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The Serpent's Coil by Farley Mowat (2001-04-01)
The Serpent's Coil by Farley Mowat (2001-04-01)
5 used & new from $25.37

5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Maritime Chronicle Of Courage, Valor, Survival, And Intrigue, July 27, 2016
I first read Farley Mowat's "The Serpent's Coil" and its companion volume "The Grey Seas Under" about the ocean-going salvage business when I was in my teens and recently decided to read them again. I remembered them as exciting tales of the sea, but now I appreciate them not only for their compelling adventure narrative, but also for the delicate balance of historical account, human interest story, and technical detail Mowat was able to so deftly weave into relatively short books.

"The Serpent's Coil" recounts the story of the former Liberty ship "Leicester" which left London in 1948 and due in large part to chronic radio problems encountered Hurricane VII (this was prior to the naming of major storms). After her ballast shifted she rolled precariously and ultimately the crew abandoned the vessel (with several perishing). Astonishingly, the ship did not sink, but continued to drift in the Atlantic Ocean.

The story then shifts to the deep sea tugs "Foundation Lillian" and "Foundation Josephine" and the drama associated with attempting to salvage the "Leicester". The personalities of the people involved are expressed brilliantly, as are the problems faced with sharks and competition trying to claim the abandoned ship (the big Dutch tug "Zwarte Zee" was also trying frantically to find the "Leicester" as doing so could result in a huge payout). Before the adventure was over there were numerous obstacles to overcome including yet another hurricane. This was truly a case of defying the odds.

This is one of my favorite books ever about the sea, and I highly recommend it as well as "The Grey Seas Under". Farley Mowat was one of the best adventure writers in history, and if you have any interest in ships, salvage, adventure writing (the story is completely factual, but it reads like a page-turning novel crafted for high drama), or just excellent nonfiction these are great books.


The Serpent's Coil by Mowat, Farley(April 1, 2001) Paperback
The Serpent's Coil by Mowat, Farley(April 1, 2001) Paperback
by Farley Mowat
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from $663.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Maritime Chronicle Of Courage, Valor, Survival, And Intrigue, July 27, 2016
I first read Farley Mowat's "The Serpent's Coil" and its companion volume "The Grey Seas Under" about the ocean-going salvage business when I was in my teens and recently decided to read them again. I remembered them as exciting tales of the sea, but now I appreciate them not only for their compelling adventure narrative, but also for the delicate balance of historical account, human interest story, and technical detail Mowat was able to so deftly weave into relatively short books.

"The Serpent's Coil" recounts the story of the former Liberty ship "Leicester" which left London in 1948 and due in large part to chronic radio problems encountered Hurricane VII (this was prior to the naming of major storms). After her ballast shifted she rolled precariously and ultimately the crew abandoned the vessel (with several perishing). Astonishingly, the ship did not sink, but continued to drift in the Atlantic Ocean.

The story then shifts to the deep sea tugs "Foundation Lillian" and "Foundation Josephine" and the drama associated with attempting to salvage the "Leicester". The personalities of the people involved are expressed brilliantly, as are the problems faced with sharks and competition trying to claim the abandoned ship (the big Dutch tug "Zwarte Zee" was also trying frantically to find the "Leicester" as doing so could result in a huge payout). Before the adventure was over there were numerous obstacles to overcome including yet another hurricane. This was truly a case of defying the odds.

This is one of my favorite books ever about the sea, and I highly recommend it as well as "The Grey Seas Under". Farley Mowat was one of the best adventure writers in history, and if you have any interest in ships, salvage, adventure writing (the story is completely factual, but it reads like a page-turning novel crafted for high drama), or just excellent nonfiction these are great books.


