Producer Arlene Sidaris in person!
Hard Ticket to Hawaii
“Hawaii – it’s a great place to visit….but you wouldn’t want to DIE there!”
In 1985, independent filmmaker Andy Sidaris scored a home video and pay-cable hit with Malibu Express, a traditional action film starring a television hunk as an Americanized James Bond. That film’s direct sequel – Hard Ticket to Hawaii – made some significant changes to the action cinema format. Hard Ticket relegated the muscular male to a supporting role while making a pair of former Playmates the primary action heroes of the film. Special Agent Donna Hamilton and her partner Taryn square off against the forces of the sinister Mr. Chang, a drug smuggler. Undercover as the beautiful pilots of the Molokai Cargo Company, Donna, Taryn and their team use rocket launchers, machine guns, kung fu, throwing stars and a razor-tipped Frisbee to bring Chang’s gang – and a radioactive mutant snake—to justice. Hard Ticket to Hawaii is the seminal film of the “Girls with Guns” genre and is one of the best examples of Sidaris’ “Triple B” formula: Bullets, Bombs and Babes.
Director: Andy Sidaris. 96 mins. 1987. 35mm.
“Killing is an art form.”
The sequel to Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Picasso Trigger sees Donna Hamilton and Taryn return to take on the notorious spy and double agent known only as “Picasso Trigger.” The action takes on an international stage, from Europe to the bayous of Louisiana, Las Vegas and expectedly, Hawaii. Sidaris ups the ante considerably by doubling the number of Playmates and tripling the number of low-budget James Bond gadgets and modes of conveyance, including a hovercraft chase scene ripped straight from The Spy Who Loved Me. The villains come at our heroines from all sides, including from within as the deadly “Pantera,” a sultry assassin, infiltrates the team. Sidaris called Picasso Trigger “a splashy, easy-read comic book for grown-ups.” The same could be said of all his films, but Picasso Trigger is certainly one of the high-points of his career.
Director: Andy Sidaris. 99 mins. 1988. 35mm.
Part of the series Not Coming to a Theater Near You, presented by the film blog of the same name.
Ticket Price: $12, member price: $8.