Category Archives: Thunderdome

In The Thunderdome: Foul Play v Seems Like Old Times

In 1978, movie audiences ran to see the surreal cuteness of Goldie Hawn paired with the unflappably flippant Chevy Chase in Foul Play. In 1980, Hollywood bet they’d do it again to catch the churlish and girlish combo in Seems Like Old Times, and they did. Now, we throw these two flicks into The Thunderdome because we all know that there can be only one!

First Round: The creators. 

Seems Like Old Times was written by Neil Simon, so we know that it tackles serious relationship issues with a comedic sensibility.

Who's the blonde?

I didn’t know Joyce DeWitt’s blonde sister was in this movie.

Foul Play was directed by Colin Higgins so we know it tackles serious issues of life and death with sidesplitting comedy.

This scene is not in the movie.

Is that a loaded gun in your pocket or…?


Round 2: The Cast

In Foul Play, Chevy plays a cop named Tony and Goldie plays a librarian named Gloria. They are pitted against a radical group who wants to call attention to their fairly rational quest to get the government to tax the churches by assassinating the pope with the help of a man with a scar, and albino,  a dwarf who is not really a dwarf, and a Turk who may or may not be Turkish.

So if we taxed the church, you wouldn't be trying to kill us?

So if we taxed the church, you wouldn’t be trying to kill us?

In Seems Like Old Times, it is writer Nick and lawyer Glenda against two bank robbers.

Look at them. They even look like bank robbers.

Look at them. They even look like bank robbers.

ADVANTAGE: A minimalist would say Seems Like Old Times, but I’m not a minimalist, so I’ll say Foul Play.

Round 3: The Opening

Both movies start with a drive up and/or down the coast on California Route 1.

In SLOT, Nick drove a AMC Jimmy from Big Sur to Carmel with the bank robbers while Marvin Hamlish played in the background.



In Foul Play, Gloria drove a yellow bug around Marin with an under-cover cop named Scotty while Barry Manilow played on the radio. Barry EFFING Manilow. He wrote Copa-freaking-cabana, and you have the nerve to step up to him with Hamlish? Fuck that, you know why? Because Rico wore a diamond. Hamlish didn’t wear no fucking diamond, so shut it.

ADANTAGE: Foul Play.

Round 4: The Setting

Foul Play is set in San Francisco and Seems Like Old Times is set in LA.


Why? Because FUCK YOU, that’s why.

Round 5: The Chemistry

The chemistry between Gloria and Tony is off the charts in Foul Play. So much so that, in the scene where they finally kiss, Chevy is clearly doing a goofy Goldie impersonation, and it stays in the final cut. See for yourself.

There is so much chemistry between these two in SLOT, that Nick kisses his ex-wife Glenda in front of her current husband Ira, who is played grodingly by Charles Grodin, and it somehow doesn’t seem as odd as it really, really is.


Round 6: Guest Stars.

Seems Like Old Times also starred Robert Guillaume. Benson. Mother humping BENSON DU BOIS is in this fucking movie. How do you beat that?

In this movie, someone else gets the door.

In this movie, the door is opened for Benson.

I’ll tell you how. Stanley Tibbits. The funniest mother fucker in the movie, Dudley Moore, plays the funniest character in any movie. Stanley Tibbits. Poor Stanley has learned everything about sex from the Penthouse Forum, and he believes every word. When he finally gets a live woman in his “beaver trap”, she is surprised and confused by his behavior (and a little impressed at his proclivity for shopping by mail.) He is left feeling ashamed and a little violated.

Don't look at me!

Don’t look at me!

If you think I’m exaggerating. Watch this. It will be the best eight and a half minutes of your life. Trust me.

Stanley shows up later in a happy ending massage room in a Soma Victorian that looks a lot like the Soma Victorian that I lived in, but it was not the same one, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Stanley Tibbits steals the scene again by immediately using the terms “pussy pie” and “afternoon delight” with unselfconscious glee.

Take your time, Pussy Pie.

Take your time, Pussy Pie.


Round 7: Sassy brunettes who basically save everyone with their sassiness.

In Foul Play, Stella, who is on constant look-out for the Stanley Tibbits of the world, lends Gloria a loud rape alarm, some mace and brass knuckles. Gloria later uses these items to escape from Turk who may or may not be Turkish.

No one messes with Stella.

No one messes with Stella.

In SLOT, Aurora, who is famous for having her feet scraped and making the world’s best pepperoni chicken, catches the bank robbers, with the help of Glenda’s dogs while she is out getting her feet scraped and pointedly not making pepperoni chicken.

And then I saw these two gringos...

And then I saw these two gringos…

ADVANTAGE: Seems Like Old Times.

Round 8: Pick-Up Lines

In Foul Play, Tony tries this one on Gloria, “What do you say? Would you like to take a shower?” It does not work.

In SLOT,  Nick tells Gloria that there is an exact representation of her face on the walls of a Mexican prison, and it sort of works.

ADVANTAGE: Seems Like Old Times.