The Serpent's Coil
The Serpent's Coil
by Farley Mowat
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from $8.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Maritime Chronicle Of Courage, Valor, Survival, And Intrigue, July 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Serpent's Coil (Paperback)
I first read Farley Mowat's "The Serpent's Coil" and its companion volume "The Grey Seas Under" about the ocean-going salvage business when I was in my teens and recently decided to read them again. I remembered them as exciting tales of the sea, but now I appreciate them not only for their compelling adventure narrative, but also for the delicate balance of historical account, human interest story, and technical detail Mowat was able to so deftly weave into relatively short books.

"The Serpent's Coil" recounts the story of the former Liberty ship "Leicester" which left London in 1948 and due in large part to chronic radio problems encountered Hurricane VII (this was prior to the naming of major storms). After her ballast shifted she rolled precariously and ultimately the crew abandoned the vessel (with several perishing). Astonishingly, the ship did not sink, but continued to drift in the Atlantic Ocean.

The story then shifts to the deep sea tugs "Foundation Lillian" and "Foundation Josephine" and the drama associated with attempting to salvage the "Leicester". The personalities of the people involved are expressed brilliantly, as are the problems faced with sharks and competition trying to claim the abandoned ship (the big Dutch tug "Zwarte Zee" was also trying frantically to find the "Leicester" as doing so could result in a huge payout). Before the adventure was over there were numerous obstacles to overcome including yet another hurricane. This was truly a case of defying the odds.

This is one of my favorite books ever about the sea, and I highly recommend it as well as "The Grey Seas Under". Farley Mowat was one of the best adventure writers in history, and if you have any interest in ships, salvage, adventure writing (the story is completely factual, but it reads like a page-turning novel crafted for high drama), or just excellent nonfiction these are great books.


Do Or Die
Do Or Die
DVD ~ Pat Morita
9 used & new from $10.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like "The Most Dangerous Game" Set In A Jacuzzi, July 26, 2016
This review is from: Do Or Die (DVD)
"Do or Die" is yet another Andy Sidaris movie following his favorite starlet Dona Speir (as undercover agent Donna) and sidekick Roberta Vasquez (as Nicole). This time they have been targeted for death by evil Asian crime boss Pat Morita (!) as Kane, but since he has a sense of honor and sense of humor, he gives the girls formal notice that he's going to send six teams of assassins to kill them starting at noon the next day.

The girls go up against this bevy of evildoers with the help of a ragtag band of agents and Air Force officers. Erik Estrada is back, but unlike in "Guns" where he was the evil boss, here he is an Air Force Colonel months from retirement who takes on one last dangerous mission. (Hey, it's a paycheck!) The film plays out in a series of encounters, each less sensible than the previous, all of which culminate in an action scene of some sort. The first duel, for instance, is a standard Sidaris jeep versus helicopter affair. Thank goodness Nicole had an air to air rocket in her boot. (I am not kidding. Even a little.) There's the obligatory scene in the Cessna 172 that SIdaris uses in so many films before the cast goes off to Las Vegas, another formulaic Sidaris development. Oddly, while everyone is enroute to sin city, the editing takes us to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana where we meet Colonel Rico Estevez (Estrada) who is a suave lady's man. Why Barksdale? Because it gives the film a tenuous reason to detour to New Orleans, of course, where we see some no-good chefs cook up some fish that kills a cat. This is a shame, as the tabby gave by far the best performance in the film in a sad scene that paves the way for some banjo chase music.

There's tons of overacting, improbable modes of transportation in odd circumstances (the Volkswagen Beetle of death, the amphibious aircraft with a pusher propeller, skidoos, and of course lots of speedboats and motorcycles) and plenty of ridiculous plot twists (e.g. when an hour into the film Kane declares it's all about manipulating the American stock market.) My personal favorite scene is when Rico throws baseballs at a guy with a shotgun: this wouldn't seem to be a fair duel until the last baseball is revealed to actually be a grenade disguised as a baseball.

