Stumbling across Mr. Chang’s “clever” plan of sticking stolen diamonds in a radio-controlled helicopter and flying it to shore to get grabbed by his minions, they get away with some of the jewels after hitting one bad guy with a throwing star and another with nunchucks. So now they have to go up against a bunch of bad guys who have targeted them, and to top it off they have to deal with an escaped live snake that is – get this – “infected by deadly toxins from cancer-infested rats!” Ha! After hitting the jacuzzi, where Donna does “her best thinking” (uh-huh), they get attacked, losing the diamonds (and the snake escapes!). They later reflect on the incident, fantasizing about how James Bond would have taken all the bad guys out, and then jumped their bones (“Me first, of course,” exclaims Taryn, that little minx!) The pair decide to seek out help from agents Rowdy (Ronn Moss), Jade (kickboxer Harold Diamond), and local restaurant owner Edy (Cynthia Brimhall).
Some things in Hard Ticket to Hawaii that I noticed:
Edy’s restaurant uses a guy named Ashley as a host. Ashley sexually harasses all the female customers constantly with no repurcussions
Donna and Edy refer to “The Agency” but it’s obvious no government agency in the world would hire these people
Wolf Larson as “Jimmy John Jackson” sits down at a table with two strangers and gives them an overview of the benefits of all the vitamins he’s going to swallow. I think maybe Sidaris was trying to spoof the “guns overview” seen in movies like Taxi Driver. (I may be giving him too much credit)
There’s an entire scene dedicated to Taryn hooking up with Jimmy John for sex on the beach. The guy has no bearing on the plot whatsoever. In many ways Hard Ticket to Hawaii is no different than a porn movie, except that porn has actual sex in it, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Andy Sidaris inserts himself into the film as “Whitey” in some of the dumbest scenes of comic relief I’ve seen. There are also scenes where posters from his previous films litter the walls – they are even made the centerpiece of one scene where Taryn expresses her love for collecting posters (of execrable B-movies). But it’s “Meta”, right?
There’s some bizarre stuff in this film. The guy on the skateboard, his love doll, and a bazooka, for example. (“He must be smokin some heavy doobies!” says one of our heroes. Is he referring to the writers?) There’s a transvestite named Michelle who is spying for bad guy Seth – the movie treats the girl-to-guy transformation like it’s some huge reveal (maybe it is for some slow viewers out there- “Dude! Lady is really a dude! Crazy town!“). A henchman/guard who likes to toss the frisbee instead of keeping lookout has no problem with a total stranger coming up to toss one around, and he gets distracted long enough for the stranger to replace the frisbee with his own model, which sports sharp blades on its rim. Yeah. The ending where the killer snake comes out of the crapper is a special kind of hilarious.
Also hilarious is the dialogue, samples below:
“If brains were birdshit you’d have a clean cage.“
Andy Sidaris: (After staring at Patty Duffek’s breasts) “I’ll have a pair of coffee.“
Ashley: “You go down on her and you’re gonna be kissin’ the back of my head cuz I’m already gonna be there!“
“I don’t want control your life. All I wanna do is suck the polish right off your toes.“
“One Man’s Fantasy… Is Another Man’s Lunch“
“Life’s a bitch… and then you die.” (Immortal!)
I suppose I don’t need to tell you that the acting in Hard Ticket to Hawaii is godawful across the board, the humor is grade school level, the physics impossible, the effects silly, and the action sequences pedestrian. It’s also kinda boring for stretches and the pacing is all wacky. It moves between a late night Skinemax flick and A-Team shenanigans (even the music sounds like something Pete Carpenter and Mike Post cooked up on their weekends off). Basically, the movie is like a TV-show with lots of breasts. But let’s face it – breasts are the reason this movie exists. And boy, do Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton like to show them off at any opportunity (as I said, you won’t hear me complaining, since their gorgeous figures are by far their best assets here). I will say this in their defense – they are totally game for the material and there’s a playfulness about their performances, especially Carlton, who is adorable. Of course, Sidaris defines their characters as a dude’s typical dream girl – hard-bodied, and hard up for sex; book-stupid, but street smart. I can see why this stuff worked in the 1980s, those caveman days before the discovery of the world wide web. The film is a Playboy version of Charlie’s Angels – girls go topless but almost never bottomless, actual intercourse is never really shown, and every scene of nudity is shot more like a magazine centerfold than an actual “movie scene.” (People don’t make love in Hard Ticket to Hawaii, they “pose”.) This stuff wouldn’t fly today – when you can pull up any kind of demented perversity with the click of a mouse, breasts (no matter how nice) are, well… boring. Maybe that’s why he threw in the mutant snake.
– Bill Gordon
The DVD special feature where Andy Sidaris talks about his films along with Julie Strain (who has a lot of wardrobe malfunctions herself) is fun and interesting. Sidaris knows his fans and is kinda like a Lloyd Kaufman for late night skin/B flicks. Sidaris passed away from throat cancer in 2007. His wife Arlene maintains his empire. Together, the pair made 12 films, including Picasso Trigger, Savage Beach, and Return to Savage Beach.