Andy Sidaris season! Savage Beach (1989)


Our Andy Sidaris season is taking a little longer than we expected, because if the ISCFC ever actually completed a project our website would probably stop working in sheer amazement. But we’re still enjoying them, and we hope you enjoy these reviews too (and pick up the “Girls, Guns And G-Strings” 12-film set).


Hot federal agent Donna (Dona Speir) and hot lady-not-in-witness-protection-anymore Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) are back for their third movie, and Donna is with her third Abilene man, this time Shane (Michael J Shane). Even though Taryn clearly says she’s just a civilian, she and Donna take part in a drug bust at the beginning, where the criminals are smuggling heroin inside pineapples. There are also a couple of other women in their group, but they do basically nothing other than take their tops off a few times and sit in a hot tub, so I won’t be mentioning them too much (or at all).


Up to now, and at least as far as the next movie, 1990’s “Guns”, Sidaris’s movies all exist in the same universe (this stretches back to his early movies, 1973’s “Stacy” and 1979’s “Seven”). I think this is the first appearance of the “L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies” group of non-governmental ass-kickers, sort of Charlie’s Angels if the Angels all had huge boobs and were led by a guy with a cool mullet. But you don’t need to have seen the others; in fact it’s a positive hindrance if you’re not a fan of the same plot being repeated with largely the same cast.


Okay, I’d best recap the plot. After the drug bust, our two heroes are asked to take an emergency shipment of medicine from Molokai to Knox Island, but a storm knocks them way off course and they’re forced to land on a completely deserted island. At the same time, three other groups are also converging on that island – a couple of south American revolutionaries, two Japanese government agents, and two American army guys – because they discovered there’s a huge amount of gold stowed there from a sunk Japanese WW2 boat. Then there’s double-crosses (the male revolutionary is just in it for the fame, the woman is a true believer; the two Japanese guys are killed and a couple of evil guys assume their identity; and the CIA wants to take over the US Army mission) and lots of the things that make Andy Sidaris movies great.


One thing his movies have always had in common is that it’s cool for men to cheat, almost natural you might say. At the beginning, Shane Abilene (fun fact: Michael J Shane only appeared in seven movies, and he was this character in five of them) is with his hot girlfriend, and she asks him to “put it on ice” when he goes back to Hawaii – his response is “use it or lose it”, and he almost immediately gets into a thing with Donna, making Shane her third Abilene, along with Rowdy and Travis from the previous movies. It’s a weird fetish, but I’ll allow it! Another commonality is a pathological hatred of bras, with the only bra in the entire movie being worn by one of the irrelevant team members…but that’s the only item of clothing she has on above the waist. When Donna and Taryn get changed in the middle of a plane flight, in a crazy storm, I really had to question if Sidaris’ love of buxom nudity had crossed over the line into some weird pathology.


There’s a Japanese WW2 guy on the island, who’s been there for…40 years or so?…and he helps out the ladies, after tying them up and threatening them of course. My favourite line of the entire movie is Taryn’s “what’s with that guy, anyway?” after he frees them, delivered with the same excitement you’d reserve for ordering coffee and not like HE’S A WEIRD OLD JAPANESE GUY ON A COMPLETELY DESERTED ISLAND WHO JUST ATTACKED THEM! At the end, he tells us his life story, and the flashback goes on for bloody ever, like they had the footage from something else and were determined to use it.


As well as his stock company (Obregon would appear in all the rest of his movies, Speir in most of them, Shane too), there’s a couple of fine “That Guy” appearances too. You’ve definitely seen more than one Al Leong movie – he’s the guy they called from the mid 80s to the mid 90s if they needed an Asian villain. I was surprised to hear his actual accent was American, he speaks so rarely! There’s also the great James Lew, who occupied a similar role at a similar time but is a bit of a better actor so occasionally is called on to not just fight.


The acting is, by and large, terrible (again). Every non-main cast member is a rank amateur, and the trick of picking most of your female talent from the pages of “Playboy” and “Penthouse” doesn’t exactly help in those stakes. While Sidaris knew how to film Hawaii to make it look beautiful, and was completely solid when it came to filming action, he couldn’t be bothered to hire good actors.


Although the cast list is smaller than “Picasso Trigger”, and the movie is therefore a lot easier to understand, there are still a number of irrelevant actors who are in it because they were in Hawaii and were going to appear in one of his other movies, so why not pop up in this one too? The two other agents (played by Lisa London and Teri Weigel, I think) are beyond pointless, and other than Sidaris needing an Abilene guy in his movies, I’ve got no idea why Michael J Shane was there at all. I get the feeling he kept hiring people because he liked them, even though he didn’t need any more cast members, and just crowbarred them in wherever he could.


Much like our previous three, it’s to be enjoyed, provided you understand how cheesy and female-nudity-filled it’s going to be. Everyone has a good time, the women give as good as they get in both the fighting and sex stakes, it’s lovely to look at, and it’s pretty funny at times too. Light, frothy, completely forgettable, but fun.


Rating: thumbs up


One thought on “Andy Sidaris season! Savage Beach (1989)

  1. Pingback: CyberTracker (1994) |

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