After the assassin team of Hotdog and Sledge (really) fails, there's a bit of a martial arts interlude before the good guys discover they've been being tracked by a "laser microchip" in Donna's wristwatch. This proves to be Kane's ultimate undoing, but instead of a gigantic finale, the film just withers away with the most anticlimactic ending possible where they decide to just let Kane keep doing what he is doing and watch him. (What?)

"Do or Die" has some good entertainment value for lovers of cinematic cheese, but the best parts are seeing Morita as a bad guy and Estrada as an Air Force Colonel with everyone spouting inane dialogue and turning in hammy performances (don't miss Chu Chu Malave as Bodreaux). This isn't as bad as "Guns", but it's nowhere near "Picasso Trigger" on the Sidaris quality scale.


Guns (1990)
Guns (1990)
DVD ~ Erik Estrada
16 used & new from $2.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Fortunately The War I'm Waging Isn't Governed By The Geneva Convention!", July 26, 2016
This review is from: Guns (1990) (DVD)
Let me make it clear from the outset: "Guns" is not one of the best Andy Sidaris movies: while it delivers a convoluted and corny plot, lots of pretty women, and pyrotechnics aplenty, it lacks his normal lighthearted pseudo-spoof vibe that makes some of his other films (e.g. "Picasso Trigger") work. I was honestly bored much of the time with this one, but gave it two stars overall for Erik Estrada's scenery-chewing performance as "Jack of Diamonds" (a.k.a. Juan Degas), a South American organized crime figure whose specialty is smuggling weapons from China, and who, it turns out, has a complicated backstory and relationship to our heroine Donna (Dona Speir). This should surprise no one. Sadly missing from this installment is Donna's erstwhile companion Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton), the better actress of the two. Instead we get Roberta Vasquez as the new partner Nicole. We also get a special appearance from Allegra Curtis.

This film grated on me more than most and I think it's largely due to the horrible theme song, "Guns", that covers the credits on both ends of the film: even though the singer is in skimpy spangled finery, the song is so repetitive that it seems lengthier than it really is. The film opens with Juan hiring two not so bright assassins to kill Nicole. He explains his plan: "Use the cerebral approach...shoot her in the head." This is the best line of dialogue in the movie. This assassination plot involves very poor acting, and the movie in general involves much worse dialogue than normal, even for a Sidaris film. Meanwhile, Donna and Nicole are frolicking in the surf in Hawaii without a care in the world, and in a ridiculous case of mistaken identity, the killers take out the wrong girl. The violence here is not exactly convincing, but the gore is somewhat more realistic than some of the companion installments.

The twist here is the assassins don women's clothing as a clever ruse, but that doesn't stop them from being chased in their escape helicopter (!) by the girls in their Cessna 172. Because all this was in Hawaii, the plot suddenly shifts to Vegas (why not?) and we get more of Edy, the amazing credits vocalist and a bit of gratuitous female oil wrestling in a dank paneled room while the plot waits on everyone to converge on Las Vegas.

The Vegas portion of the film opens with a motorcycle versus ultralight aircraft chase and shootout (thank goodness Donna packed her surface to air missiles!) This is way more boring than you'd expect and has no real payoff other than padding the running time. If I asked you what did you expect to happen next, how many of you would respond "I expect extended narration about the history of the London Bridge and how it made its way to Lake Havasu, Arizona"? All of you? Good, because that's exactly what you get. This all leads up to a confrontation with an Attorney General who just happens to be Donna's mom. While that subplot is percolating, the worst magic act I have ever seen leads to a bit of police brutality. Don't worry, there's more magic to come. This devolves into a terrible love scene (key word: motorcycle) and more music from Edy, who now has Jack of Diamonds and his sleazy ex-dancer girlfriend in attendance, all of which results in a lot of passive aggressive behavior that's actually pretty amusing, mostly due to the horrendous acting involved.

