Youtube Film Club: Psycho Cop 2 (1993)

After the first “Psycho Cop”, which was a success pretty much solely based on the participation of Bobby Joe Shafer as the titular fellow, the producers and star decided to find a new writer / director (Adam Rifkin, who also directed “Detroit Rock City” a few years later) and have some fun. So, we get a straight comedy, just one with tons of gore in it, all the things that made the first film good and none of the stuff that bored you to tears.

The setup for this one is – there’s going to be a bachelor party in an office building, after all the non-cool people have gone home for the night. This leaves Lawrence, Michael, Brian and Gary, one of them’s getting married but you don’t care which of the dumb male cannon fodder it is and neither do I. At breakfast one morning, two of the office bros are discussing this, including the weed and booze they’re going to have there, and sat a couple of chairs down is the one, the only, Psycho Cop!

You might remember from the first movie, that our friend got a rather blunt wooden stick thrown through his chest by one of the survivors of his first rampage; but of course his eyes popped open at the end, and he seems legitimately to be Satan-powered, so of course you know you can’t keep a good man down. After some mild recovery, it would appear he’s just been sat around for a few years waiting for someone to admit to a crime in front of him; but he’s good to go immediately. I mean, it’s pretty foolish to discuss smoking weed in front of any police officer, but when he’s an undead psychotic Satanist, that’s just rotten luck.

One small point: Joe’s number plate has 666 on it, because of course, but I’m going to guess the DMV won’t issue a plate with that number on it, so the one they have is a 999 number plate, turned upside down. Nice try guys! But the opening credits, where you see all the Satanic symbols (done in blood, obviously) and body parts (as if he’s very absent-minded after killing and butchering people) laid about his car, is amazing.

So, the majority of the movie is set in the office building. We get a good twenty minutes of sitcom-style shenanigans as the party is organised under the nose of unsuspecting boss Mr Stonecipher; as Brian tries to hit on office hottie Sharon; and as a couple commit some adultery in the copy room. It’s well-filmed, everyone’s given some fun lines, and it’s immediately apparent you’re in better hands than you were the first time.

Joining them a little later are a group of strippers, but they’re either the world’s friendliest strippers or they’re really prostitutes who dance a little, as they’re all over the four men from the moment they’re snuck past Gus the security guard. One of them is Julie Strain, who we’re becoming pretty familiar with. I thought it might be the beginning of her career, as she only gets a few lines, but it turns out we’ve already reviewed the earlier “Witchcraft 4”. Damn, that was a terrible one! The other two strippers are also decent actors, Melanie Good and Maureen Flaherty, so it’s all thumbs up so far.

Okay, the stripping section isn’t a million miles from soft porn, with almost naked women grinding on the guys and each other, but…it’s short, I guess? And they seem happy to be doing it all? I know.

So, once again, Officer Joe is the world’s best planner, setting up everything so he can offer up the office workers to Satan, even the ones who don’t seem to have done anything wrong. Although the cannon fodder don’t help by wandering off on their own, or going to the helicopter pad to have sex – to be fair, the helicopter pad scene is hilarious, so I shouldn’t complain. The bits where Joe starts faxing pictures of his victims to the survivors, who just assume it’s a prank, are damned funny too.

Ultimately, it’s a spree killer movie where you’re 100% cheering for the killer, not because the people are assholes, but because he’s amazing. Shafer is perfect for the role, knowing that people turned up for his quips and giving them to us with complete commitment. I’ll let his mini-monologue on the helicopter pad speak for itself (said after he’s shot a guy in the head and thrown a woman off the roof):

You have the right to remain dead. Anything you say can and will be considered very strange because you’re dead. You have the right to an attorney, but it won’t do you any good because you’re dead. Do you understand these rights that have just been read to you? Are you even listening? It would be a lot easier if you were a little more cooperative!

