Once more into the breach with Andy Sidaris, and his “Girls, Guns and G-Strings” collection, which has provided me with much entertainment since buying it. And, I think, this might be the best Sidaris film so far – it’s got action, a plot that I could understand, lots of fun characters, the return of a gag I always liked, and more of the wonderful tricks of the low-budget filmmaker. And the nudity is perhaps even more crowbarred-in than ever before!
DANNY TREJO WATCH – he’s appeared in hundreds of movies, and he shows up here as the chief goon of bad guy Juan Degas / “Jack of Diamonds”, Erik Estrada. Erik Estrada! Off of “CHiPs”! Anyway, Trejo is, of course, brilliant, but you might be thinking “Mark, is this the earliest appearance of the great man in an ISCFC review?” Well, it’s close, but we have Trejo reviews going back as far as 1987, his third ever role, in “The Hidden”; and there’s also another one from before this, 1990’s “Maniac Cop 2”. Even at the beginning of his career, he picked good ones!
But we’re not here to talk Trejo, we’re here to talk Andy Sidaris. I wanted to make sure that you understand what you’re getting when you watch a Sidaris movie, and it’s not the most original thing in the world. All his movies, so far at least, are set in and around Molokai, a small island in the Hawaiian peninsula, and feature variations on a theme – a central female partnership get involved, inadvertently or not, with a mission to stop some criminal from using Hawaii to do something bad. All the women are happy to disrobe at the drop of a hat, often in teams (there are regular hot tub scenes), and up to now there’s always been a big role for a male member of the Abilene family, although they’ve gone from the stars of the series to definitely secondary to the ladies. They’re all roughly the same, to be brutally honest, so if you’ve seen the classic “Hard Ticket To Hawaii” and aren’t driven like me to watch every film in a certain series or from a certain director, then you don’t really need to watch any others.
From this line on I can assume you’re all with me and want to know just what “Guns” is all about. Sadly, the gorgeous 80s sparkly bikini-clad singer is not the star, but she’s the first thing we see, and she certainly gets us ready for the sort of entertainment we have on offer. Degas is a guy who everyone thought had died in a boat explosion some time ago, but he’s out and about, not exactly living in secret, and hires a couple of assassins to get revenge for…someone who did actually die on that boat? I’m really not sure, and it’s not like it matters who he’s getting revenge for.
The assassins are the dumbest guys, treating murder as a job they sort of like but still enjoy slacking off on. Their speciality is small bombs inside electrical things, completely undetectable, but Degas wants this particular murder to go down a certain way, and that way involves them dressing up as women and murdering their target in the middle of a crowded restaurant, then leaving a Jack of Diamonds playing card on the victim’s chest, with the name of the revenge-ee on it. The two guys don’t seem thrilled about becoming, as one character memorably describes them later on, as “shemales”, but for the entire rest of the movie are constantly found at transvestite bars dressed as women, or just dressed as women. Given Sidaris has featured transvestitism before (in “Malibu Express”), and it’s not mocked, one should perhaps give him the mildest of kudos. Even if it’d be nice to know if these were actually transvestite assassins or just assassins who’d taken the wrong disguise bag out to work with them.
Anyway, the assassins, due to a dress mixup, kill the wrong person. The person they were trying to kill is Nicole (Roberta Vasquez), who’s the new sidekick to Donna (Dona Speir), our statuesque blonde friend who’s a Sidaris regular. It would appear Taryn from the previous three films took the money she found at the end of “Savage Beach” and left this weird life forever – she was still in witness protection, I think, but was the equal of Federal agent Donna and shot just as many people as she did. Luckily, sparkly bikini lady Edy (Cynthia Brimhall), and a woman we’re introduced to taking part in the sleaziest oil wrestling I’ve ever seen captured on film, are both agents too, so we have a bit of a “getting the team together” segment. Joining them is the same Abilene brother from the previous movie, and a guy who’s in charge of the squad, although who he is, why he’s in charge and what the squad’s called are questions we never get the answers to.
Seriously, I’m expecting some “L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies” and through five movies, neither hide nor hair of them. It’s like watching “Charlie’s Angels” if the Angels don’t form until halfway through season 2! I paid really close attention too, on the off chance I missed the name, but nothing.
Anyway, “Guns” is really entertaining. The action hops back and forth from Las Vegas to Molokai, Donna’s mother – the local Vegas DA – is kidnapped by Degas, and the two sides go tit for tat in elaborate ways of murdering their enemies. I’ll give you one very odd segment – one of the members of the team is Abe (veteran character actor Chuck McCann) and he goes to interview a couple of Degas’ men, who’ve been arrested. Rather than do anything normal, he straight up murders the pair of them and pretends they were armed so he had to do it! So, he walks away fine, but later on is blown up by a remote controlled boat (RC vehicles are something of a directorial fetish) sent by Degas’ girlfriend.
I’ve spent quite a lot of time talking about a fairly typical Sidaris movie, but if you were going to pick one to watch first…actually, I’d still go with “Hard Ticket To Hawaii”, but this runs it a close second. Lots of fun, nothing too much to worry about, and provided you’re cool with tons of female nudity and zero of the male variety, you’ll have a good time.
Rating: thumbs up