Because this film didn't have enough going on, there's a spontaneous ninja gym brawl which Donna resolves with her gun, and an extremely lazy fisherman who has a remote control beer delivery boat that can also deliver beer grenades. (Don't ask.) There's an extremely stupid shootout involving Degas' boneheaded girlfriend surrounded in a bathroom of mirrors, all of which amps up Degas to kidnap Donna's mom with a lot of overacting and a bit of light torture. This, needless to say, ends in a standoff hostage situation with expository backstory between Donna and Degas: it's gun versus rocket launcher. Which will win? I'll never tell. Completing the circle of life Sidaris style, the film closes as it began, with girls frolicking on the beach, and all is right in the world.

Compared to some of Sidaris' more entertaining films, "Guns" is too dark without the acting chops to make it work as drama: it has a few redeeming elements that make it work as cinematic cheese, but is not a film you'll feel compelled to watch twice.


Picasso Trigger by Malibu Bay Films
Picasso Trigger by Malibu Bay Films
DVD ~ Andy Sidaris

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, Kym, And Patticakes...And That's Just In The First Ten Minutes!, July 24, 2016
"Picasso Trigger" is perhaps the definitive Andy Sidaris film. Once again featuring Dona Spier and Hope Marie Carlton as secret undercover underwear models Donna and Taryn, it also stars Steve Bond, Guich Koock, and John Aprea as Picasso Trigger. The film opens in Paris, but quickly wraps its confused tentacles around Texas, Las Vegas, and Hawaii as well. Secret agent Picasso Trigger opens the action at a Paris museum as he donates an extremely expensive painting of a humuhumunukunukuapua'a (trigger fish, hence the title) and promptly gets assassinated by a guy in a motorcycle sidecar with a rifle. Meanwhile in the Ala Moana Yacht Club in Hawaii onboard the "Malibu Express" there is a shred of continuity with the previous movies in this series established, before we are thrust in typical Sidaris editing style into a sleazy Vegas performance by "Kym and Patticakes". It is very highbrow, and plot development is next to nil (but still more lucid than most Sidaris films).

Donna and Taryn are having a picnic on a beach while an evil henchman blows up their boat with a remote control model plane that must have been full of plutonium given the blast that comes from its tininess. The bad guys think they've been killed, but it simply left the girls looking stunning on the beach saying "That could've been us"! This is typical of the action on display here, and while the film has more than its share of explosions, it sometimes looks like it was edited in a blender. There is also a new female agent from Paris, Pantera, who is uncoincidentally also a former Playboy playmate (Roberta Vasquez) who has a romantic backstory that will make you laugh and unconsciously roll your eyes. Look also for Steve Bond as Travis Abilene, providing some male lead continuity to the beginning of the series.

The film contains the expected brazen females, double-crosses, guns, action scenes (a boat chase with a pontoon boat involved is a new one), lots of explosions and gunfire, ludicrous romantic subplots and general incoherent insanity. It is perhaps the ultimate expression of Sidaris' filmmaking vision: it doesn't take anything seriously, is in many places a spoof of James Bond films, and touches on satire. At the end of the day it delivers what Sidaris wanted it to at least as well as his other works. It's pure cheese, but if you can only watch one Andy Sidaris movie, I'd make it "Picasso Trigger".


Picasso Trigger by Malibu Bay Films by Andy Sidaris
Picasso Trigger by Malibu Bay Films by Andy Sidaris
DVD ~ Andy Sidaris

4.0 out of 5 stars Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, Kym, And Patticakes...And That's Just In The First Ten Minutes!, July 24, 2016
"Picasso Trigger" is perhaps the definitive Andy Sidaris film. Once again featuring Dona Spier and Hope Marie Carlton as secret undercover underwear models Donna and Taryn, it also stars Steve Bond, Guich Koock, and John Aprea as Picasso Trigger. The film opens in Paris, but quickly wraps its confused tentacles around Texas, Las Vegas, and Hawaii as well. Secret agent Picasso Trigger opens the action at a Paris museum as he donates an extremely expensive painting of a humuhumunukunukuapua'a (trigger fish, hence the title) and promptly gets assassinated by a guy in a motorcycle sidecar with a rifle. Meanwhile in the Ala Moana Yacht Club in Hawaii onboard the "Malibu Express" there is a shred of continuity with the previous movies in this series established, before we are thrust in typical Sidaris editing style into a sleazy Vegas performance by "Kym and Patticakes". It is very highbrow, and plot development is next to nil (but still more lucid than most Sidaris films).

