Andy Sidaris season! The Dallas Connection (1994)

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“The Dallas Connection” and Christian Sidaris’ other movie, “Enemy Gold”, might as well be parts 1 and 2 of a documentary about the dangers of nepotism. After using his Dad’s connections to get a few TV gigs in the 70s and 80s, he then briefly took over the reins of Malibu Bay Films when Andy decided to take a few years off.

Sidaris Jr’s movies sort of look like his Dad’s, but every possible bit of craft, or intrigue, or simple ability, has been dialed back to 1 (you decide where on the dial Sidaris Sr would sit, but it’s definitely higher than that). They made me bored of seeing attractive women in the nude, and even made me feel anxious and upset when a sex scene was about to start. This is absolutely not what he should have been doing with his life, and I’m a bit sad Sidaris Sr didn’t just pick someone at random out of the phone book to write and direct this, chances are it’d have been just as good if not better.

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But we can’t spend all day insulting someone who’s not worked in the movie business for almost 20 years (because it makes us look cruel, and it appears the world’s movie people largely agree with my analysis above). We’re in the home stretch of the Sidaris-verse, the main overarching story has been dealt with, and we can just kick back and relax.

We’re treated to a bit more of the world than we normally get to see, as a group of scientists from various exotic locations are murdered by gorgeous women in moderately implausible ways. Of course, because this is Sidaris movie, we have a remote controlled car stuffed with explosives, and (my favourite) an exploding golf ball. Turns out these scientists have four quarters of an important equation that’s supposed to do…something or other? It really doesn’t matter, it’s just your generic world domination plot.

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Masterminding this wave of assassinations is Black Widow, an almost restrained name for a Julie Strain character. She and all her ladies are strippers at Cowboys Nightclub, which we’ve seen before (possibly in the last movie? I’m not going back to check), and are all sort of okay actors, especially for former Playboy and Penthouse models. Wendy Hamilton is “Scorpion”, Cassidy Philips is “Platter Puss”, and best of all, Julie K Smith is “Cobra”. Smith was last covered by us in “Popatopolis”, the documentary about low-budget scumbag Jim Wynorski, and the real sad thing about that movie, and how she struggled with the miserable conditions of a 3-day shoot and a mega-sexist director, is that they’re still working together, years later (her only appearances are in Wynorski movies, and I’ve no idea why as she’s a totally decent B-movie actress).

After what seems like an hour of random scientists getting killed, we meet our heroes. Returning are Mark and Chris (Mark Barriere and Bruce Penhall). They still act completely like a gay couple who are forced into the closet by the masculine world they work in, but I’m guessing this wasn’t the director’s intention. Joining our boys is new agent Samantha Maxx (Samantha Phillips, another actor / character name match). We’ve met Phillips before, in “Phantasm 2” and “Dollman”, and – again – she’s not a terrible actress. Relatively speaking. Anyway, her character is that she has big breasts, but she does the best with what she has, and with no tedious agency politics weighing us down this time, we’re free to be bored and disappointed in a whole range of new ways!

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You know how it goes. Our heroes each have a computer chip, and the hot lady assassins want those chips. One scientist survived, and he’s being chased by the ladies too. Boobs, bad acting, and even worse music. No Hawaii either – the title was a giveaway, obviously – and the locations they did pick are pretty dull.

The plot being out of the way, let’s deal with how terrible Sidaris Jr is at pacing. The golf scene goes on to absolutely unbearable length, there’s car scenes that really want to let us know every step involved in getting into a car and driving off, and the scene where they enter all the codes into the computer! What the hell were they thinking? It feels like it came in 20 minutes short and they had no money for reshoots, so just stopped editing. Add in a staggering amount of nudity, scenes of stripping so dull they must have affected the bottom line of “Cowboys” club for years and you’ve got a movie that almost defies you to pay attention to it.

I’m going to have to spoil the ending of “The Dallas Connection” for you, I’m afraid. So, skip ahead to the inevitable “thumbs down” rating if you were intending to watch it yourself, but if not read on.

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So, Cobra is an undercover agent, but even when she’s on her own with another agent, with no possible benefit to be gained by keeping her cover, she keeps her cover. When she could warn the good guys that a bunch of people are coming to murder them, she says nothing, and when a couple of agents are in fact killed, everyone treats it as if it couldn’t possibly be her fault. It’s really curious, and feels like a first draft that no-one paid attention to.

That’s it for Sidaris Jr, and we’re back with Dad tomorrow, after a break of a couple of years and a replacement of a large section of the main cast. It’s a relief, because this was no fun at all.

Rating: thumbs down

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