Round 9: Fight Scenes

In Foul Play, Burgess meredith fights Rachel Roberts, using what he learned in “Jungle Training” against what she apparently learned in a women’s prison.

Ah...the old priceless painting over the head maneuver. Learned it in 'Nam.

Ah…the old priceless painting over the head maneuver. Learned it in ‘Nam.

In SLOT, Ira had to fight the dogs for the bed.

You make them move.

You make them move.


Oh? Don’t believe me? The action starts at 5:48. You’re welcome.  

Round 10: Final Epic Scene

In Foul Play, Tony crashes car after car on a race across the city (or more accurately  up and down the same hills over and over) to stop the Pope from being killed at The Mikado. Yes. That’s right. It’s not a car chase. No one is chasing them. Tony is just driving so fast that he keeps crashing cars in spectacular fashion. There is even an homage to Silver Streak, Higgin’s previous film. See if you can spot it.

In SLOT, there is an epic boss comes over to dinner scene. The boss is Stanley, the governor of California, the dinner is pepperoni chicken that Aurora did not make, and the server is drunk.


Bonus round: 

In Foul Play, a couple of old ladies talk about old lady shit while coming up with filthy Scrabble words. Just watch it.

What do you got, SLOT? That’s right. You got nothing.


Oh! And it’s a knock out! Thanks for playing Seems Like Old Times, but Foul Play just wanted it more.

Grease v Grease 2. Smackdown.

Okay, for once and for all let’s answer the question none of us are asking. Which is better? Grease or Grease 2?

Both were set at Rydell High. A school run by an adorable, long-term same sex couple.

Still going strong!

Both had T-Birds and Pink Ladies.

We are way tough. We’re wearing leather!

Poodle Skirt Pyramid!

Both had Balmudo.

So…is my nickname Ball? Or…just wondering.

Who ever said Grease is good for your skin lied!

And Eugene.


Both had Frenchy but in Grease, she ruined her hair by dying it pink. In Grease 2, she pretended she meant to do that.

Help me Teen Angel! I look like Strawberry Shortcake.

Wow, Frenchy. You look like Strawberry Shortcake! … I know!

Advantage: Grease

Grease brought back Frankie Avalon, Sid Caesar and Joan Blondell.

Holy crap! Am I playing a waitress? But…I’m Joan Blondell!

Grease 2 Brought back Connie Stevens and Tab Hunter.

Is this really our first movie together?

Advantage: Grease

Grease introduced us to Lorenzo Lamas.

Really? I was in this movie? And I was blonde? Weird.

Grease 2 introduced us to Michelle Pfeiffer.

This is what I did for my audition.

Advantage Grease 2.

Grease had Stockard Channing.

Come on! Who could out sexy sass me? Wink.

Grease 2 had Lorna Luft.

Could it be me? Maybe? Flutter.

Slight advantage to Grease.

Grease had Greased Lightning.

It might not look like it, but this song is DIRTY!

Grease had Michelle Pfeiffer on a ladder.

This song is waaaaay less dirty than it looks.

Advantage Grease.

Grease had a slumber party.

This is what girls do if there are no boys around after 10 pm.

Grease 2 went bowling.

This is what they do when the boys are still around after 10 pm.

Hmm…Grease had Jan and her toothbrush, but Grease 2 had Lorna and her gold pants.


Grease had Thunder Road.

Actual deadly danger.

Grease 2 had a choreographed motorcycle fight.

Who are those guys?

Advantage: Grease 2

Grease had backseat sex.

Oh Sandy!

Grease 2 attempted sex in a bomb shelter.

Your mother don’t even have to know about it.

Advantage: Grease 2

Grease had a Big Dance Contest.

Should have worn skin tight leather, Sandy.

Grease 2 prepared for the Big Talent Show.

You’re doing Mr. Sandman?! I was going to do that song, bitch!

Advantage Grease 2…because of the Girl for All Seasons Song. Suck it, hand jive!

Grease had a fat girl who was not fat.

Yep. That’s right. The girl on the right. In the green. The fat girl.

Grease 2 had a girl with an actual big nose.

Yes! Bringing Barbara realness in pink satin.

Advantage Grease 2.

Grease had Teen Angel.

Teen my ass!

Grease 2 had fake, Dead Michael.

Am I dead? Or just a figment of your crazy imagination?

Advantage Grease

Grease had this psychotic break.

Is heaven a hair salon?

Grease 2 had this one.

Um…hello! Stephanie! You were supposed to be singing A Girl for All Seasons. I’m dressed like a frigging tree.

Advantage Grease

Grease had a pretty Aussie who needed a  make-over to seem tougher.

I’m sorry. Did you just say stud?

So did Grease 2.

So pretty, mate!

Advantage Grease

Grease had a pregnancy scare.

I’m not knocked up.

Grease 2 had a statutory rape scare.

Dude! She’s 12.

Oh, but so did Grease.

Dude! She’s 16.

Who won? I’ll let you decide, but…just remember.

Grease ended at The Carnival!

Let’s get those Grease 2 punks.

Grease 2 ended at The Luau!

Let’s do this thing! I’ve got a tiki torch.