Andy Sidaris season! Fit To Kill (1993)

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I’m sure you’ve been hanging on my every word about the Sidaris-verse, but for those of you who haven’t, this is the last of the “classic” movies starring the L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies, Dona Speir and Roberta Vasquez (Vasquez replaced Hope Marie Carlton, who was in the first three movies). In the early entries, they seemed to just stumble on huge drugs or arms deals, but recently they’ve been fighting Kane, who started off Asian (as played by Pat Morita) but then suddenly became Caucasian (RJ “son of Roger” Moore).

To say his movies are a bit samey is almost an insult to samey things. Occasionally, you’ll get a scene which is identical to one in a previous effort, like he forgot he did it and had the idea again. There are actors who he employed in multiple movies because he was their friend, I guess, because he certainly didn’t write a part for them – poor Michael Shane, who was almost the star of “Savage Beach”, is here little more than a background guy, staying behind to staff radio station K-SXY while the other agents go and do stuff.

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After a good old training scene to start things off, including a paintball fight and a brand new model helicopter – did he have shares in a radio-controlled toy shop? – the movie lumbers into “action”. The gimmick of “Fit To Kill” is that Chang, a seemingly benevolent Chinese businessman, wants to give the Alexa Diamond to the people of Russia, because it was stolen from them in WW2 and he figures they could use the money. This is no ordinary diamond, you understand, it’s as big as a clenched fist and is presumably worth tens of millions of dollars. So, he asks L.E.T.H.A.L to help him out with security and the handover, because not only does Kane want it, but there’s an evil Japanese fella and his goons too.

Brought in to help Kane is the extraordinarily named Blu Steele, played by Julie Strain, former Penthouse Pet and B-movie regular. She’s not fetishised to the same level as in “Enemy Gold”, but we do get a nice scene of her exercising in tiny underwear for absolutely no reason as an introduction. Strain, alongside every other woman in this movie, is nude so often I wondered if it was a bet of some sort, because it cruises past the point where it stops being titilating and just becomes white noise. Does it set a record for most sex scenes in a non-porn movie? I think it just might, and if not it definitely tried its, er, hardest.

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The centrepiece of the movie is a party at Kane’s house, where the exchange is going to take place. At least I think it’s at Kane’s house, I could have just said “some mansion” but I want you to know, dear reader, that I’m straining with every fibre of my being to remember these pointless details. The ladies go undercover, there’s fighting and double-crosses and suchlike, until eventually the dust settles and Kane is left in their custody. Now, they act like he’s been a sort of friendly thorn in their side up to this point, or that evidence gathered in previous movies doesn’t count; because rather than arresting him for constantly trying to murder them, they just have a bit of a chat with him and all go their separate ways. Okay, I guess?

Oh, I forgot my favourite thing about the party, the crowbarred in singing performance from Edy (Cynthia Brimhall, my favourite of the lot). She’s gone from C&W to tropical pop to cheesy ballads, but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is who hired her? The guy organising the party tried to kill her in the previous movie!

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There’s a return for the two comedy assassins from “Do Or Die”, who I’d have been happy to see a spin-off movie about; they have a conversation straight out of Tarantino, about Fred Flintstone vs Homer Simpson (their conclusion, that Homer is a flash in the pan, sounds a bit weird now we’ve had 24 more years of their adventures, but whatever). There’s also an enjoyable, if moderately convoluted, return for the crystal necklace from “Hard Hunted”. Most curious of all is a dream sequence which blatantly rips off the opening credits from the old James Bond movies, and features RJ Moore as Bond. I have to assume that Dad didn’t care (because he doesn’t appear to have cared about anything, including acting, for a long time) but they must have skated very close to getting sued with that combination of scene and actor. Although, remember “Operation Double 007” from the 1960s, with Sean Connery’s brother playing a character called Bond? Sidaris’ plagiarism was mild in comparison!

There’s a surprisingly fun final fight, as all problems get resolved, with a little segment that’s sort of a metaphor for how low-rent Sidaris’ movies are – a midair battle between two remote controlled helicopters. Perhaps it was a joke, as he knew he couldn’t afford the real thing. Or maybe RC helicopters were way more popular back then.

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We reviewed these slightly out of order – “Fit To Kill” should come before “Enemy Gold” (although it really doesn’t matter), but there’s a slightly interesting comparison. “Enemy Gold”, directed by Christian Sidaris, was lousy with homosexual subtext, but here there’s none at all. Donna (Speir) and Nicole (Vasquez) are frolicking round in a tropical pool right at the beginning, way closer to each other than they need to be, yet they don’t appear to be sexual beings at all, like a light switches off in their head when there’s no man around to impress. Given the sheer volume of nudity and sex in “Fit To Kill”, it’s interesting how un-erotic the whole thing is.

There’s more Sidaris to come, dear reader, even after the conclusion of this story. There’s one more from the son, then another couple of Andy’s movies (after he took a few years off), and I might even do his earlier movies too, as a lap of honour.

But re: “Fit To Kill”, just enough laughs and action to entertain, and it’s easy on the eye too. You could do worse, and if you’re this deep into his movies, you’re going to watch it anyway.

Rating: thumbs in the middle

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