directed by Andy Sidaris (1987)
We just went to see Piranha 3D and can say it’s a fun barrel of trash that at least goes literally balls out with its sleaze and B-movie tropes. It lead to a discussion about how hard it is to make good bad things. Which, aside from a full monologue about my favorite Seagal films, eventually, inevitably lead to a lesson in Andy Sidaris. His soft core oeuvre is incredible, and Hard Ticket to Hawaii is his finest – truly the Citizen Kane of soft core action films. All the signature Sidaris touches are here – Playboy actresses, long shots of airplanes taking off and landing, the excessive use of toy helicopters and cars to deliver either explosions or drugs, elaborate death scenes, and a bad guy named Seth.
Donna Speir, who grits her teeth for dramatic line readings and babysitter gone slightly naughty Hope Marie Carlton are special agents and copter pilots who stumble upon a drug ring mastered by Seth. Total babes Ronn Moss and Harold Diamond are their Agency mates and, in Donna’s case, tit rubbing lover (no worries about being too embarrassed a la Travis Bickle to watch this – the most you’ll get is semi nude heavy petting – though the stills after the jump/below might not be safe for work).
From the opening song “Hard ticket to Hawaaaaaii, it’s not paradise all the time” you know you’re in for a treat, a treat that includes a dangerous cancer infested snake (which in theory would just make it sick and likely to die but here makes it a man eating killer machine that can bust through toilets with a radio active glow), a weapon made from a frisbee and razor blades, and one of the greatest “action” scenes of all time that includes a blow up doll, hot dogging skateboarding, and explosions (you’ll find a moment by moment break down of this scene below).
Sidaris, who my family contacted as fans and was a lovely man with a co-creator wife that sent us all signed photographs, sadly passed away a few years ago, but his legacy is vast. My guess is he’s unknown to you, so you have plenty in his archives to discover – after this immaculate classic, try Picasso Trigger and Return to Savage Beach.
Meet bad guy “Shades”
A cancer infected snake!!
Classic scene wherein they “Think better in the hot tub”.
Hunky Ronn Moss as Rowdy, probably using a vaguely racist “oriental” accent.
Hunky Howard Diamond (“Best known to movie fans as John Rambo’s “stick-fighting” opponent in Rambo III” according to imdb) as Jade, definitely using a vaguely racist “oriental” accent.
How does one destroy a top secret mission as a spy? Put your lighter to the lettuce sandwich it was written in, of course.
Donna, threatened with a tiny knife.
Taryn, threatened with nunchucks.
Jim’s favorite character Edy, who runs the resort that acts as the Agency’s headquarters… and Donna’s boobs.
Time for some pants on tit rubbing.
The best scene ever begins like this…
which leads to this..
Rowdy is fairly oblivious to what’s about to happen..
and this is just part of what’s about to happen..
hope that this isn’t the last thing you ever see on this Earth..
is but a flesh wound in Jade’s ample chest..
Unaware that the well timed and prepared shot wasn’t fatal, hot-dogging old skate board assassin twirls in celebration..
But his joy is fleeting and quickly turns to utter fear..
He is struck!!
But the worse is about to come..
And no witnesses left behind..
Nothing but the best in spy technology.
After finding the eaten bodies of a honeymooning couple, Donna and Taryn see the last photo the couple ever took..
It’s that cancer infected snake!!
Shades is mouthing off about his frisbee skills.
Making Rowdy mad..
Catch that, Shades!
Real ultimate frisbee.
It’s that cancer infected snake again!!
But Donna and Rowdy are safe.
They just have one more scumbag to take care of.
Before breaking out the champagne on Jade’s yacht.
Any movie with a Rocket Gun Designer is worth watching.
But what do you think?