Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hard Ticket To Hawaii

Title: Hard Ticket To Hawaii
Director: Andy Sidaris
Released: 1987
Starring: Ronn Moss, Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, Harold Diamond, Rodrigo Obregon, Cynthia Brimhall, Patty Duffek, Wolf Larson, Lorry Green, Peter Bromilow

Plot: When two DEA agents are killed on a private Hawaiian island, Agents Donna (Speir) and Taryn (Carlton) soon intercept as part of their investigation a delivery of diamonds belonging to drug lord Seth Romero who plans to flood Hawaii with drugs by taking over the island of Molokai.


Review: The second film in director Andy Sidaris’s “Triple B” series (Boobs, Bullets and Bombs) of loosely attached films in which Sidaris casts Playmates / Penthouse Pets as the leads in his series of over the top action films with this film being one which I recently got to discuss on the “Exploding Helicopter” podcast. Now If you’ve ever seen any of Sidaris’s other films you will already know what to expect going into this film, as Sidaris essentially picked up were Russ Meyer left off as he shares Meyer’s love for amply breasted ladies, moulding his films around this love by casting them as his feisty leads in these otherwise by the book 80’s action fests with a healthy side order of cheese.

The plot is as paper thin as it is nonsensical with Sidaris padding out the plot with a healthy dose of nudity and softcore sex scenes, aswell as a random sub-plot involving a seemingly invincible killer snake. This however does not stop it from being a fun ride and all the more unsurprising that it has more recently gained a real cult following, if especially for some of the more truly bonkers scenes including the much discuss assassination attempt, by an assassin riding a skateboard and while holding a blow up sex doll!

While the girls are more than capable of handling things on their own, the girls are joined by fellow agents Rowdy (Moss) who can seemingly can only use a bazooka to hit anything (by his own confession no less) making me wonder what exactly the entrance requirements are for their agency, while Jade (Dimond) brings some killer kickboxing skills. Both 80’s action hero cut outs, yet still make for an amusing double act whenever they are left to their own devices or have one of the numerous attractive ladies to distract them.

The action scenes are one of the main selling points and other than the appeal of gratuitous nudity; Sidaris crafts several great action scenes which are so amusingly over the top it’s hard to not use these moments to see past the numerous other flawed parts of the film. After all what other film sees a bazooka being showcased as having so many uses, including being used at point blank range with zero effect on the shooter. Such leaps in realism are scattered throughout the film with the real jump the shark moment coming when Rowdy takes out a guard using a razorblade Frisbee in yet another standout moment. Still this is also a world where the characters have movie posters on the wall of the directors other films hanging on the wall.

The acting on show here is surprisingly better than you would expect from a cast which largely consists of glamour models. This is not to say that its Oscar worthy, but certainly its not being hammed up, with the general feeling being that the cast and director were genuinely trying to make a good movie, something only further reinforced by the introduction provided by Sidaris and Julie Strain, even Sidaris spends most of it complimenting the looks of his leading ladies.

True this might be abit of a cornball action movie, with more than a handful of outlandish moments, but then this really is all part of its charm and makes it only the easier to understand its cult appeal. This isn’t award winning film making but at the same time it’s a world apart from the intentionally bad efforts churned out by the likes of “The Asylum”, while it more than lives up to its triple b promise, with enough boobs, explosions and gunfire to keep things intresting. So watch it with an open mind and a few like-minded friends and it’s a blast. So buy a ticket and just enjoy the ride.

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