Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Ghoul Versus The Andy Sidaris Collection: Do Or Die

Certain of our girls, like Roberta Vasquez, Dona Speir, and in some cases Cynthia Brimhall, they are as good as the gals who the soaps or do the stuff at night. But because they were Playmates, people thought they weren't going to be very good actresses. Check out some of the fucking broads on late-night television, they've got one blonde broad on The Pretender, and one blonde broad on C.S.I., they are fucking awful. They're not awful, you can't understand them. I've always said at least our girls enunciated.” - Andy Sidaris

The latest chapter of the Trials and Tribulations of Donna Hamilton brought us a very enjoyable caper involving gun smugglers, transvestite assassins, a murder mystery that led to Las Vegas, and Erik “Motherfucking” Estrada. All of this fun came at a high cost however, as we lost our beloved Taryn to... huh. They never actually said, did they? They didn't even MENTION HER ONCE! BASTARDS!

Andy Sidaris went all out for 1991's Do Or Die, not only did he bring Erik Estrada back into the fold, he added Pat Morita as well. Honestly, I'm only excited about Estrada returning as it's REALLY hard to even hear the name Pat Morita and not be reminded of the utter abomination that was Jay Leno's Collision Course.  That movie left SCARS, deep deep scars. Let's hope I don't start getting PTSD-style flashbacks when I see him as I undertake A Ghoul Versus Do Or Die!

We open with Donna and Nicole getting down at a luau, but their fun is interrupted by a musclebound thug that tells them they have a visitor outside. Not the least bit suspicious by this, they find Pat Morita is the visitor in question. He immediately announces he's going to kill them for messing with his criminal operations and WOW we are just leaping headfirst into things aren't we? Morita has his goons pull out guns and execute the two agents, thus ensuring he can continue his illegal activities for years to come with no opposition.

Cue the credits.

YEAH. RIGHT. No, Morita announces he's hired SIX teams of assassins tasked with hunting the women, because he's sporting like that. And by sporting, I mean incredibly stupid. Donna even calls him out on this, probably because she's sick and tired of this franchise and wants out, but he replies he wants to best them at the top of their game because he's all about that fair play. There is NO WAY POSSIBLE this will backfire on him, I promise!*

*Promise not valid on any day of the week that ends in “Y”.

This does lead to an epic exchange between Kane, Morita's character, and Nicole where she yells at him that he's mad. Kane glowers at her and responds with “You are dead!” with all the grace of a sixth grader. He has the agents released, telling them the game will begin at noon tomorrow. Holy shit, we have some high stakes going on in this thing already! I wonder how Donna and Nicole will deal with the doomsday clock that is now ticking over their heads? Call in the DEA to mount a counteroffensive? Leave Hawaii to hole up in a safe house somewhere? Get naked and hop into the good ol' jacuzzi for a soak? If you DIDN'T guess the correct answer, I think you need to read some of my previous reviews for the Andy Sidaris Collection.

Donna calls Lucas, who wants them to come in to Vegas by dawn because they're in a DO OR DIE situation. Hey, just like the title of the movie! Nowhere near as clever as the bit they did for Savage Beach but I'll take it. Kane returns to his base of operations, where his busty assistant Silk informs him the goons planted a tracking device on Donna's watch back at the luau. Silk is played by Carolyn Liu, who was never a Playboy Centerfold but did appear in videos for both them and Penthouse. Gee, I wonder if that means we'll be seeing her topless in a few scenes? Anyway, a tracking device doesn't seem that damn sporting Kane! What about fair play?

The sun rises so Donna and Nicole hop in their jeep to GTFO of Honolulu, but they are best upon by a helicopter containing the first team of assassins. No worries though, Nicole pulls out her cane (she sprained her ankle during the encounter with Kane) and... fires a missile from it that destroys the chopper?! Alright, sure! Nicole seems more upset that the game started before noon than the actual attempt on their lives. They head to the airport so they can catch their flight to Vegas, making this the second straight film we get robbed of seeing Hawaii's serene beauty for the entire picture. Say what you will about the earlier Sidaris films, you sure as hell can't say they were gorgeous to look at.

