Sunday, January 27, 2008

ABNB! BotW -- Shannon Tweed

You might not know it by looking at her today, but before Shannon Tweed went and got herself all domesticated and motherly, she was busy titillating a generation of young men just as they began to venture into that innocent time of--self discovery. If you’re in your late 20’s to early 30’s, and were fortunate enough to have a TV in your bedroom with a decent cable box equipped with channels like Showtime and Cinemax you should know exactly what I’m talking about.

Mrs. Tweed first caught attention as Miss November 1981 in the pages of Playboy. I was little more than a Pamper Crapper at the time, but it was obvious to men worldwide that this lady wasn’t just another bunny who’d be here this month, and gone the next. She possessed that important “All American Girl Next Door” quality that most men find irresistible. That’s sort of funny considering she’s Canadian, but I digress. It wasn’t long before Hollywood realized that Shannon had that extra something special, and started putting her on TV. She bummed around shows like “Falcon Crest” and “Fantasy Island” for a while, cutting her teeth on primetime fare, before landing the role that would melt hearts and pitch tents from coast to coast as Sylvia Fonda in 1984’s HOT DOG…THE MOVIE!

Not only was HOT DOG…THE MOVIE one of the first movies to truly capitalize on the awesomeness of the ellipse, it was also the first major motion picture to capitalize on Shannon Tweed’s greatest assets, as well as introduce everyone to what would eventually become the woman’s cinematic signature movie: Simulated Cowgirl! Unfortunately, Shannon would go another seven years before tapping into her undressed potential, attempting to carve out a legitimate acting career--including a single episode stint on “Highway to Heaven.”

1991 saw the death of Shannon’s dreams of becoming an A-List actress, and the birth of her new career as the Queen of Late Night Pay Cable! Her first foray into the steamy genre of Skinemax Erotica was LAST CALL, a real thriller about love, revenge, embezzlement, and lots of hard nasty sex in awkward places. I’m talking elevators, stairwells, rooftops--you name it, it’s probably in there. What made LAST CALL even more fun was that Shannon got to sex it up with everyone’s favorite “Greatest American Hero” William Katt! Talk about your career nosedives. Guess that movie about a baby Brontosaurus wasn’t such a good idea after all, eh Billy? Funny thing though, William Katt wouldn’t be the only former male TV star to earn a paycheck knocking boots with Tweed in the 90’s. Former studs like James Brolin, Jan-Michael Vincent, and Marc Singer would all have their turn--Marc even got to do it twice!

Through the first two thirds of the 90’s Shannon was pumping out a good one-to-two softcore skin flicks a year, most having to do with therapy and stripping, or journalism and stripping, or revenge seeking…and stripping. There wasn’t a lot of originality to these movies by way of plot, either. Most of the time Shannon was just pretending to be one of those mythical empowered and independent women, with a studious profession and a penchant for hot nasty sex on white sheets and some kind of funky lamp that gave everything a velvet/aqua/rose colored tint. These films weren’t masterpieces by any stretch, but they provided growing boys exactly what they were looking for: Lots of sexual content starring Shannon Tweed.

As the decade began to wind down, so did Tweed’s needs for wacky sexual exploits. She began trading on her softcore fame for supporting roles in made-for-TV action movies starring has-beens and professional wrestlers (see: ASSAULT ON DEVIL’S ISLAND, and ASSAULT ON DEATH MOUNTAIN). As she entered the new millennium, Shannon managed to squeeze a couple more skin flicks out before finally retiring her assets for supporting roles on failing sitcoms like “Run of the House” and “The Parkers.”

Now everyone can see Shannon as a mother of two, and common-law wife of legendary rock god Gene Simmons of KISS on Gene’s reality show, “Family Jewels.” The woman’s come a long way in her twenty plus years in the limelight, and she single-handily managed to shape a generation of young men’s ideas and notions of what a great sex life should be. I guess it’s safe to say Shannon is probably the single most exciting, and yet detrimental figure in my life in that regard.

Thank you Shannon, for giving us guys endless amounts of entertainment, while setting the bar impossibly high for our future wives and girlfriends.

My Top 5 Favorite Shannon Tweed Movies (and why):

5. Electra (1996) -- Easily one of the weirdest softcore skin flicks I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, the story revolves around Shannon Tweed and her lusting after he skinny little stepson, Billy. One fact of note here: Shannon Tweed actually plays a bad guy in this film…something she rarely did. It might sound a little sick, but if Shannon Tweed were my step mom, I’d let her do whatever she wanted. I’m just saying.

4. Hot Dog…the Movie (1984) -- It’s the first on-screen appearance of Shannon’s Tweeds, so it’s a shoe-in for my top five. Besides that, she’s just so fresh-faced and cute, I never get tired of seeing the best parts of this flick over and over. Now, trying to tie me down long enough to watch the whole thing…fat chance, bucko!


3. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1989) -- No real nudity to speak of; it’s just a silly-ass movie starring Shannon Tweed, Adrienne Barbeau, Karen Mistal, and a younger less obnoxious (but still really obnoxious) Bill Maher. To call it an indictment on the feminist movement would be giving it too much credit. It’s simply a chucklefest from start to finish. Someone should suggest this to the guys over at Rifftrax.com!

2. Scorned (1994) -- Here’s another movie where The Tweed plays the antagonist, only this time she’s out for revenge! Her three-step plan is nothing short of brilliant: Get in good with the family; seduce and sleep with everybody; start killing them off one by one. It’s a movie the whole family can enjoy! She is probably her best film with regular 90’s on-screen partner, Andrew Stevens (who also directed).

1. Night Fire (1994) -- This movie was one of my first experiences with the whole Skinemax subculture of film. Not only did it offer a bounty of hot Tweedness, it also managed to introduce me to another late night pay cable siren whom I’d come to love, Rochelle Swanson! It’s pretty much a battle for supremacy between the ultimate late night blonde, and ultimate late night brunette. And the two of them pretty much do everything but mud wrestle!

Some fun facts about Shannon Tweed:
Playboy Playmate of the Month November 1981.
Playboy Playmate of the Year 1982.
Older sister of Tracy Tweed.
Has two children with Gene Simmons: a son, Nick Simmons(b. 1989), and a daughter, Sophie Simmons(b. 1992).
Represented the Ottawa Valley in the 1978 Miss Canada Pageant, placing fourth.
Is the third of seven children. She has 3 brothers and 3 sisters.
Her appearance in Playboy was arranged by a Canadian TV series entitled "Thrill of a Lifetime" (1981) which fulfilled real-life fantasies of ordinary Canadians.
Measurements: 34A/B-24-35 (at age 18-self-described), 36B/C-25-36 (as Playmate & actress), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

For more info on Shannon Tweed you can visit: IMDb / Wikipedia / Playboy.com


1 comment:

Coffee Maker said...

Family Jewels is actually right up there with Family Guy for entertainment value


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