Case Number 08261

TRIPLE B COLLECTION

Malibu Express
BCI Eclipse // 1985 // 105 Minutes // Rated R
Hard Ticket To Hawaii
BCI Eclipse // 1987 // 96 Minutes // Rated R
Fit To Kill
BCI Eclipse // 1993 // 97 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 22nd, 2005

The Charge

Bullets, bombs, and babes.

Opening Statement

Where would we be as a society without Andy Sidaris? This former sports producer opted one day to follow his true path, and carry out the designs that were almost certainly divinely ordained: to churn out hideous James Bond action knock-offs starring former Playboy and Penthouse models and soap opera stars, handing them fake-looking guns, a script laden with cheesy dialogue, and barely-there outfits with the molecular weight of cobalt.

Facts of the Case

The films of Andy Sidaris have finally been unleashed onto the unsuspecting public in DVD form and this volume, which features three of his early films, are indicative of what would make him Cinemax's favorite late-night auteur: nips and clips.

* Malibu Express
"Packing Heat from Texas to Malibu"

Soap cast-off Darby Hinton stars as crack PI Cody Abilene, a laid-back playboy who enjoys hanging out on his yacht the Malibu Express and watching the local girls shower together. One day, he is approached by a beautiful woman (Sybil Danning, Chained Heat), who offers him a lucrative deal to investigate a computer company that may be involved in treason.

Cody accepts, and he is soon thrust into a world of car chases, double-crosses and impossible female proportions. With the convoluted plot rocketing forward, Cody must use all four of his wits, as well as his robust moustache that women find irresistible, to unravel the mystery.

* Hard Ticket to Hawaii
"This ain't no hula!"

Cody Abilene sits this one out, replaced by some pretty-boy named Rowdy, to aid super-sexy undercover agents Donna (Donna Spier) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) bring down a Hawaiian diamond smuggling cartel.

The usual assortment of roided-up thugs brandishing firearms stand in their way -- and something else. An abnormally large snake is also loose on the island, stalking its victims with its rubber-looking fangs. Will our heroes make it? More importantly, will they remove their tops?

* Fit to Kill
"They are sexy, they are fearless, they are fit to kill!"

Agent extraordinaire Donna Hamilton is back, sent on another dangerous mission by The Agency. This time, she and her partner Nicole (Roberta Vasquez), must infiltrate the fortress of their arch-nemesis Martin Kane.

Kane is involved in an illicit diamond heist with some Russians, and it is up to Donna and Nicole to thwart his plan. But it won't be easy. Standing in their way is the deadly Blu Steele (Julie Strain, Tales From the Crapper), a lethal lady who is particularly skilled at piloting RC aircraft.

The Evidence

These Sidaris movies are trash of the highest caliber. It is unapologetic trash, too, films cobbled together, written in four days (as admitted by Sidaris in the extras), stocked with non-actors, and crafted solely as excursions into uber-sleaze. These bad boys were released on a semi-annual basis, and could always be counted on to have incoherent plots and nudity every few minutes. Give it up for the man: Sidaris knew what he wanted, knew what his audience wanted, and delivered the goods each outing.

These movies are horrible. They are objectively awful, woefully-acted, and blatantly goofy, but, for fans (like myself) of '80s trash, they are supremely watchable.

Malibu Express does well at setting the table for what's to come on the Sidaris gravy-train. The flick is over 100 minutes long, and not once did I have a firm grasp on what was transpiring on the screen. Even with the ongoing narration by the main character, I was still clueless.

This is a staple of Sidaris movies, narratives that are utterly impenetrable. Watching these films -- and this goes for all three this set -- is like reading a few pages of pretentious scholarly psychobabble: it's all very complex, and there's a sense that the guy has no clue what he's talking about.

But what do you expect for four days work? And who the @%$& watches a Sidaris movie for its compelling storyline? No, it's about blowing things up and convincing as many beautiful women as possible to bare their breasts.

Wherever Cody Abilene went, he was accosted by women eager to rub their areolas in his face (my favorite: following a clash and car chase with some bad guys, Cody ends up at a junkyard, where he's greeted by a brunette who immediately undoes her top).