Donna and Taryn are having a picnic on a beach while an evil henchman blows up their boat with a remote control model plane that must have been full of plutonium given the blast that comes from its tininess. The bad guys think they've been killed, but it simply left the girls looking stunning on the beach saying "That could've been us"! This is typical of the action on display here, and while the film has more than its share of explosions, it sometimes looks like it was edited in a blender. There is also a new female agent from Paris, Pantera, who is uncoincidentally also a former Playboy playmate (Roberta Vasquez) who has a romantic backstory that will make you laugh and unconsciously roll your eyes. Look also for Steve Bond as Travis Abilene, providing some male lead continuity to the beginning of the series.

The film contains the expected brazen females, double-crosses, guns, action scenes (a boat chase with a pontoon boat involved is a new one), lots of explosions and gunfire, ludicrous romantic subplots and general incoherent insanity. It is perhaps the ultimate expression of Sidaris' filmmaking vision: it doesn't take anything seriously, is in many places a spoof of James Bond films, and touches on satire. At the end of the day it delivers what Sidaris wanted it to at least as well as his other works. It's pure cheese, but if you can only watch one Andy Sidaris movie, I'd make it "Picasso Trigger".


Picasso Trigger
Picasso Trigger
DVD ~ Steve Bond
Offered by Achilles' Reel
Price: $24.99
23 used & new from $3.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, Kym, And Patticakes...And That's Just In The First Ten Minutes!, July 24, 2016
This review is from: Picasso Trigger (DVD)
"Picasso Trigger" is perhaps the definitive Andy Sidaris film. Once again featuring Dona Spier and Hope Marie Carlton as secret undercover underwear models Donna and Taryn, it also stars Steve Bond, Guich Koock, and John Aprea as Picasso Trigger. The film opens in Paris, but quickly wraps its confused tentacles around Texas, Las Vegas, and Hawaii as well. Secret agent Picasso Trigger opens the action at a Paris museum as he donates an extremely expensive painting of a humuhumunukunukuapua'a (trigger fish, hence the title) and promptly gets assassinated by a guy in a motorcycle sidecar with a rifle. Meanwhile in the Ala Moana Yacht Club in Hawaii onboard the "Malibu Express" there is a shred of continuity with the previous movies in this series established, before we are thrust in typical Sidaris editing style into a sleazy Vegas performance by "Kym and Patticakes". It is very highbrow, and plot development is next to nil (but still more lucid than most Sidaris films).

Donna and Taryn are having a picnic on a beach while an evil henchman blows up their boat with a remote control model plane that must have been full of plutonium given the blast that comes from its tininess. The bad guys think they've been killed, but it simply left the girls looking stunning on the beach saying "That could've been us"! This is typical of the action on display here, and while the film has more than its share of explosions, it sometimes looks like it was edited in a blender. There is also a new female agent from Paris, Pantera, who is uncoincidentally also a former Playboy playmate (Roberta Vasquez) who has a romantic backstory that will make you laugh and unconsciously roll your eyes. Look also for Steve Bond as Travis Abilene, providing some male lead continuity to the beginning of the series.

The film contains the expected brazen females, double-crosses, guns, action scenes (a boat chase with a pontoon boat involved is a new one), lots of explosions and gunfire, ludicrous romantic subplots and general incoherent insanity. It is perhaps the ultimate expression of Sidaris' filmmaking vision: it doesn't take anything seriously, is in many places a spoof of James Bond films, and touches on satire. At the end of the day it delivers what Sidaris wanted it to at least as well as his other works. It's pure cheese, but if you can only watch one Andy Sidaris movie, I'd make it "Picasso Trigger".


