Sunday, January 15, 2017

Savage Beach

By the time he made SAVAGE BEACH, writer/director Andy Sidaris had his perfect formula for escapist adventure down pat: gorgeous women (always nude or scantily clad), handsome guys, Hawaiian beaches and palm trees, guns, gadgets, explosions, tongue-in-cheek humor, suggestive dialogue, and a slick production that belied its low budget.

Beginning with his third, MALIBU EXPRESS (a remake of STACEY, his first film), Sidaris’ movies flow across the same universe with characters and relatives of characters popping up from picture to picture. While casting actors to play the same characters in several films made sense in terms of continuity, Sidaris also had the confusing habit of bringing back actors to play different characters. So, for instance, John Aprea (MATT HOUSTON) would get killed off as the main heavy in PICASSO TRIGGER, but return as a good guy in SAVAGE BEACH.

SAVAGE BEACH marks the third screen teaming of Playmates Dona Speir (as Donna) and Hope Marie Carlton (as Taryn), undercover DEA agents posing as cargo pilots in Hawaii. Their assignment is to deliver emergency serum 1500 miles through a storm to sick children on an island in the South Pacific. On their return trip to Molokai (and just after putting the plane on autopilot so they can change out of their wet clothes), Donna and Taryn make a forced landing on an uncharted island.

Uncharted, but busy. Not only is it home to a Japanese soldier who believes World War II is still a thing (and killed Taryn’s father!), but also there lies a cache of Philippine gold stolen by the Japanese, which a bunch of guys — both good and bad — coincidentally picked this exact time to chase. As usual, Sidaris’ screenplay is ridiculously confusing, though one wants to give him the benefit of the doubt that the confusion is part of the joke. As is casting a pre-porn Teri Weigel (CHEERLEADER CAMP) as a political revolutionary.

Speir stuck around for more Sidaris flicks, but the adorable Carlton bolted, which was a blow to both her career (SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE III was no step up) and Sidaris’ followups. While neither starlet was believable as a government agent (nor were they supposed to be), they were both competent actresses with disparate personalities that meshed well. Sidaris found new partners for Speir, but none matched Carlton’s appeal.

2 comments:

Grant said...

Judging by your description this movie might not have any, but some Andy Sidaris films are good about giving you entertaining villainess characters. His early film SEVEN has what might be adventure movies' only villainous hula dancer. And THE DALLAS CONNECTION has two great ones, but they turn out to be red herrings who were on the good guys' side all along.
I wish just one of his movies had an all-out villainess against a Bond movie type male character (in the showdown scene, I mean), but that's one idea they always seem to leave out.

Alan's World said...

I am also a great fan of SAVAGE BEACH which I consider the best of Andy Sidaris' Bullets, Bombs and Babes film series with HARD TICKET TO HAWAII & MALIBU EXPRESS coming in a close second and third.But you list the Japanese soldier stuck on the island as the murderer of Taryn's father when in reality it was Tayrn's grandfather who was listed as MIA during World War II, who was murdered by the Japanese soldier. According to the flashback at the end of the film when the dying Japanese soldier is telling Taryn what happened, Taryn's grandfather was in his twenties when he was murdered by the Japanese soldiers on the beach of the island in 1945. Therefore he couldn't be Taryn's father if she was born at that time in 1945 because she would have been the age of 44 in the time of 1989 when the events of this movie take place.Even Taryn herself tells Dona played by Dona Speir that it was her grandfather who was missing in action as an American soldier in that area in the Pacific in 1945. I have seen this movie so many times so I know what I'm talking about. Also I totally concur with you on your opinion that when Hope Marie Carlton left the Andy Sidaris series after SAVAGE BEACH(due to a disagreeance with Sidaris) the series was never the same even if they teamed up Dona Speir with Playboy Playmate Roberta Vasquez who was a villainess in PICASSO TRIGGER since the chemistry was not the same. But Carlton did one decent movie after SAVAGE BEACH which was the action comedy TERMINAL EXPOSURE for director Nico Mastorakis(THE ZERO BOYS) in 1988.