Sunday, May 31, 2015

Unsung 80s direct to video icon Andy Sidaris

Well, I thought my next post would continue with my DC posts and finally tell all about The Supergirl Saga but while working on the Justice League movie cast posts I realized I had to do a separate post on Andy Sidaris.

Andy is probably THE BEST director of action movies for adults. And his cast reads like a WHOS´S WHO of playmates : Roberta Vasquez, Ava Cadell, Cynthia Brimhall, Dona Speir, Pandora Peaks, Julie Strain, Suzi Simpson, Samantha Phillips and Julie K. Smith to mention just a few.

His business plan was as effective as it was simple : make action movies with playmates who get naked very frequently. What´s the best part of the Bond movies ? The Bond girls. What´s the worst part of the Bond movies ? That we don´t get to see more of the Bond girls. So why don´t make a movie where the Bond girls - or government agents that are as hot as the Bond girls - are the main characters ? I know it sounds simple but the question is : why has no one done it before - or since ? Thanks to the only legitimate heir to boob king Russ Meyer we could see dozens of hot playmates and small screen babes get naked and get their freak on.

But if you now think that the girls in Andy´s movies were just stupid bimbos there to take their clothes off you couldn´t be more wrong. Okay, in MALIBU EXPRESS where we have a male lead the damsel in distress rule applies but starting with HARD TICKET TO HAWAII the girls took over. And for them to be believable main characters they had to be capable agents and what´s more independent women. Yes, the women in these movies were clearly ahead of their time because they could get along without the help of a man. Which doesn´t mean they were prudes, quite the contrary.

But they didn´t wait around until some Prince Charming decided to get it on - these women took charge at the workplace and in the bedroom.

Another cool thing are the locations in the movies. The first couple stick to Hawaii, then they start to expand out - but usually to the same places - Las Vegas, Texas, Lousiana, and Lake Havasu, Arizona in addition to the regular shoots. There are also stops in Washington DC and Paris. Unlike most movies like this, which make do with stock establishing shots, then faking the locations - Andy and Arlene really made their movies in the locations. The only time they diverted from this was Washington - which was faked. But the funny thing is, the stock shots are real footage shot for the movie! It seems one of their regular crew members was headed to DC to visit family, so clever Andy sent the camera rig with him, and the guy got Malibu Bay a couple of nice, new, crisp establishing shots that completely match the rest of the movie they're put into!

The website CRAVE ONLINE has The Series Project : L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies which takes a look at all the Andy Sidaris movies in three parts and it promises : Professor Witney Seibold introduces you to the greatest action series you've never heard of, with babes, bazookas and blow-up dolls.

I´ve taken the liberty of borrowing this part form the intro : Andy Sidaris, who wrote and directed all but the 8th and 9th films in the series, was a veteran of television, and was perhaps best known for his work on The Wide World of Sports and Monday Night Football. He has been credited in several places for having pioneered what he called the “ Honey Shot ”, which was essentially a gametime reaction shot of the buxom cheerleaders. Sidaris, with his wife Arlene, decided in the early 1980s to move into dramatic features, and his entire career was dedicated to a single series of films. This series features all the best and cheapest special effects. Sidaris hired Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets as the lead actresses, and notoriously had them strip, rather frequently, for no good reason. He went to exotic locales, hired some expensive vehicles, and got bodybuilders and martial artists to pilot them. Squibs and explosions followed. And many, many softcore sex scenes.

And while his scripts were always pretty shoddy ( for b film cheapies these movies have surprisingly complicated stories ), and the acting was commonly pretty bad ( bodybuilders and Playboy Playmates aren't known for their thespian virtuosity ), there was a straightforward purity to Sidaris' b movie sensibility. He seemed to have a very sensible and simple filmmaking philosophy: The cheapest special effects are, after all, bare breasts. Throw some bare breasts into a passable action plot of spies and double - crosses, shoot on the beaches of Hawaii, and blow up a few vehicles, and, hey, you've got a pattern that will have audience appeal for time immemorial. He even included an original song in each film, kind of running a parallel to James Bond. His formula lasted through 12 films over 13 years, and he probably would have made more in the series, had he not tragically passed from cancer in 2007.