Savage Beach (1989)
Savage Beach (1989)
DVD ~ Dona Speir
13 used & new from $8.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Let's Toast To The Warriors Of All Nations!", July 24, 2016
This review is from: Savage Beach (1989) (DVD)
Andy Sidaris' favorite "actresses" Dona Spier and Hope Marie Carlton are back in their best-known roles as undercover models Donna and Taryn in "Savage Beach". Let's be honest: if you've seen one Sidaris movie, you've seen them all: there are lots of beautiful women, guns, explosions, confusingly convoluted plots, and amazingly improbably coincidences aplenty. There is nothing subtle about any of these films, but I'm sure they make a lot of money so there are a lot of them.

"Savage Beach" contains an extremely muddled plot that is irrelevant to the film anyway (most viewers just want to see the girls and guns), but this installment contains the most eye-rolling coincidence in any Sidaris movie, and perhaps in all cinema history. It's 1989 and the girls still work as pilots for Molokai Cargo as pilots. The film opens with Donna busting a heroin smuggling operation wide open amid much gunplay (the drugs were in hollowed out pineapples) all within the first five minutes of the film. Two minutes later the girls and two other Playboy veteran friends are in the Jacuzzi discussing their day. Suddenly there is an emergency in the Marshall Islands! A children's hospital needs some special serum delivered to save the children during a huge storm. Ace pilots Donna and Taryn and their trusty Cessna 172 are dispatched. Since they are flying vaccine across the Pacific they need to be fully armed, and they get guns and a crossbow with an explosive arrow. I wonder if that will need to be used later on? None of this is within the laws of reason but, hey, it's an Andy Sidaris movie.

Providing a thread of continuity to earlier installments, Shane Abilene (Michael Shane) is the male lead in this one. Like all the other films in the Sidaris universe, this one contains lots of innuendo and romantic banter, and in this one the interpersonal dialogue is extra cringeworthy. Also like other Sidaris films the confusing backstory swings into gear with some kooky military and CIA hijinks involving a smarmy revolutionary from the Philippines and stolen data from a "Star Wars" satellite (remember when this was made for what little historical context is relevant). The plot pivots to be about a sunken Japanese ship from World War Two that contains gold stolen from the Philippine people, and now everyone wants to get rich.

Japanese agents interrogate an old Japanese Admiral who tells them the story of the theft and the boat's sinking on his deathbed: he wants to return the gold to the Philippines because he's noble. All the Japanese here speak amazingly good unaccented English, by the way. Meanwhile, the girls deliver the serum, refuel and leave without so much as a bathroom break (I'm going to point out that the alleged 1,500 mile journey would take about 14 hours one way in a Cessna 172, so they must have bladders of steel.) Once airborne the girls put the aircraft on autopilot to change out of their wet clothes. (Yeah.) Of course the plane gets hit by lightning, knocking out all their instruments and they have to make a forced landing on an uncharted desert isle. While all that's going on, everyone is converging on a small island where the Japanese boat foundered in 1943. Where do you think the girls just happened to land? You may think that's the most ridiculous coincidence in the plot but you would be oh so wrong.

