Picasso Trigger (1988): The gang of goofs from Hard Ticket to Hawaii (which I reviewed right here) are back, and they are up to their oiled pecs and ample bosoms in an ass-load of trouble! You see, crime lord Salazar has a real murder on for our agents of L.E.T.H.A.L. whose ranks include the returning Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton), plus two more members of the omnipresent Abilene clan; Travis (Steve Bond) and L.G. (Guich Koock), and more familiar faces as well. Bottom line: our heroes have to stay alive and attempt to end Salazar’s reign of evil while playing the ultimate game of cat and mouse!
As you can tell from that synopsis up yonder, the basic plot to Picasso Trigger is pretty straight forward… though to give writer/director Andy Sidaris credit, he manages to over-complicate things like a champ by including a strip club that doubles as a snuff film production company, double-crosses, and a cast of roughly 4,567 characters.
Normally that may seem like a problem dear reader, but let yours cruelly assure you; “plot” is the farthest thing from Sidaris’ mind, as his true interests; explosions, boobs, and ridiculous death sequences (involving remote control toys, exploding boomerangs, and plenty of explosive rounds sending mannequins doubling for our actors sky high) are on full display!
On the downside, while this film is plenty ridiculous, it never comes close to touching the legacy of lunacy of its predecessor, the aforementioned Hard Ticket to Hawaii. Sure the nonsense knob is cranked to eleven, but with ol’ Hard Ticket, he broke the knob off, inserted it into a blow-up sex doll, then blasted it to smithereens with a rocket launcher (some of that is literal by the way).
Nevertheless, the proceedings are never dull, and filled to the brim with fast and furious fun… just don’t expect the brain-melting insanity of a diseased mutant snake stalking our heroes while skateboarding assassins roam the streets!
Along with the main event; our pals at Mill Creek Entertainment have included some fun archival bonus content as well featuring: an intro to the film from Sidaris (featuring Julie Strain’s ever exposed breasts), a lively and informative audio commentary featuring Sidaris and his wife Arlene (who produced the picture), and a collection of behind-the-scenes footage from a variety of Sidaris’ films. Also included are trailers for all of Sidaris’ Malibu Bay flicks.
Sidaris’ oeuvre is sex-drenched action flicks, and he is a master at those, so Picasso Trigger should put a big ol’ smile on the face of connoisseurs of pure exploitation sin-ema plain and simple!
Savage Beach (1989): Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) are back once more, and as always they really put the “bust” in drug busts. While cleaning up their island paradise home, the duo finds themselves charged with transporting a vaccine to a remote island via their air delivery side-hustle. As is often the way, our heroines are forced down in a violent storm, and discover a sunken WWII Japanese ship with an ass-load of the rich stuff on-board… which of course attracts no good bastards like flies to shit! Will they be able to grab the gold and continue breathing… well they are the heroes, so…
For an Andy Sidaris flick, Savage Beach is relatively sedating… notice I said relatively. You still get a near comic-book level plot (that never drags… with one exception I’ll get to in a bit) involving lost ships, and crazed WWII vets still stranded on far-flung islands, lots of action, and of course multiple popped tops, but the over-the-top constant explosions and wacky means of dispatching the bad guys are severely scaled back this go-around.
Also reduced is the size of the supporting cast from the previous film, with only to what amounts to a cameo from a member of the Abilene clan (this time it’s Shane played by Michael J. Shane)… though Pattycakes (Patty Duffek) returns and we get an excellent amount of henching from legendary villainous second-banana Al Leong as Fu.
The only other negative I had with this flick was the eleventh-hour info dump the Japanese vet dumps on our protagonists. While interesting enough, it really kills the momentum of the conclusion of act three.
On the extras front we get more archival bonus content featuring the familiar intro to the film from Sidaris (featuring Julie Strain’s ever exposed breasts), another great audio commentary featuring Sidaris and his wife Arlene, a collection of behind-the-scenes footage (with an emphasis on the model airplane utilized in the film), and the Malibu Bay trailers that also appear on Picasso Trigger.