But the Andy Sidaris movies did not only have playmates, penthouse pets and actors from b movies and tv soaps. For every Erik Estrada there was a Danny Trejo or Pat Morita who starred in DO OR DIE. You know that the reason why he accepted the role were the many happy ending massages by sexbomb Lady Silk that Andy Sidaris wisely wrote into the script.

You know that Andy Sidaris made things up on the go and changed things whenever they script needed it because the role of Kane played by Pat Morita was later played by a white actor. I´m not entirely sure what the reason for this was, if there was any explanation given like Pat Morita had not been the real Kane but the new Kane is descended from Nazis and his german name was Rohr, which could be translated as Kane. These inconsistencies are the topic of Playboy Playmates, Penthouse Pets, and Parallel Realities: The Comic Book World of Cult Filmmaker Andy Sidaris which analyses the different parallel worlds of the Andy Sidaris movies that have similarities with the retconned DC universe after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. It has many interesting insights about the movies :

There is no doubt that the films of Andy Sidaris appeal to a specific audience, one that very probably included Sidaris himself. The world he created was one full of spies that were, for all intents and purposes, the cheerleaders and football players everyone knew in high school who had gone on to live the exact same kind of life on the stage of international intrigue. Like comic books, everyone who appeared in a Sidaris film was idealized or larger than life, and like vintage adventure comics, the line between good and evil is always very clear. Even with their reputation as low-budget exploitation, Sidaris’s films feature hardly any profanity at all and each one of them prominently features strong female characters who can more than take care of themselves. The tone of the films never becomes too dark, despite the bright splashes of blood that punctuate every gunfight.

In many ways, the films of Andy Sidaris are very similar to comic books, but not the contemporary books that were being released at the time of his most popular films, when many superhero books were trying to tackle “ real world ” problems and recasting their characters in darker, more violent stories in a desperate attempt at remaining relevant. The simple good vs. evil storylines, the beautiful people, the ass-kicking women and sophisticated villains, and yes, even the complete disregard for any kind of standard continuity seem more an echo of Silver Age comics of the 50s. Sidaris refers to the films as “ family films ” in an interview that appears as a film introduction in the Girls, Guns & G-Strings collection, and while he’s obviously joking, the straightforward nature of his stories and the lack of any significant moral ambiguity ( along with the curious lack of profanity ) make the comment much closer to truth than even he may have realized. While the quality of the films took a noticeable turn for the worse in the later installments, it is inarguable that Sidaris always strove to deliver pure entertainment, and in the process he may have inadvertently given “ comic book ” B-movies a good name. Or, at least, a better one than they had before Hard Ticket to Hawaii.

I can´t mention DO OR DIE without mentioning the best scene featuring the hot Ava Cadell. In later Andy Sidaris movies she had the part of Ava ( coincidence ? ) who was head DJ and president of local Hawaiian radio station KSXY in HARD HUNTED. 24 hours a day, she broadcasts sleazy, porny F&S music, giving out some sex advice and moaning in orgasmic ecstasy. Her sexy speeches also serve as code to spies in the field.

Then there’s the office assistant, played by Becky Mullen, who fetches coffee in a skin tight red leather bikini. And if dressing for work nearly naked wasn’t enough, then hold on, because later in the film they actually do work naked, well, almost naked. Ava proceeds to do her radio show from a hot tub topless alongside her by then topless office assistant. It seems that Ava works from wherever she wants wearing whatever she wants. Seriously, if this was a real radio station it had to be on tv !