My question about if we'll get to see Silk's nipples or not is answered as Kane gives her a naked massage. He's wearing all of his clothes, fortunately. I don't think I could take a nude Pat Morita at this point in his career. Their inane conversation about her body and the power of massage is cut short by an alert on her computer, which shows assassins Duke and Woody have entered the “Death Zone”. BEST. NAME. EVER. Since Duke and Woody didn't bother to get introductions, I paused the movie so I could have the names of everyone else. Looks like Donna and Nicole will have to defeat the teams of Ava and Skip, Bodreaux and Hebert, Spencer and Dudley, Hotdog and Sledge, and Lew and Chen before they get a chance to take out Kane.

Our agents arrive at the airport, changing into some dark wigs and clothes that actually do a pretty good job of concealing their identity. Lucas and Bruce meet up with a Colonel Rico Estevez, the name of Estrada's character. Sadly neither of the men comments how much he looks EXACTLY like Juan Degas, because the resemblance is uncanny. Lucas requested Rico's help on this latest bout of criminal shenanigans because... I don't know, he's Erik “Motherfucking” Estrada? Lucas does put the fear of God into me when he mentions Rico is less than a year away from retirement, so let's hope that ugly trope doesn't rear its head at the end of the movie.

In Vegas, Ava and Skip get word that their targets have arrived. Ava, who is a top heavy brunette played by actress turned sex therapist Ava Cadell, gets naked because of course she does. They're parked in a trailer at an air show, which is where Donna and Nicole show up to meet Norm, a fellow agent. How in the world did the assassins know where the agents were going to go? Just how advanced IS that tracker in Donna's watch?! Can it read minds? Ava loads up a gun, telling Skip she's going to “blow the tits off” the agents. I like her style already!

Norm gives the agents a trunk full of weapons and they drive off, Ava and Skip following them in a Volkswagen Beetle for a chase scene. A very confusingly edited chase scene that is highlighted by Rico and Bruce appearing out of nowhere in a dune buggy to turn the tide and send the assassins to the Death Zone. Donna and Nicole drive on, their tits fully intact. I gotta say I'm not super impressed with the quality of Kane's handpicked hitpeople. They sure as shit aren't explosion proof IN THE SLIGHTEST. When Kane gets the news of the latest failure, he speculates maybe he fucked this whole thing up. YA THINK?

Rico and Bruce fly Donna and Nicole somewhere in a scene that only exists so the women can strip in the plane, which is damn near the trademark of the series. At least they're not in the middle of a lethal hurricane this time. We learn they're flying to Louisiana, where Lucas will assemble a support team to help them. This takes us to a club called Cowboys, where Edy is singing a song as is her fashion. She doesn't look as showstopping as she did in the last film, this time she's in some kind of bizarre cowboy themed white lingerie outfit she probably borrowed from a WWF valet of the time. We get a SMASH CUT of her having sex with Lucas in what might be the single most abrupt scene change in a Sidaris film.

Elsewhere in New Orleans the next set of assassins get the word the agents are in the area, and okay, exactly HOW is this working? Kane can't have a pair of hitmen in every single city in the world, because the computer only showed six. This indicates he CLEARLY knows exactly where Donna and Nicole would be traveling, which makes no sense at all! Hawaii to Vegas, sure as that's been established already. But New Orleans? Maybe Kane used to work for the DEA and has a working knowledge of the rule book governing where to go in case a Japanese crime lord throws you into a game of life or death. I think it's on page 134.  These assassins are played by returning actors Chu Chu Malave and Richard Cansino, playing the team of Bodreaux and Hebert.  IMDB has it spelled Herbert, but Silk's computer said Hebert so that's what I'm going with.

And no, they're not cross-dressers this go around. They JUST HAPPEN to be undercover as cooks at a place called the Big Pines Lodge, which is where all of our agents JUST HAPPEN to show up to get their grub on. Our new assassins plan to poison their catfish, which is seems like it's about to work until Nicole feeds some to a conveniently placed cat in the lodge. The cat drops dead, which is BY FAR the only death in the Sidarisverse that actually made me sad. The agents storm into the kitchen to find the cooks, leading to a banjo-filled foot chase. Its joined in progress by Lucas and Edy, as well as everyone's favourite actor Shane and his new partner Atlanta Lee. Atlanta is played by the notorious Pandora Peaks, an adult model/actress boasting 42HHH sized breast implants that was very popular in the 80s and 90s. 42HHH?! I assume she must have had a titanium spine implanted as well to maintain those things.