When he confronts the remaining survivors, and tries to pretend to be a normal cop for a few minutes, but is so crazy he can’t quite manage it and doesn’t care, could have been terrible in the hands of a worse actor, but it’s my favourite scene in the movie. People get hacked up and shot in the head and it’s entertaining from beginning to end.

But wait! It’s not perfect, quite. There is a Final Girl, as is standard in these things, but she’s introduced weirdly, as she’s completely incidental to the first half and only really steps up when she joins the rest of the cast. I would assume a scene which introduces her got cut, because otherwise it makes no sense to have her in that role. I was sort of expecting it to be Julie Strain until she met her end too, so be prepared for this to sort of stick to the horror rules, then sort of ignore them. The ending, apparently a parody of the Rodney King beating (look it up and be horrified, younger readers) is a bit weird too, but I imagine it would’ve been a lot more shocking at the time.

Other than that, I have no trouble calling this vastly superior to the original (a trait it shares with “Maniac Cop 2” – oh, for a crossover between those two franchises!) and, considering it’s on Youtube, should be watched by you all immediately. Funny, clever, and extremely violent – the ISCFC trifecta!

Rating: thumbs up

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Andy Sidaris season! L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies – Return To Savage Beach (1998)

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It’s extremely difficult to hate on a movie which is so self-aware, as if, at the end of a fun career, Andy Sidaris realised just how silly it had all been. “Return To Savage Beach” just keeps ending, like they wrap one plot up but then decide to let the villain have a ten-minute monologue about his life, then go and arrest someone else, etc. But rather than just happening, one of the characters goes “how many times is this going to end?” and the closing credits music is the truly amazing, one-in-a-million dirge, “Which Ending Does This Story Have?” I salute you, sir, and of all the long series we’ve covered here at the ISCFC, this is by far the best.

Custom-written songs are one of my favourite things about B-movies, and this has one at the beginning and end, with the one at the beginning just sort of filling you in on the plot and that, yes, we’ll be returning to Savage Beach. It’s also a return for that ludicrous gimmick of using the local radio station to broadcast secret messages, despite there being no practical reason to do so (several of their plans are made more difficult because someone’s listening in. Would it have been so difficult to give them a secure phone line, or a special walkie-talkie or something?)

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Perhaps Sidaris just loves classic spy movie tropes. There’s a bit near the beginning where L.E.T.H.A.L’s offices are infiltrated by a woman dressed as a pizza delivery girl (well, a pizza delivery girl in skin-tight red leather), and everyone is fooled by her. Come on, guys! Step your damn security up!

For reasons completely unknown, they give a bunch of fairly hefty monologues at the beginning to the worst actor of the lot, Cristian Letelier, who helpfully explains the plot of “Savage Beach”. There’s chunks of footage used from it too, and a surprising amount of respect / admiration for the work of his two original stars, Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton. They tweak the story a little to make out that the gold is still there (didn’t they take it? Didn’t Carlton’s character leave the series to spend all the gold she’d kept?), but that pales into insignificance when we come to the best of all…

Buff Bagwell is back! You know how he was a murdering gold-obsessed lunatic in the last movie? Well, and I can’t quite believe I’m typing this, the person we saw him murder on-camera was a serial killer, so he got a commendation from L.E.T.H.A.L for doing it! All the other killings are ignored, and his three months in jail turned him into one of the good guys. I love it! While I didn’t hate him in the last movie, he’s a bit under-used here, in classic Sidaris fashion – Sidaris must have hated firing anyone so his cast lists got a bit unwieldy towards the end.

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Buff’s bona fides are established when, pretty much as soon as he’s introduced, he has to fight three ninjas who’ve all had face paint to make them look like pro wrestler Sting. It’s too similar to be a coincidence, but it makes no sense whatsoever and I think it’s brilliant. His performance in this fight also sets Julie Strain’s heart a-fluttering, and wow are there some crazy sex scenes to come. I mean, Buff looks like he couldn’t give a damn about the beautiful naked woman writhing in front of him – I’ll give him a pass, I guess, as this is his second ever movie? It’s an odd visual, though, like a stereotype of a gay bodybuilder and an Amazon trying to make things work. Oh, and at one point Buff says, apparently without irony, “I was born for watersports”, so I presume it didn’t have quite the same meaning back in the late 90s.

