Saturday, 20 November 2010

Return To Savage Beach

Title: Return to Savage Beach
Director: Andy Sidaris
Released: 1998
Staring: Julie Strain, Rodrigo Obregón, Julie K. Smith, Shae Marks, Marcus Bagwell, Cristian Letelier, Carrie Westcott, Paul Logan, Gerald Okamura, Kevin Eastman, Ava Cadell

Rating: 3 / 5

Plot: When the ladies of L.E.T.H.A.L. (Legion to Ensure Total Harmony and Law) recover a stolen computer disk containing the location of a hidden treasure trove, it’s a race against time to find it before the evil Rodrigo Martinez (Obregón) and his ninja henchmen do.

Return to Savage Beach
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Review: Honestly this is the kind of movie I tend to avoid reviewing, largly because of being the kind of person who gets embarrassed by my neighbours kid, loudly announcing that she wears a bra, so who really knows how writing about a film which is essentially sleazy trash will go, but then I guess the enjoyment of this film is pretty the same as that which comes with equally guilty pleasures such as “Baywatch” and the majority of Russ Meyer's movies, who coincidently is the one director who Sidaris certainly has the most in common with, for as Meyer's had a very obvious obsession with large breasted ladies, Sidaris has with “Playmate centrefolds” and “Penthouse Pets”, who he casted in his “Triple B” movies AKA “Bullets, Bombs and Babes”, a series of B-movies he made with his wife Arlene serving as his production partner and of which this would be the last of the series, while Sidaris was also renown for pioneering what he called “The Honey Shot”, were the camera cuts to close up shots of cheerleaders and pretty girls in the crowd, during his work as a director of sports coverage.

So to to this film, which as to be expected for a film featuring a bunch of centrefold models and other random B-movie actors, the plotting really is nothing to really write home about, especially as it’s pretty much none existent with the few scraps of actual plotting, are padded out with a mixture of overblown action sequences, gratuitous nudity and the occasional spattering of softcore sex scenes, which honestly will either spell out fun times, or will just confirm with those few plot elements, that this isn’t the movie for you. Now if you liked what you just read then there really is some cheesy fun to be had with this movie, which although it won’t be winning any awards it’s still a fun ride with a definite early 90’s / late 80’s vibe to it, which made it all the more surprising to find out how recent it actually was released.

Despite the limited budget, the cast all appear to be having fun playing secret agent, as the girls run around in a variety of skimpy outfits and on occasion nothing at all, while the two sole male members of the team Doc (Logan) and J. (Letelier) essentially do the male equivalent, as they seem to frequently misplace their shirts or go with the open shirt look, proving I guess in a way that Sidaris is an equal opportunities kind of director, with Letelier even sporting a comical looking medallion, which is never a good look anyway. Logan who can be found more recently featuring in various films being churned out by “The Asylum” such as “Mega Pirahna” (2010) and here once again is on top B-movie action hero form, really pulling off the fight sequences convincingly, while possibly being the best actor of the bunch as he puts on his typical gruff exterior, while generally kicking a fair amount of ass, while the ladies generally give the kind of performance that would not look out of place on an episode of Baywatch, which this whole film is essentially an extended episode of, just with more nudity and explosions. Still to many of the cast together in the same scene and their mediocre acting skills become painful obvious, as the laughable attempt at a tense bomb deactivation truly highlights

Backing up this elite crime fighting force is a colourful bunch of supporting characters including Sexologist and informant Ava (Cadell), who uses her innuendo laden horoscopes to guide the agents in the field, making her a kind of sexed up version of the D.J in “The Warriors (1979), while also being assisted by Harry the cat who is bizarrely enough played by Kevin Eastman, who is probably better known for being one half the creative team, behind the cash cow which was “Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles”, though really no idea how he ended up in this movie. To add further to this random cast of characters we also have the former wrestling crime boss Warrior, played here by ex WCW wrestler Marcus “Buff” Bagwell, aswell as Fu (Okamura) who looks like a Martial arts mentor and serves only to show off some kung fu skills and provide the setup for Willow’s (Strain) trademark “Book em Fu!” quote.

Obregón who is on bad guy duties here, as what only be assumed is supposed to be a columbian drug lord, is in many ways Sidaris’s version of Rami’s Bruce Campbell, especially seeing how he appears in nearly all of Sidaris’s films and here, spends the movie wearing a phantom of the opera style mask, while also having an army of Ninja’s (well three atleast) for no discernable reason it would seem other than he can, yet it is also never explained why they also have more of a tendency to use guns, than anything really resembling ninjitsu skill, with the exception of one fight in which they attempt to show off some kung fu skills, which predictably enough ends badly, much like any bad guy who is stupid enough to stand next to anything remotely explosive, as they are ultimately guaranteed to die via explosion, or rather their badly stuffed dummy version is anyway. Still when it came to the big final showdown, I was hardly expecting the Scooby doo ending which essentially get here, which confused me enough, until the end credits began to roll, to actually realise that I never got the big showdown, but instead the got not only a Scooby doo ending, but also the super happy ending aswell, which certainly if anything makes this film quite original for actually trying to pull something so ballsy off.

The action scenes are all pretty entertaining to watch and rise above the B-movie budget that Sedaris is working with, as he also manages to craft a few great original moments, including a couple involving the creative use of an exploding RC car, which although telegraphed from a mile off, still prove entertaining to watch, with Sedaris milking his explosions with the heavy use of slo-mo, which thankfully he avoids putting into any of the fight scenes, avoiding one of the common pitfalls numerous Action B-movies tend to fall into, believing that it adds to the action, when essentially it usually only takes away from it.

It’s hard to really recommend it, other than perhaps a cheap thrill as the gratuitous nudity and soft core sex scenes, limit it’s audience to those seeking the aforementioned cheap thrills and those of you who hunt out films of these standard purely for their humorous value, so if any of what I’ve mention throughout this review holds any kind of appeal give it a burn, otherwise you might want to just this film in a more literal way.


  1. hmmm, probably something I would definately watch on the TV but not striking enough to buy on DVD. A very good and fair review by the way

  2. Just to answer why you were wondering how Kevin Eastman ended up in the movie. Kevin is married to Julie Strain and is often a producer for her films. He is also the publisher of Heavy Metal magazine which explains why Julie was top billed in the sequel movie. BTW, check out Julie in the post apocalypic nudie fest "Battle Queen 2020"

  3. @Dempsey: Funnily enough that's were I found this one, down in the depths of the TV planner. Yeah not sure if I'd buy this one either, but I guess that's the joy of SKY+, in that you can record junk that you normally wouldn't bother with.

    @CasEjonz: Thanks for clearing that up, as it's just so weird that he would show up in this film, though being the editor of "Heavy Metal" is also an equally interesting career move.
    Might have to check out "Battle Queen 2020", when I finally get around to watching the Bronx Warriors Trilogy boxset, which is an odd name for the collection seeing how "The New Barbarians" is a completely separate movie.

    Thanks for the comments :)


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