Many failed attempts at comedy later, the assassins are caught and taken into custody, yet Silk's computer still shows them entering the Death Zone. Maybe the agency car they were put in got t-boned by a semi off camera? The agents sit down to discuss how they can't trust ANYONE at this point, but get bored pretty quick and start flirting with each other since these people have the attention span of goldfish. Ultimately they decide to hole up in a lake house, even though they JUST GOT DONE saying they can't even trust each other but whatever. I honestly am barely paying attention, this film is DULL with every capital letter possible.

The next batch of assassins shows up but quickly get dispatched in some of the most tedious “action” you'll ever see. Things go from the extreme of boredom to horror as we do indeed get a Pat Morita sex scene, and now I want to go back to the grave. THANKFULLY this is brought to a screeching halt by Silk's computer announcing Spencer and Dudley are the new residents of Zone De La Muerta, which once again prompts Kane to look fucking pissed. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?! You knew Donna was the best of the best, none of these deaths should be news to you.

The next morning Lucas, Edy, Shane, and Boobs (I forgot her name) head out to a meeting point to get a shipment of advanced guns from the agency, and I THOUGHT YOU GUYS WEREN'T TRUSTING ANYONE! GAH, this freaking movie. Edy borrows Donna's watch as they leave, so hopefully Assassin Duo #5 can track them and thin out this cast some. Do you hear that, Shane?! I can't even say I'd miss Edy as she's done NOTHING this entire film. Wait, scratch that. After having to endure a looooooooong Shane/Boobs sex scene, Edy single handedly kills the next group with two dead on shots. That's pretty cool, but unfortunately the shootout that led up to it lulled me into a near coma so I just don't care.

That's just leaves Lew and Chen, Kane's right hand men. Now packing some serious heat, Lucas decides to move everyone to his house in Dallas because... I have no fucking idea, Sidaris wanted to catch a Cowboys game? After threatening to become interesting by having the agents start accusing each other of being Kane's mole, the movie returns to terminal blandness by having Edy discover the bug in her borrowed watch. Now they're all friends again, yay! Donna and Rico celebrate by having sex and/or practicing their synchronized swimming moves in a pool, I'm not quite sure what was going on there. Morning dawns and it's a NINJA BATTLE! Things do NOT go well for the highly trained warriors, I think you can sum it up in the scene where Nicole wails on one with a baseball bat and quips that she's Batman. Hmm, it's a little too late to save this movie but I appreciate the effort.

It's pretty obvious they ran out of money and time at this point, as the next seen has Lucas rolling out the trademarked Sidaris exposition by announcing they've traced Kane to his headquarters AND got Silk to help plant a tracker on him so they can detail his entire criminal empire. WOW! Maybe the whole movie should have been done this way, it could have been over in minutes and spared us the last ninety minutes of... well, nothing. A quick wrap up of the cast toasting each other and cracking TERRIBLE jokes sends us out of Dallas.

Cue the credits.

At six films in, the Sidaris formula has officially worn itself out. Looking back, I miss the insanely convoluted plots because at least THOSE kept me vested trying to figure out what the fuck was going on. These last few have been completely straightforward and basic plots, but when you have one of the most unlikable casts ever assembled in one picture, it is HELL ON EARTH. What do we know about Donna or Nicole? How about Shane, Edy, or Lucas? I know Bruce really loves motorcycles, does that count for anything? Besides the fact they like to get naked a lot in the face of impending doom? These characters have no character, and all I can think is LORD I MISS TARYN.

You know what the WORST fail of this movie was? And no, it's not using Erik Estrada for a grand total of maybe ten minutes, it's the assassins. With the exception of Hebert and Bodreaux, they were all GENERIC AS FUCK! How in the hell were they not all stacked Playmates with tons of wacky personality traits and extravagant gimmicky costumes? THAT'S a movie, not a bunch of middle aged white guys that totally suck at their jobs and couldn't say anything clever even if it was written by Joss Whedon.

Generic as fuck works for everything else going on here too, every single actor feels like they're going through the motions and I'm sure they are as these films were made yearly. I'd be worn out too of doing the exact same thing over and over again... exactly like I am watching Bullets, Bombs, and Boobs over and over again. Still two more movies of Donna and Nicole until the new blood takes over, so let's see if we can survive them intact.