There are a couple of computer discs with the location of Savage Beach on it, that our villain Rodrigo Martinez (Rodrigo Obregon, Sidaris’ most regular actor) is trying to steal. But then he says later on that he knew where the gold was all along. Huh? I guess the story needs a reason to exist, and for our heroes to go to a variety of exotic locations. One of them is a swamp. In Hawaii. If you’re thinking “that looks nothing like Hawaii” you’d be right – it turns out Sidaris shot the vast majority of his movies in and around Shreveport, Louisiana, which has lots of swamps.

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As they’re straight-up showing the old footage, they can’t be blamed for repeating stuff this time, but it took “Return To Savage Beach” to make me realise just how much Andy Sidaris loves blowing people up. Given the choice between shooting someone and designing a needlessly complicated method of destroying them with high-explosives, they always go for option B. And they’re always so happy to do it! You monsters!

I haven’t mentioned the cast, beyond Strain and Bagwell, at all. Julie K Smith is excellent again, and I’m sad her career is largely limited to this and Jim Wynorski movies. Shae Marks is wooden, but if you look her up on IMDB, you’ll be treated to people upset that, after this movie, she got a breast reduction due to health concerns. Yes, upset. All the men in the movie are, once again, brain-meltingly terrible.

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There’s a real sense Sidaris knew he was retiring after this. Obregon, his favourite actor, gets a huge monologue at the end where he talks about the plot of the first “Savage Beach” (plus, there’s an insane spy-movie twist in there too) which is only there because he wanted to give his friend his moment in the sun – it’s certainly not because anyone was wondering “what happened to that bloke we saw get blown up in that 10-year old movie?” And, of course, there’s a classic Sidaris ending – everyone stood around with champagne, discussing how much sex they’re going to have that night.

I’m sad to see him go. I’ve had a lot of fun with these 12 movies (okay, not all of them), and while I’ve got two of his old ones to go, I’m not sure they’ll be quite as much fun. But we’ll see. Get that box set, my friends, and revel in a simpler time.

Rating: thumbs up

Andy Sidaris season! Day Of The Warrior (1996)

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We’re now in the home stretch of our reviews of the movies of Andy Sidaris (along with a few from his son), and we hope you’ve already invested in the “Girls, Guns and G-Strings” DVD set – in terms of fun per $, you’re not going to get a better bargain. This is the penultimate instalment, chronologically speaking, and after that, as a little lap of honour, we’ll be covering his first two movies, 1973’s “Stacey” and 1979’s “Seven” (and maybe, if I can find it, his 1969 documentary about James Garner’s attempt to form a motor-racing team).

But today’s movie is 1996’s “Day Of The Warrior”, with one of my favourite pieces of stunt casting, as much as you can call a movie packed full of Playboy playmates normally cast. The Warrior the title refers to is played by none other than Buff Bagwell, pro wrestling legend and one-time gigolo. He might be a really nice guy, no idea, but he was a rubbish wrestler so it’s been loads of fun mocking him for the last twenty years. The really weird thing is…he’s sort of alright in this. If he’d had an agent and not been under some wrestling contract, he could very easily have had a decent career (better than “failed pro wrestler” anyway).

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But before we meet Buff “The Stuff” Bagwell, we’re treated to the most Sidaris-est intro of all time, a slow-motion bit of boob-jiggling which manages to look completely un-erotic. This re-introduces Cobra (Julie K Smith) and establishes a link between the movies of Dad and Son, should you be one of the zero people who spent any mental energy on imagining if they were part of the same cinematic universe or not. She’s deep undercover as a stripper, because of course.

