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They're Playing with Fire (1984)

A married college professor decides to seduce her student, whom she hired as a handyman for her yacht. The hesitant student succumbs to his buxom professor, but their romance is interrupted by her corrupt husband and a masked murderer.


Howard Avedis

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sybil Danning ... Diane Stevens
Eric Brown ... Jay Richard
Andrew Prine ... Michael Stevens
Paul Clemens ... Martin 'Bird' Johnson
K.T. Stevens ... Lillian Stevens
Gene Bicknell Gene Bicknell ... George Johnson
Curt Ayers Curt Ayers ... The Bartender
Dominick Brascia ... Glenn
Bill Conklin Bill Conklin ... Preacher
Terese Hanses Terese Hanses ... Pub Singer
Greg Kaye Greg Kaye ... Dale
Suzanne Kennedy Suzanne Kennedy ... Janice
Violet Manes Violet Manes ... Jenny
Alvy Moore ... Jimbo
Joe Portaro Joe Portaro ... Professor


During the opening sequences, a college student is seduced by his college professor. After that, it is disclosed that her husband has concocted a devilish scheme to steal millions from an inheritance fund run by his dotty grandmother and totally nasty mother. However, all of that is cast aside for the goings-on of a masked lunatic who is slaughtering the cast in best Jason style. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From his French maid, he got Private Lessons. Now his English professor is giving him a REAL education.


Crime | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

April 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brincando com Fogo See more »

Filming Locations:

Marina del Rey, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hickmar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The picture was often erroneously perceived as being a sequel to Eric Brown's earlier similarly themed 1981 movie Private Lessons (1981). The film's original main movie poster's evoked this by having a tagline saying "From his French maid, he got Private Lessons. Now his English professor is giving him a REAL education" and billing Eric Brown as the " 'Private Lessons' Star ". See more »


In a scene where Diane has finished her shower, she steps out, grabs a towel and dries herself. In the next scene where we see her husband and we see her in the mirror, she is inside the shower again with the towel. See more »


Remake of The Teacher (1974) See more »


Wild Man
Written and Performed by Terese Hanses
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User Reviews

"You're playing with fire Jay"
11 July 2010 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

But I guess you'd be hard press not to take the risk of getting burnt! "I don't know what he sees in her?" Huh! Well simply who would want to knock back the advancements of the Austrian born blonde buxom Sybil Danning. Oh she sizzles and it's difficult not to ogle, as the director takes every opportunity to focus on her curvy shape in a very desirable manner. Plenty of instances we find Danning in the buff and everything seems to play secondary to her T&A.

The highly attractive English professor Diane Stevens seduces her gullible student Jay in a plan crafted by her husband Michael to inherit his family's fortune. However things turn pear shape when murder becomes apart of it.

In the 80s Eric Red was living every teenage boy's wet dream, as only years before he was getting it on with another European goddess Sylvia Kristel in "Private Lessons". So the hormones go crazy once again. But while the two films share some similarities, "They're Playing with Fire" is less light-headed being a lot more sleazy and spiteful in mixing elements of popular teenage sex comedies and jarring slasher traits. Holding this exploitation together is a deviously plotted murder-mystery soapish narrative. Even with the paranoid reactions, deceitful manipulation and masked intentions where nothing seems quite as it is. It kind of gets obvious just who's behind it due to the minor red herrings and the clues that sprung up, so we're left to hang around to wait for the motivation for the homicidal madness. It's quite overlong in its quest to reach its messy, silly revelation too. As for the shocks they're surprisingly nasty and bloody, but still clumsily handled by director Howard Avedis and the eccentric script consists of plenty sharp stabs of irony. Covering the film's soundtrack is numerous cheese-grated rock ballads with the seductive title song leading the way. The acting is colourful enough; Danning is a talented actress than just a figure and her strong presence shows it. Red is fitting and Andrew Prine is great as her vain husband. Offering fine support are Paul Clemens, K.T Stevens, Dominick Brascia and Alvy Moore.

It's an odd, neurotic and junky combination altogether, but incredibly amusing nonetheless.

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