Sexploitation Connections: Happy Days Edition

So, I thought a fun way to pass an hour might be to just connect the dots from one tawdry film to another. Not all the films are "sexploitation" but they definitely deliver the goods in the eye candy department.  In other words, this isn't just hopping from one grindhouse flick to another (although, that would be fun, and I'll keep that in mind).  This is just tracing through the cinematic web, concentrating on the dirty underbelly. Consider me your James Burke of trash.

Also, you'll note I maintained a fairly consistent relation to Happy Days. Sometimes the connections to Happy Days are tenuous at best, but so be it.  All in all, it was a fun way to kill an hour.  I hope you have as much enjoyment reading it as I did making it.  See if you can follow along...

We'll start with Caren Kaye who played the slutty personal French instructor in My Tutor (1983).

Before this film, Kaye starred alongside Scott Baio in the terminally shitty Happy Days spin-off Blansky's Beauties (1977).

Taaffe O'Connel was also in Blansky's Beauties (1977).  [Note: Taaffe keeps popping up on Retrospace for some reason (here and here).]

Taaffe was raped by an amorous space slug in Galaxy of Terror (1981) which BTW also starred Erin Moran.

Erin Moran was, of course, Joanie Cunningham from Happy Days (and Joanie Loves Chachi starring the aforementioned Scott Baio).

Another Happy Days actress was Roz Kelly who played Pinky Tuscadero....

Roz gives Robert DeNiro a show in Greetings (1968), the first film to ever receive an X-rating.

You remember Pinky Tuscadero, but do you remember Ashley Pfister?  She was the divorced mother who became the Fonz's girlfriend after Pinky, played by Linda Purl.

Interestingly enough, Purl starred in Crazy Mama (1975) with my main main, Ralph Malph (Donny Most). Malph actually catches young Purl nude in a shower.... a weird situation when you think about it - Ralph spying on the Fonz's girlfriend. [ FYI: Donny Most and Linda Purl would star together yet again in Leo and Loree (1980).]

Who could forget Leslie Easterbrook, the voluptuous and annoying neighbor on Laverne & Shirley, perhaps the most famous Happy Days spin-off.

Easterbrook would be a fixture in six Police Academy films (as Lt. Callahan) and various B-movies including Private Resort (1985).

Hilary Shepard was also in Private Resort, but she is perhaps best remembered as the hot Power Rangers nemesis, Divatox.

Shepard starred alongside Valerie Quennessen in Summer Lovers (1982). But you may know Valerie best as the Princess in Conan the Barbarian.

The main chick in Conan the Barbarian was, of course, Sandahl Bergman.  Bergman was an ex-Golddigger and Xanadu muse; but, more importantly, she appeared in the 80's skin flick, Stewardess School (1986).

Why care about Stewardess School? Well for one, it's a Donny Most classic. Second, it stars Judy Landers.... and do you really need a third?

Miss Landers had starred with Most nine years earlier in an episode of Happy Days called "Bye Bye Blackball" where Ralph, Potsie and Richie endure their fraternity's "hell week".

The director of that episode was Jerry Paris who also directed Police Academy 2 and 3 (see earlier connection to Leslie Easterbrook), Leo and Lonnie as well as Blansky's Beauties.  So, Mr. Paris ties many of the connections thus far together nicely.... still we press on.

Landers wasn't the only one baring the goods in Stewardess School - Leslie Huntly (AKA Leslie Scarborough) also demonstrated her talents at shedding pesky garments.  In Back to School, her boobs get an encore performance when Rodney Dangerfield interrupts her shower.

Huntly/Scarborough appeared briefly in Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986) which also starred Randi Brooks.

Randi gave Steve Martin a nice look at her assets in The Man With Two Brains (1983), and appeared alongside another hall-of-fame 70s comedian, Robin Williams in an episode of Mork & Mindy "Metamorphosis". (BTW - Mork & Mindy was actually a Happy Days spin-off.)