It’s also a welcome return for Julie Strain, who’s done with playing villains and is now head of L.E.T.H.A.L. By the way, this is the first movie where they’re identified by that name, and we also get a super-unhelpful acronym, which made me laugh and which I will no reproduce for you:

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So yes, Strain is the very boringly-for-her named “Willow Black”, but mercifully her outfit for being in charge of a huge spy network is a tiny leopard-print bikini, and we first see her while she’s working out, also jiggling (although not in slow motion). She’s learned to act a little in the intervening two years, though, so that’s nice. Let me see if I can remember the paper-thin plot to relate to you…

…It’s a collection of scenes you’ll remember from other Sidaris movies, re-ordered as if he never expected anyone to see the earlier ones, as if he was unaware of the existence of VHS tapes and TV and people’s ability to see his old movies too. There’s the comedy assassins, who get blown up but never die; the cane that doubles as a rifle; and the blowing up of a shack with “Fuel Dump” crudely written on one side. It’s more like a drink with an old friend, where they tell the same stories but you don’t mind because they’re still funny.

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Buff is “The Supreme Warrior”, a former agent of L.E.T.H.A.L who then became a pro wrestler, and now is a booty-collecting super-villain. You know, that old career procession! Fighting him are our ladies with a succession of shockingly bland leading men, including Major Ward, played by a fellow called Cristian Letelier who’s down there with the worst actors we’ve seen in a Sidaris movie, and you know how much competition there is for that award. Gerald Okamura, the villain in dozens of 80s and 90s b-movies, here plays a good guy, who’s Willow Black’s sidekick, loves her unrequitedly and is also undercover as a Chinese Elvis impersonator. Yes, that’s right, and he does it with such relish that you can’t even be annoyed by it.

You’ve got a super-obvious double agent, two different people getting knocked out by Julie Strain’s boobs, and a final confrontation of a two-on-one wrestling match which is hilarious. Oh, and the villains are genuinely running a video piracy ring! I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen that used as a plot point, and it’s great.

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We’ve sat through the good and the bad, but I think this could be the best of all the Sidaris movies. He’s just having fun here, with a central pair of actors who understand how ridiculous it all is and have fun with it – and it needs stating, but Strain and Smith are vastly superior actors to Speir and Vasquez. It rips along, everyone’s having fun, and while the nudity is both far too prevalent and not remotely erotic, I reckon you’ll have a really good time with this one.

Rating: thumbs up

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

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

Andy Sidaris season! Enemy Gold (1993)

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If you’ve read any of these reviews before, you’ll know one of my favourite things is weird ordering of sequels, confusing continuity and so on; we have a little treat for you here, in the shape of the first of the “Girls, Guns And G-Strings” series to have not been written or directed by Andy Sidaris. Sidaris apparently saw “Fit To Kill” (also made in 1993, and annoyingly I guessed wrong as to which of the 1993 movies came first) as the end of the tales of the L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies – it was the last one starring Dona Speir and Roberta Vasquez – so his son, Christian Drew Sidaris, took over the reins. It may not surprise you to know that the entirety of junior’s career in the movies is in his Dad’s stuff, and when Andy finally retired in 1998, Christian never worked in the business again.

So, we’re treated to another unnamed government agency with buxom female agents, and a few very clean-cut guys who don’t look particularly interested in the women; returning from daddy’s stock company are Bruce Penhall and Rodrigo Obregon, and making her first appearance is Julie Strain, who’d star in the remaining Sidaris movies. So, not too different from Dad, right?

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Well, I’ll never insult Andy again after seeing this. The title, “Enemy Gold”, refers to some Civil War gold which is seen in the cold open being stolen by a couple of Confederate soldiers in 1865 and then buried in Texas somewhere; it’s entirely irrelevant to the plot and is discovered by accident a little over halfway in, after being referred to casually once previously. It’s not even a MacGuffin because its presence doesn’t cause anyone to change their allegiance or plans, it’s just a thing that happens. It feels like it was rewritten crudely at the last minute.