By the way - talk about playing what you know - DOCTOR Ava Cadell ( you can call her The Sex Doctor ) is America’s number 1 sexpert as a Clinical Sexologist, AASECT Certified Sex Counselor, Hypnotherapist, Founder of and President of the American College of Sexologists International. Dr. Ava Cadell’s brand is sexual empowerment as an the author of 8 books and the monthly Sex Advice Columnist for Penthouse Magazine for whom she has she created a series of online courses and videos entitled, Sex Academy. Dr. Ava is also a sought after media therapist, and global speaker; her mission is to empower people to overcome sexual guilt & shame so they can enjoy the benefits of healthy, sexual relationships. She also has a radio show called SEX DRIVE !

But Ava plays the contract killer in DO OR DIE and she looks spectacular !

But the best part with her is not when she takes her clothes off ( I had to omit the part with nippleage so it´s SFW ) but when she puts them on. I have never seen a woman putting on leather pants the way Ava does.

Especially the way she pulls the zipper up is just soooooo provocative !

A few years back I bought the Andy Sidaris DVD box via amazon because it was offered at a bargain price and I am glad I did it because it´s not available through amazon anymore or if it´s going for a really extreme price. The only downside is that for some strange reason the box does not include ENEMY GOLD and THE DALLAS CONNECTION. The last one is also known under the title DEADWORKS and features another two sexbombs who were in a few of Andy Sidaris´ later movies : Julie Strain and Julie K Smith a.k.a. Julie & Julie the double rack attack. There are two great scenes ( among others ) in DALLAS CONNECTION : in the first one Julie Strain is tying a guy to a chair and stripping to make him ultrahorny.

Julie Strain debuted in FIT TO KILL, where she played the evil Blue Steele, then she portrayed bad girl Jewel Panther in ENEMY GOLD and bad girl Black Widow in THE DALLAS CONNECTION.  Since she wanted a recurring role in DAY OF THE WARRIOR and RETURN TO SAVAGE BEACH she became federal agent Willow Black. And for those that moan about me bringing up Julie Strain in a comic blog I want to mention that this Penthouse Pet of the Year 1993 not only starred in over 100 movies and was the inspiration for the main character in the animation movie HEAVY METAL 2000, she was also married to Kevin Eastman who created the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES with Peter Laird and was Editor in Chief of HEAVY METAL. 

The second great scene in THE DALLAS CONNECTION is with Samantha Phillips who has her Andy Sidaris debut ( and what a debut it is ! ).

Sadly it´s her only Andy Sidaris movie and I would really have loved to see more of her. Not that we don´t get to see a lot of her here - you know.

Of course other hot playmates in this movie are leggy Wendy Hamilton and real life Power Girl Julie K. Smith who also does her Andy Sidaris debut here and who also starred in subsequent Lethal Ladies movies.

For a girl with her slender frame she really has an incredibly big bosom !

Together with Andy Sidaris veteran Julie Strain new girl Julie K. Smith becomes the new mainstay of the Andy Sidaris movies after the combo of Donna Speir and Roberta Vasquez had their last Hurrah in FIT TO KILL.

In any case, things were in good hands with new leading lady Julie.

One last thing about the Andy Sidaris Box, for some reason the DVDs are out of order so I had to use the internet to watch them in the right order.

And the extras contain the Andy Sidaris Film School that have helpful tips if you ever want to take a camera into your own hands and shoot a movie to get some hot chicks to strip naked. Here´s looking at you, Yaya Han.

So that´s all for my post about Andy Sidaris. I could go on and on but the main reason was to shorten my post for the Justice League movie casting and while that has worked out I fear that the many GIFs make this post a bit hard to load. For more on all things Andy Sidaris you can check out the links above or click on these : Craig Edwards on LET`S GET OUT OF HERE has a rundown on all Andy Sidaris movies packed with lots of info in his post Bullets, Bombs and Babes !  , there´s a GUNS review by B MOVIE DETECTIVE and BADASSES BOOBS AND BODYCOUNTS has entries on every Andy Sidaris movies that include two podcasts you can listen to. Enjoy !