Steve Martin's co-star in The Man With Two Brains was the lovely Kathleen Turner.

One of Turner's early films is Crimes of Passion, a twisted little tale by the reliably strange Ken Russell. Indeed, it seemed Russell was incapable of making a film without a pervy sequence of some kind. His films play like respectable British drama, but inevitably take weird, dirty little turns.

Blair in Ken Russell's Altered States.

Before The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Blair could be found in a variety of television programs including Kojak and The Rockford Files.... no Happy Days gigs, though.

Anyway, Blair starred with Beverly D'Angelo in Captains and the Kings - one of the many "star studded" miniseries of the seventies.

Although D'Angelo stole the show in The Sentinel with her uncomfortable habit of masturbating in front of guests, it was really Cristina Raines' picture with top billing.

Cristina did the normal eighties TV circuit - you know the usual suspects: Riptide, Simon & Simon, TJ Hooker, Matt Houston, etc.  But it was her appearance on The Love Boat (season 7, episode 10) that put her in arm's length of a Happy Days alum - Tom Bosley (Mr. Cunningham).

Tom Bosley starred in the profoundly awful Wicked Stepmother (1989) - a film that Bette Davis resigning and walking off the set.  They frantically rewrote the film putting Barbara Carrera as a quick fix for a production that had basically been given a fatal wound.  

Carrera starred in The Island of Doctor Moreau which was written by Al Ramrus who also wrote The Darker Side of Terror (TV Movie 1979) starring Adrienne Barbeau.

Barbeau delivered a memorable performance in The Cannonball Run (1981).  Barbeau's ladyfriend in the passenger seat is Tara Buckman known for her Christmas movies: The Man in the Santa Claus Suit (1979) and Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984).

Silent Night, Deadly Night starred Britt Leach (Gary's dad in Weird Science).  Al also starred in the episode of Happy Days where The Fonz plays Hamlet ("A Star is Bored").

Also appearing in Silent Night, Deadly Night is Linnea Quigley - the MVP of Scream Queens.  Her B-movie appearances are legion.

Among her best is Cheech & Chong's Still Smokin' (1983) which was produced by Cheech's wife, Rikki Marin.  

Followers of Retrospace may recall that she appeared in the drive-in classic Gas Pump Girls (1979).

Also appearing in Gas Pump Girls is Kristen Baker.  She's the chick in Friday the 13th Part II that decided to skinny dip in the middle of the night by herself.  Never a good idea in a slasher film.

Anyway, Kirsten Baker appeared in another drive-in classic horror film, Please Don't Eat the Babies.   (Remember your manners, folks.  If you are asking someone to not eat babies, be sure to say "please".)

The special effects for Please Don't Eat the Babies (AKA Island Fury) were provided by Kevin Shanks - who also helped on Galaxy of Terror!  So, we're back to that amorous space slug again.... which brings us back to Erin Moran, etc.

I could do this all day, folks.


  1. Wow! Impressive list of connections!

  2. Adrienne Barbeau's look of disappointment that she's been pulled over by a female state trooper is priceless. This was one time her assets would not get her out of a ticket ! Amazing survey of 70s and 80s babes. - bravo !

  3. Duke,Duke,Duke,Duke of Oil,Oil,Oil...

  4. Wow. I could hardly follow this, not that it mattered. I enjoyed every moment!

  5. Can't believe you didn't mention Sticks!

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Baker_(actor)

  6. Sorry, but this is too difficult to read with all these damn photos. Can you cut down next time to make it easier to follow the analysis between each link? Certainly, I need to know more about Kathleen Turner's connection to Happy Days. And Blansky's Beauties? What was that?!

    1. Sorry, this post is pretty dense.... and I mean that in both senses of the word.

      Also: Kathleen Turner -> Ken Russell -> Blair Brown -> Beverly D'Angelo -> Cristina Raines -> Tom Bosley

  7. Altered States, what a great movie that was. I remember seeing that in the theaters but never since. I'll have to check Netflix for that.