Exploring: Andy Sidaris

Starting with 1973’s Stacey and 1979’s Seven, the former director of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and innovator of instant replay, slow-motion replay and split-screen views created a world of men that can’t shoot straight and gorgeous female agents.

He called his movies b-movies, not because they were lower in quality, but because he filled them with what he referred to as “Bullets, Bombs and Babes (or Boobs).”

Here’s a brief overview and a link to these films, so that you can start watching them for yourself. Get ready to fall in love with the ladies of L.E.T.H.A.L. (Legion to Ensure Total Harmony and Law).

Stacey (1973): Stacey Hanson (Anne Randall, May 1967 Playboy Playmate of the Month) is hired by a rich woman to learn whether or not her family members are worthy of being in her will, with two of them being Anitra Ford from Messiah of Evil and Cristina Raines from The Sentinel, who is in a Manson-esque cult. This movie is pretty much the same exact story that Andy would perfect in Malibu Express. It’s not available on blu ray — yet.

Seven (1979):  Andy was still figuring out his formula, but William Smith makes this movie way better than you even think it can be, assembling a team of killers to fight the man who was Luca Brasi. At least two people get killed in two different scenes with a rocket launcher, so you know it’s good. You can get this on blu ray from Kino Lorber.

Malibu Express (1985): This movie was legendary in middle school, a late night cable staple that delivers everything that 14-year old boys want: death, destruction and d cups. Cody Abilene battles Russian hackers when he isn’t shacking up with every single woman from Texas to Miami. Seriously, he makes Bond look chaste. That said, Bond never had a Sybil Danning in his life. You can get this on blu ray from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987): Special agents Donna (Dona Speir, Playboy Playmate of the Month, March 1984, in the first of her many Andy Sidaris movie appearances) and Taryn (Playboy Playmate of the Month for July 1985 Hope Marie Carlton) take on a case with stolen diamonds and a toxic snake, as well as a skateboarding killer with a deadly blow-up doll. Also: someone gets killed with a frisbee. This movie is everything perfect about watching a movie at 3:19 AM with a beer in hand. Grab the blu ray from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Picasso Trigger (1988): Secret agents, a cane that shoots both shotgun and mortar rounds, exploding boomerangs and RC cars, and more showers — solo and co-ed — than anyone has ever taken in the history of man, all captured in just 99 minutes. It’s also the first appearance of series villain Rodrigo Obregon! You can get the blu ray of this from Mill Creek.

Savage Beach (1989): Dona and Taryn are back again, this time flying missions as federal drug enforcement agents. However, they soon find themselves at odds with evil agents who are looking for a sunken ship from World War II loaded with gold. You can get this from Mill Creek.

Guns (1990): You can see the James Bond influence immediately with this poster! A brutal murder in Las Vegas starts off this adventure, which brings in new villain Juan “Jack of Diamonds” Degas, played by Erik Estrada. Also: ninjas! You can get this blu ray from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Do or Die (1991): Pat Morita, Mr. Miyagi himself, is Masakana “Kane” Kaneshiro, who kidnaps Donna and Nicole Justin (Roberta Vasquez). Instead of just killing them off, he sends the world’s greatest killers after them. If you ever wanted to see Morita in a love scene, this is the movie for you. Buy the blu ray from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Hard Hunted (1993): Rodrigo Obregon is back again, taking advantage of an amnesiac Donna. And guess what — R.J. Moore, son of James Bond’s Roger Moore — is in this as bad guy Kane! Meanwhile, Raven (Al Leong!) is anothe rbad guy causing chaos. You can also get this from Mill Creek.

Fit to Kill (1993): Kane is back, as he’s just one of the bad guys out to steal a massive diamond liberated from Russia at the end of World War II. Rodrigo Obregon also comes back as yet another bad guy, but at least he has Julie Strain as Blu Steele, a new and dangerous henchwoman for the ladies to battle. This is Donna’s last movie, sadly, but it’s a totally great time. The new blu ray reissue is available from Mill Creek.

Enemy Gold (1993): Rodrigo Obregon as Santiago and Julie Strain as Jewel Pather are the villains in this movie, which was seen as a whole new start to the Sidaris Universe after the last film. This one was directed by Andy’s son Drew. Mill Creek has this on blu ray.

The Dallas Connection (1994): Spies, lies and thighs! What a tagline! This movie has more outright sex than other Sidaris films and Julie Strain finally being a heroine, which is pretty much everything anyone watching these on cable wanted. You can get this from, you knew it, Mill Creek.

Day of the Warrior (1996): Julie Strain finally plays one of the good guys and she definitely excels at being in charge. She’s joined by Julie K. Smith as the masked Cobra, Shae Marks as Tiger and former WCW wrestler Marcus Alexander Bagwell. Mill Creek is getting ready to release this as well.

L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998): Ninja fights, remote controlled cars with bombs and lots of sex in waterfalls? Yes, but also the chance to flash back to the past adventures on Savage Beach and Carrie Westcott (Playboy Playmate of the Month, September 1993) as a rollerblading bad girl who serves knockout pizza to an entire L.E.T.H.A.L. safehouse. Get the complete set and get this from Mill Creek.

If you want all of the movies in one DVD set, I recommend the Girls, Guns and G-Strings set. It’s inexpensive way to all of the movies.

Mill Creek’s Movie Spree also has the first six movies available in a streaming package, if you’re not about physical media.

I truly love these movies and hope that you’ll take a chance on them. They may not be as sophisticated as a Bond film, but they’re packed with fun and humor. Despite the girls being so sexy, they’re never presented as anything less than deadly and incredibly capable.

If you want to know more, click any of the links for full reviews. We also published an interview with Andy’s wife Arlene, who produced the movies, and a list all about “Ten Things I Learned from Andy Sidaris Films.”

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