With so many animated GIFs we don´t really need any Andy Sidaris videos. It would probably not be safe to post anyway - I made sure there were no naughty bits in the GIFs. So since I mentioned the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES I wanted to post something about them.

I still haven´t seen the new Michael Bay movie which I will avoid as long as I can. What I have seen more of is the new Turtles animated series from NICKELODEON. I have not seen many episodes of it on tv because they HAD to make April ONeil younger again so that the female audience can identify with her. Heaven forbid a cartoon show gives us a confident, independent and strong woman instead of the stereotypes you find in most cartoon shows. Which for some reason all have to do with kissing and dating and girl stuff and are drawn disgusting. The only good cartoon show of the last few years was SYMBIOTIC TITAN and they killed it after the first season because there were no toys to sell. AAAARRRRRRGH !

Coming back to the Turtles I´m currently binge watching the first season because my brother brought it from his last trip to Spain - so you know it´s uncut - and I have to say it´s not half bad. It´s a bit annoying that April was turned into a teenager but apart from that the show is really good and does a good job of staying true to the original show. The characterization is spot on and the way Shredder and the Krang are introduced are perfect. So this new show has my recommendation.

Speaking about the original show, here´s the intro I´m most familiar with which is of course the german intro by first german rapper Frank Zander.

And we´re staying on the topic of the Turtles with another video from COMIC MISCONCEPTIONS that explains how Daredevil created them.

In the first Justice League movie casting post I mentioned that I would probably cast the mega sexy Yaya Han as the new Doctor Light but I forgot to add a video about her to the post. I know that she´s not a real actress - or at least she hasn´t been in many films YET - but it´s my casting and I don´t care about that. I would totally put her in that movie.

Anyway, it has come to my attention that there are comic fans who bitch about cosplayers because they don´t buy comics at comic conventions.

Just when I thought the in - fightings with comic fans were over. And yes, cosplayers are comic fans too because otherwise they would not spend so much time sewing costumes to become their favorite comic characters. So I think cosplayers at conventions are a good thing because they lighten things up, most of them are just there to have some fun and let´s face it, there are not enough hot babes at comic events. Yes, the media tends to focus on them and especially the female cosplayers get a lot of media attention - sometimes more than they want - but they would get the same kind of attention if they were just wearing jeans and a t shirt. And do we really want the media morons to solely focus on comics with the twisted, misinformed and prejudiced view they have on them ? Most conventions are not only about comics anymore but about all types of entertainment so please, can we stop behaving like cavemen and instead be friendly and positive and not squander another opportunity to make people welcome ?

After this long rant I feel a bit guilty about posting this Yaya Han video because one of the reasons why I picked this is that she´s mega hot and she´s almost bursting her top. By the way, her Litchie Faye costume is in my top ten. Anyway, there are not enough Yaya Han posts for all the videos with her I have bookmarked - unless I do a video only post - so I have to put them sometime. And the other reason is that in some of my Andy Sidaris DVDs the format was changed from the old tv format to the newer tv format which cut of the bottom of the breasts of the actresses in some scenes and the same happens to Yaya Han in this video. Man, this guy really struggles to avoid looking at Yaya´s ample cleavage.

And speaking about ample cleavages since this post was about all the buxom playmates I wanted to post a video of somebody I would like to see in the german edition of the PLAYBOY : Germany´s answer to Jessica Rabbit, Tatjana Ohm, the woman with the biggest breasts on german news tv. But since there are almost no videos with her on YouTube I´m posting the next best thing : Martina Hill doing her version on SWITCH RELOADED. I have finally bought the sixth season on DVD and thankfully you can fast forward to each segment. So far I have seen only the Tatjana Ohm spoofs on the first two discs but after I´m finished with watching them all I´ll probably watch other spoofs like SOKO AUENLAND where Bilbo Baggins, Gollum and Gandalf are members of a german style crime serial.

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