Might as well tell you a bit about it, though. The Civil War battle at the beginning is filmed terribly (I presume it was him borrowing a group of re-enactors for the afternoon) – there’s so much smoke from the guns that there’s stretches where you can’t see a damn thing. But luckily there’s not too much of it to sit through, as we’re soon in modern-day Texas, and our two heroes, guys who wear vests constantly, Chris and Mark (Bruce Penhall and Mark Barriere, Barriere continuing the proud Sidaris tradition of being so bad at acting that he had to use his own first name). They’re joined by the splendidly named Becky Midnite (Suzy Simpson), as she’s Chris’s girlfriend as well as being an agent. I think.

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This triple threat put a drug manufacturing operation out of business, belonging to Santiago (Obregon), who’s been paying off the agency’s local boss, Dickson (a charisma vacuum by the name of Alan Abelew) for some time. Dickson suspends them for not following correct agency procedure, and if you’ve ever thought “what this action movie could do with is a really intricate discussion of the political structure of a fictitious government agency” then you’re going to have a heck of a good time. Santiago sends his goons after them, and off we go.

Not even the intervention of their friend and higher-level boss Noble (Tanquil Lisa Collins, similarly blonde and statuesque) can save them, so they decide to take their suspension casually and go for a camping trip – Chris and Mark have been camping together since they were boys, and have always been fascinated by the story of the lost Civil War gold. You might see the scenes with Noble and not be aware she’s their Washington-based superior officer, because in every single scene but one, she’s lounging round in her underwear, or naked in the hot tub. In other words, this is chuffing stupid.

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Getting a heck of an introduction is Santiago’s chief goon Jewel Panther (Strain). She’s a former Penthouse pet, as are most of Sidaris’ female cast (that or “Playboy”), and went on to a fairly busy 15 year career in terrible movies. We first met her in “Witchcraft 4”, where she does a special intro to the DVD, appearing entirely naked in her bathroom for reasons unknown. She tries, bless her, but she’s not helped by the movie thinking she’s the most amazing thing in the history of ever, giving her dozens of long, lingering closeups that the action doesn’t warrant. A particular non-favourite is when we’re treated to a few minutes of her doing a sword-kata, by firelight, while dressed in a tiny leather bikini that doesn’t actually cover any of her breasts up (just frames them).

So you’ve got these guys, stumbling upon the gold, and Santiago and his goons trying to track them down, not for the gold which they don’t know about immediately, but for revenge. Noble comes to town too, and she and Dickson also go to the wilderness to help out. The second half then becomes a people-in-the-woods movie, of which we’ve seen so many here at the ISCFC, with the added Sidaris family trick of having a helicopter constantly attack them.

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I had a little criticism of the directing before, but there’s a lot to hate here. “Enemy Gold” makes strip clubs look extremely boring, although perhaps they’re that boring in real life. Who knows? The ever-present sax-based soundtrack grates after 10 minutes, so by 90 you’re wanting to shove that bloody saxophone through the director’s skull. The exact same trick, of a hot woman tricking a bunch of goons into letting their guard down, is used twice. The assassins that Santiago hires (because of course) have maybe the dumbest plan in the history of plans.

Lastly, how about two of the most crowbarred-in sex scenes of all time? Santiago gets some mildly annoying news, so to cheer himself up he grabs two of his own prostitutes and has sex with them in the shower (which does have the great exchange – “what’s up?” – “I am”, so it’s not a complete loss). The other one? After the big shootout at the end! They basically interrupted the end of the movie to show a crappy sex scene!

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What this manages to be is dull. It’s not stupid enough to be funny, not visually interesting in the slightest, packed full of performances that are terrible even by “Girls, Guns and G-Strings” standards, and shows how, just because your Dad is a director, doesn’t mean you should be one too.

Rating: thumbs down