Thursday, 13 November 2014

Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)

Andy Sidaris was an Emmy-award winning director of sports television coverage who subsequently decided to give writing and directing movies a try.

The bulk of these movies feature a fictitious law enforcement agency (given the name 'L.E.T.H.A.L.' late in the series) that appeared to be almost entirely staffed by nude models.  I guess it was harder to find female actors willing to go topless than it was to find Penthouse Pets willing to try to act.

What this means is that most of the series feels rather like what you'd get if you asked a supremely hormonal teenage boy to write a James Bond film.  There are lame one-liners, horrible racial stereotypes, random NINJA WEAPONS, and of course, boobs as far as the eye can see.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii, however, is a whole 'nother level of lunacy.  It's Sidaris's sophomore effort and it is jam-packed with "why is that happening?" moments.  I don't just mean in terms of the character's actions - though there are plenty of those - but also in terms of film structure.  For instance, the only explanation I can give for the near three minutes of scenery porn we get early on, with the movie's theme tune playing over it, is that it was filmed as the credits sequence ... but then they came up with a 'better' idea for the credits and just left the other stuff in because hey, it had been shot already.

Then there's the subplot about the TV coverage of a sporting event.  This occupies a good ten minutes of screen time and appears to connect to the main plot only via the fact that one of the agents sleeps with one of TV presenters.  I won't even mention the ways that their 'date' violates the laws of space and time.

Then there's the contaminated killer snake, the hysterically unsexy sexy talk ("I just want to suck the polish right off your toes"), and the greatest drive by shooting ever committed to film.  Seriously, it is a thing that must be seen to be believed.

What makes this film so much fun though, at least for me, is that it shows absolutely no indication that any of this is supposed to be camp or goofy, even when it is at its most silly.  There's something charmingly naive about it, despite its sleaziness.

Check it out if the idea of the most cheesetastic, uber-80s bit of nonsense appeals to you.

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