By the film's conclusion, we're treated to a kind of Cliffs notes from Abilene, describing how he discovered who was guilty and blah blah blah. It helped tie up the insane plot, but really was an excuse to show a few more clips of nudity.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii picks up right where the last one left off, throwing me into another head-scratcher of a plot. This time, Sidaris wisely shifted the focus to the two female agents, Donna and Taryn.

This is my favorite of the three films; it's got much more senseless violence, a few sequence of inspired hilarity, and the kicker, that damn snake. Man, when that snake shoots up through the toilet at the end, I was in B-movie bliss. That thing is the fakest looking prop in movie history, and its ludicrousness is only usurped by the scene where Rowdy blows up a skateboarder with a bazooka, then opens fire on his inflatable sex doll.

Finally, we have Fit to Kill, starring Sidaris favorite and perennial schlock queen Julie Strain. If there is a woman in history more inclined to remove her top on a whim than her, I've never heard of her. Strain owns this film as the rival agent Blu Steele and her sex scene on a boat sets a new standard for cheeseball lovemaking ("Anchors aweigh!!!")

The rest of the film is boilerplate guns, explosions, and boobs, though there is a molecule of deft plotting when sworn enemy Martin Kane begins to fall for Donna. The culminating "dueling radio controlled" airplane fight is not to be missed.

Man, Sidaris loved those RC planes. His family must have stock in Radio Shack.

This is a great set from BCI Eclipse. The full-frame presentation is clean and the 2.0 stereo sound is effective. Each film features an intro by Sidaris and Strain (I'm not kidding about her eagerness to unsheathe her bosoms) as well as a feature-length commentary from the director and his wife Arlene, who produced his movies. These commentaries are a lot of fun, listening to these two who obviously believe passionately in their trash-peddling.

Malibu Express sports six featurettes: "Andy and Julie Talk," two film school bits about action and sexy sequences, two spots highlighting stars/models Suzi Simpson and Cynthia Brimhall, and an interview with John Brown, one of the buff gym-rat actors.

Hard Ticket to Hawaiifeatures a half-hour's worth of behind-the-scenes footage, narrated by Andy and Arlene Sidaris, including comparisons between raw footage and the finished shots (surprise! These selected scenes involve nudity!)

Lastly, Fit to Kill includes another round of chatter between Andy and Julie, a two minute spot on Julie Strain, another film school feature on action, an interview with Joe Bob Briggs, and on-set footage of Hard Hunted, which was directed by Andy's son. Now there's a family business.

Closing Statement

Those other trash B-movies, they're pretenders. These flicks are the real deal.

The Verdict

Guilty, sure, of crimes against moviemaking, but these flicks are a drive-in schlock aficionado's dream.

Review content copyright © 2005 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice, Malibu Express
Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 85
Acting: 60
Story: 70
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile, Malibu Express
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 105 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks, Malibu Express
* Director's Commentary
* Behind-the-scenes With Six Featurettes
* Production Stills
* Trailers
* Promotional Materials
* Web Links
* Filmography

Scales of Justice, Hard Ticket To Hawaii
Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 85
Acting: 60
Story: 75
Judgment: 74

Perp Profile, Hard Ticket To Hawaii
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 1987
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks, Hard Ticket To Hawaii
* Director's Commentary
* Behind-the-scenes
* Production Stills
* Trailers
* Promotional Materials
* Web Links
* Filmography

Scales of Justice, Fit To Kill
Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 80
Acting: 60
Story: 70
Judgment: 69

Perp Profile, Fit To Kill
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 97 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks, Fit To Kill
* Director's Commentary
* Behind-the-scenes with Five Featurettes
* Production Stills
* Trailers
* Promotional Materials
* Web Links
* Filmography

Accomplices
* IMDb: Fit to Kill
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0106922/combined

* IMDb: Hard Ticket to Hawaii
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0093146/combined

* IMDb: Malibu Express
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0089539/combined