Retro Film Report #19: Love at Stake (1987)

Love at Stake (1987)

A surprisingly ribald comedy set during the Salem witch trials. Many may remember this from its heavy rotation on USA's Up All Night with Rhonda Shear. It tries valiantly to be like Monty Python but doesn't quite get there. That being said, there are worse ways to kill time than watching an hour an a half of Barbara Carrera's cleavage.

While it isn't bound to become anyone's undiscovered comedy masterpiece, it still fits nicely within the Hot Shots, Top Secret, Naked Gun, Mel Brooks genre, reveling in its own glorious stupidity. Even the most ridiculously self-important movie-snobs will find themselves laughing in spite of themselves.

Directed by John Moffitt who gets automatic Retrospace cred for The Captain & Tennille in Hawaii TV special. Oddly enough, he also directed every episode of Mr. Show


1. John Travolta's significant other, Kelly Preston as the clueless baker, Sara Lee (get it?). Guys will be expecting her to get naked as she so often did in the eighties. Keep dreamin', boys. No dice.

2. Patrick Cassidy, son of Shirley Jones and the bi-polar fella who set himself on fire, Jack Cassidy. He's the less famous brother of David and Shaun.

3. Barbara Carrera, the hot mama from Never Say Never Again plays a conniving witch.  The fellas won't mind the fact that she's nearly popping out of her bodice in every scene she's in.  Her cleavage should have demanded top billing for this film.

4. Dave Thomas of Strange Brew and SCTV. That's him to the left of the cleavage.

5. David Graf - Officer Tackleberry from all the Police Academy films.  In the movie's only nude scene, Graf imagines that a turkey is a topless woman. The WTF moments in this movie are plentiful.

6. Bud Cort - you'll remember him as Harold from Harold and Maude.  There's a great scene with him smoking some heavy duty weed with the local tribe. (sitar music plays in the background)

7. Anne Ramsey - This is that old gal from Throw Mama from the Train and the one that gets her head exploded by a basketball in Deadly Friend. Carrera turns into a hag played by Ramsey. Not a pretty sight.

Notable Scenes:

1. Barbara Carrera turns a normal bakery into an erotic bakery. Hilarity ensues. Note the phallic shaped loaves behind Miss Preston.

2. Farting in church is always funny.  This scene is no exception

3. Female New England Clam Chowder Wrestling

4. Three maidens possessed by Beelzebub launch into a rap ("Don't Keep Satan Waitin') that would make Kool Moe Dee proud.
"Sunday school is a place for fools
It's hot in hell, but the devil's cool!"

5. In attempt to seduce Cassidy, the evil witch sluts it up big time.

6. Most notorious of all (due in large part to Dr. Demento's fondness for it) is the pussy song. Simply an old maid at the harpsichord singing about her pussy. Genius.

"A pussy is a maid's best friend
What a comfort to have one in hand."


  1. Thanks for reminding me of this! I used to love Up All Night.

    In fact, I was an "official" member of the Rhonda Shear fan club.

    1. Rhonda was smoking hot. Remember Gilbert Godfried also hosted the show? I LOVED that show. How else could I have watched "Dr. Jeckyl and Mister Hyde: Together Again" back in '84?

    2. I do remember Godfried hosting. I think I liked Rhonda more.

  2. I miss the old USA Network. It was much more interesting than the homogenized TNT-clone it is now. I mean, really, how many reruns of "Law & Order" can anyone watch in a day? Bring back "USA Up Al Night", "Night Flight", "Commander USA", etc.... They used to show very unusual & eclectic programming. I miss it.

    1. I can watch a rerun of Law and Order exactly 0 times per day.

      I couldn't agree with you more - USA was my go-to station back in the eighties. I even watched "Dance Party USA".... although I shouldn't probably have admitted to that publicly.

  3. I used to have "Up All Night" playing in the background while working on manuscripts. I do miss those old days of what the USA network used to be. I don't even watch it now. For a while, I actually thought it went away.

  4. Aren't those the wrong kind of Indians for a sitar?

  5. Barbara Carrera in a Miss Whiplash outfit
    Barbara Carrera in a Miss Whiplash outfit
    Barbara Carrera in a Miss Whiplash outfit

    ...that's all you need to know.

  6. After the release of movie Ye Maya Chesave, actress Samanta became the hearthrob of many youngsters in AP. Her appealing looks and her way of carrying herself on screen made people go crazy.

  7. AnonymousJuly 13, 2012

    Is it just my browser or is it no longer possible to select text on articles here? It makes it difficult when there is an unclickable link and I can't copy and paste it into the address bar.

    1. I had disabled highlighting text briefly. I didn't think anyone would notice. Sorry. It's back to working again - highlight to your heart's content.

  8. Who played the role of the hallucinated turkey?