The girls settle in to their amazingly well-equipped survival routine with wetsuits and spear guns for fishing. Donna uses a sextant to figure their position (I cannot stress how hilarious this is) while Taryn goes to the plane to get a blanket because Donna "has a chill"...when it's 100 degrees in the shade. The island is inhabited (no surprise). Taryn said when they landed it felt very familiar to her; she also told a story about how her grandfather had died in World War Two in the Pacific. The girls take their survival assault rifles to hunt the other inhabitant and find it's an old Japanese guy who was a soldier in the war and who has been living by himself on the island for 50-something years. He has a ceremonial sword, but refuses to kill Taryn, leading to the most outrageous coincidence in movie history. He doesn't kill her because of the foreshadowing. Nothing goes to waste in a Sidaris movie, and in this case the Japanese soldier had found three Americans who had crashed their plane; they killed and buried the Americans, but the Japanese guy recognized Taryn because of her eyes that looked just like her grandfather's. He even kept his dog tags and a photo of him for all these years. I gave the film three stars solely on the absolute hilarious absurdity of this coincidence. In the end the Japanese guy kills a bad guy to protect Taryn while he gets mortally wounded, thus completing the circle of life as he dies in Taryn's arms. Perfect. In the end all the good guys reveal their true identities, motives, and employers and go dancing to celebrate. Taryn even managed to take six gold bars from the loot as a finder's fee. She's so clever.

This, like other Sidaris movies, is beautifully shot and has nice scenery, but the script is only modestly coherent (I'm being generous) and the acting is appalling. Having said that, if you elected to watch a movie called "Savage Beach" and especially if you have ever seen an Andy Sidaris production before, you'll know exactly what it is all about: girls, guns, and exploding things. This delivers all that in spades and then some.


Hard Ticket to Hawaii (Director's Cut)
Hard Ticket to Hawaii (Director's Cut)
DVD ~ Ronn Moss
7 used & new from $24.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Girls, Guns, A Giant Toilet Snake Puppet, And Frisbee Jugular Cutting!, July 22, 2016
Andy Sidaris strikes again in this extremely cheesy send up of Bond films set in beautiful Hawaii. Unsurprisingly most people who watch this will be looking forward to seeing low budget mayhem and pretty women, and "Hard Ticket to Hawaii" delivers that, but it delivers a lot more. The film starts with the murder of two cops on Molokai by a ruthless drug smuggling gang. In the first ten minutes we are introduced to our heroines Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) who in reality are both former Playboy models, but here we are supposed to believe that they are top drug enforcement agents. There is also a hilarious witness protection program backstory unfurled while they are showering, but prior to getting in the Jacuzzi where they do their best thinking. (Really.) Also in the first few minutes we meet the real star of the show, a hilarious giant snake puppet. That's not a euphemism. This is the funniest thing I have seen in ages. There's confusion in the snake warehouse and the girls (who are pilots) fly their Cessna 172 with snake cargo to a secluded part of the islands. It develops that two snakes have been switched and the one they have is "contaminated" from Department of Health experiments involving feeding it bad rats.

Don't get too bogged down with the plot such as it is, as it's just an excuse to show the girls doing various things and some occasional gunfire and explosions, but you knew that already. The girls get caught in the middle of the world's least believable smuggling operation, as the evil mastermind stuffs his radio control model helicopter with diamonds and they just happen to be there when it lands and, naturally, take the loot and escape back to their seaside lair in their Cessna where they analyze their close brush with death in their Jacuzzi. The bad guy wants the diamonds back and shortly vengeful instructions are being forwarded in a note in a sandwich. A couple of martial arts types then practice their craft a smidge and get the best line in the film: "Confucius say: man with deadly hands must be very careful when slapping on aftershave"! It will not surprise you that these girls get caught with their pants down (figuratively) by home invading thugs who want the diamonds back. Please note the "Malibu Express" poster over Taryn's bed; Andy Sidaris never misses a promotional opportunity. Additional subplots reveal themselves in rapid-fire succession: there's a lengthy monologue on vitamins and nutritional supplements punctuated with the line "man I sure love soul food" and an Uzi-wielding thug engaging in a game of Frisbee and dying in the most spectacularly funny way I have ever seen in an action movie. I definitely laughed out loud. The film concludes with an epic battle of good and evil that contains gratuitous toilet snake and rocket attacks.

If you are looking for a piece of mid-'80s (1987) cheese featuring a birdbrained plot, atrocious acting, insane personal interactions, and the greatest snake puppet in film history, "Hard Ticket to Hawaii" is the cream of the crop.


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