Not just the filmmaker, although I certainly miss that, but the man. After I interviewed him a decade ago, hed call me at home every few months sometimes to update me on his projects, sometimes to tell me he was sending something my way, and sometimes just to say hello. The guy was nice, friendly, funny, and promised to fly me to Louisiana for the shoot of his next opus, Battle Zone Hawaii.
Sadly, that movie never came to be, as Andy passed away March 7, 2007.
But he left us with an unofficial series of 12 fun flicks he wrote and directed (or just produced, in the case of two of them) between 1985 and 1998. Although theyve been on DVD before, theyre now out-of-print and, thus, mega-pricey. Saving the day and your disposable income, Mill Creek Entertainment brings them all into one super-cheap, super-great, three-disc set, Girls, Guns and G-Strings: The Andy Sidaris Collection. Yes, the earlier standalone releases look better and have many extras, but this is a matter of owning them all for under $10 vs. hundreds.
If you thought his movies followed a formula, hed be the first to say, Hell, yes, they do! He was a god for horny teens of the VHS heyday. He knew what audiences wanted, and gave it to them: big explosions and bigger boobs. Sidaris cast blank himbos opposite former Playboy centerfolds as spies, had them use remote-control technology to infiltrate a bad guy sometimes played by a has-been star, then blew crap up alongside them. At some point, often the end, theyd all hot tub together. It was and is genius.
To see one movie is to see them all, but if you like one, youll be dying to see them all twice, thrice, even more! Unabashed, unapologetic, his movies were about nothing but blending T&A and TNT. The terrible acting is perfect for their tone. Andy knew his limitations, often joking that as a scriptwriter, he was like Hemingway; unfortunately, thatd be Margaux Hemingway.
But when it came to action on the field, in the air, on water or in the bedroom he delivered. He put his Emmy-winning days directing ABCs Wide World of Sports to good use. While some may argue his films exploit women, others can say they were empowering. Yes, they frequently are naked, but so are the guys, and yet, its the ladies who are front and center as the gun-toting stars, the ass-kickers, the get-it-done gals.
B-movie vixen Sybil Danning is in the first one, 1985s Malibu Express. Playmate Dona Spier headed a rotating regular cast of fellow stapled sex objects Roberta Vasquez, Cynthia Brimhall and Hope Marie Carlton for 1987s Hard Ticket to Hawaii, which kicked off a string of six sequels, ending with 1993s Fit to Kill. And Ticket also featured a toxin-infested snake. Oh, youve gotta see the snake.
For 1993s Enemy Gold and the following years The Dallas Connection, son Christian Drew Sidaris took over Dads duties. One really cant tell a difference, other than the new faces and bodies on display, notably Penthouse Pets Julie Strain and Julie K. Smith. But Andy was back in action and better than ever in his final two pictures, 1996s Day of the Warrior and 1998s Return to Savage Beach, adding Playmate Shae Marks to the already delicious mix, not to mention pro wrassler Marcus Bagwell.
You never knew who would show up. From 1990, Guns has Erik Estrada (TVs CHiPs) and Danny Trejo (Machete); 1991s Do or Die, Estrada again and a genuine Oscar nominee in The Karate Kids Pat Morita. Even Tony Peck makes trouble for our top-heavy heroes in two of them. Whos Tony Peck? Hes the son of Hollywood legend Gregory Peck. It brings a smile to my face to think that Atticus Finch may have enjoyed the Sidaris oeuvre.
Ill be completely honest: For guys, its near-impossible not to. Rod Lott