983]nTen Best” by a number of people whonshould know; lest anyone have doubts,nthe claimants are listed. One man,napparently, just couldn’t say it enough;nGene Siskel appears in second place,nbehind the modern oracle, Timenmagazine, for his A^ the Movies TV shown(film reviews for people who don’t likento read), and in third place for hisncolumn in the Chicago Tribune ( ditto—nand Rupert Murdoch owns the othernChicago paper). From New Yorkn(WABC-TV) to Toronto (the Sun andnthe Globe & Mail) to San Diegon(Tribune), cinematic sleaze is hailed asnbeing noteworthy. The reviewers undoubtedlynspend their off hours kickingnover rotting logs in the woods in order tonsee what lurks beneath and writingnpaeans to sewage treatment plants.nStar 80 is a rendering of a true story,none about a teenage girl from Vancouver,nBritish Columbia, who wasn”discovered” by a greasy pimp-likencharacter while she was pumping icencream cones in a Dairy Queen. Perhapsnthe man, who spent much of his time innthe dark while surrounded by pictures ofn”stars,” evoked a feeling of kindrednessnwithin the movie reviewers, whichnaccounts for their praise of the project.nThe female is presented as being as purenas driven ice milk throughout the cretinousnsaga, notwithstanding the fact thatnearly on, after but a few dates, momma’snlittie girl (36-24-36) poses for Polaroidsnin the bedroom of the swain with thenfilthy mustache. The goal of the cheesyntwo-bit operator is a lofly one—^at leastnfirom an insect’s point of view: to get hernsnapshots into the pages of Playboy. Itnhappens. She happens. He doesn’tnhappen. He doesn’t like that. Being, as henis, mentally unstable, he really doesn’tnlike it (“But I’ve grown,” she tells him,nwhile phoning fl-om the suite of her newnboyfriend, a movie director who is goingnto “make her a star”—sounds familiar.)nEventually, the spurned mental midgetntakes a shotgun to the skull of the formernPlaymate of the Year. Since that can onlynhappen once, at the end of the story. BobnFosse decided that he’d take advantagenof the bloody mess and drag it throughoutnthe entire movie by cutting in teasingnsegments, sort of like a stripper droppingna glove here, a shoe there. Perhapsnrealizing that he might be consideredntoo much of a “downer,” Fosse overcompensatednby showing still photos of thenPlaymate’s anatomy over and over andnover again. (I wonder: which did Siskelnfind to be the most notable?) Of course,nonce the film draws to a close, the wholensavage act is shown with all of thenattendant gore. Moreover, the death ofnthe girlAvoman is topped by the creepntaking said shotgun to his own foreheadnfor the grand finale. Lest anyone missnanything, an overhead shot of the remainsnprovide the whole layout. If thisnconstitutes “One of the Year’s Ten Best,”nthen the reviewers in question must benexcited beyond belief when they visitntheir local butcher.nThe slick, sick operator is shown asnbeing the villain. The female object isnsimply a naif. The hero—^hold on—isnnone other than Hugh Heflier—“Hef ” tonhis pals, “Mr. Heftier” to young womennnnwith large busts. The hero tries toncounsel the naif away from the operatornand into what he calk the bosom of “thenPlayboy family.” Had she only butnlistened… is the message of Star 80.nPlayboy, of course, exists only tonpander to the hormones of men whonrequire no further excitation. It and likenmagazines spout bosh about “freedom.”nThere’s strong evidence that points tonthe stark fact that as long as thesenmagazines exist, some disgusting acts ofnviolence will be engendered by theirnvery existence. It would be an act ofnignorance to maintain that rags likenPlayboy will disappear and be replacednby more “wholesome” gazing material.nNot even a nuclear war would bleach thenstains away. However, if there was lessnpublic attention to matters concerningnthe sex organs of both females and males,nif what was once considered a “private”nmatter could be treated as such, chancesnare there would be fewer murders,nrapes, cases of venereal disease, etc. Thenodds of that happening, I’m afraid, aren’tnworth betting on. Consider Star 80: itnwas an actual event, the subject of thenstory in the Village Voice (which servednas the basis of the film), a TV movie, thengrist for an “important” director’s mill.nAnd, of course, “One of the Year’s TennBest.” DnSense & SensibilitynBroadway Danny Rose; Writtennand Directed by Woody Allen;nOrion Pictures.nThe last time we saw Allen (Zelig;nChronicles of Culture; January 1984, p.n40), we suspected that he was on hisnway to finally, firmly establishing himselfnon the cultural landscape as a comediannin the more ancient sense (as opposednto the sitcom sense), that is, as a writer/ndirector/actor who, through the use ofncommon characters, makes amusing butntelling statements about the status quo.nOvertly, it doesn’t come to pass inni^ifiSSnJuly 1984n