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SRP $69.99 1.33:1 2.0 Stereo VENTURA and MALIBU FILMS

MALIBU FILMS and Ventura have released the first set of Andy Sidaris films in “THE ANDY SIDARIS COLLECTION: VOLUME 1”.  Sidaris’ films owe a bit to the “works” of Russ Meyer. While Sidaris doesn’t necessarily show the affinity to overly endowed women as Myers does, he loves to blend action with nudity, large guns with large breasts, and so on.  While neither director cared about convincing dialogue or plotlines, Sidaris’ films have the advantage of larger budgets, and a slicker image. 

Sidaris loves to cast playboy playmates in his films. None are hard to look at, some can act half-way decent, and some are horrible. Still, even the ones who can’t act are fun to watch, and that’s not a small accomplishment for any low-budget film, especially for ones made in the ‘80s and ‘90s.  Sidaris tries his best to give each film a “007” type of atmosphere, utilizing exotic locations, better-than-average cinematography, and beautiful women with sophisticated(at the time) equipment to conduct various missions.  While some of the actresses/playmates featured in these films may not necessarily show the same level of beauty in their most recent current “Glamourcon” convention appearances, these films remind one of how stellar they were in their heyday! 

“THE ANDY SIDARIS COLLECTION: VOLUME 1” contains five films, “MALIBUE EXPRESS, HARD TICKET TO HAWAII, PICASSO TRIGGER, SAVAGE BEACH, and GUNS”, all directed by Andy Sidaris.  The sixth title, “ENEMY GOLD”, was directed by his son, Drew Sidaris.

“MALIBU EXPRESS” was made in 1985, and stars Darby Hinton as “Cody” Abilene, a dim-witted tough guy detective trying to solve a murder.  While he carries a weapon, and tries to appear sophisticated, Sidaris wittily offers the idea that one can’t take the redneck out of someone, whether they live on an expensive yacht or not!  The beautiful, voluptuous, Sybil Danning stars, and undresses frequently.  But, there are also plenty of nude romps on display with Playmates Kimberly McArthur and others.   

“HARD TICKET TO HAWAII”  stars Playmates Donna Speir and Cynthia Brimhall, and revolves around drug dealers and diamonds.  Again, each scene is basically built around an excuse to see these girls jiggle, while nude!  There is the usual amount of bullets and fighting, and the Hawaiian scenery is great, but, again, these girls would look great in a trailer park!

 “PICASSO TRIGGER” brings back Donna Speir and Cynthia Brimhall, and introduces Roberta Vasquez as a “stacked & packed” undercover agent.  After a ruthless criminal is killed, numerous law officials are targeted for retributive murder, and all of them are coincidentally, gorgeous, and uncomfortable wearing too much clothing.

”SAVAGE BEACH” offers Donna Speir and Hope Marie Carlton as special agents whom have crash landed on a deserted island.  Of course, on a desert island, there’s little need for much clothing. Adding some tension to the plot, a brutal criminal is also on the island searching for stolen gold, left over from WW2.

”GUNS”  stars Donna Speir and Roberta Vasquez, but it’s the comical appearance of Erik Estrada as a bad guy, that makes this one something not to be missed. His ability to play “bad” makes his “C.H.I.P.S” performances seem like Oscar material. 

”ENEMY GOLD” is the one film directed by Andy’s son Drew.  There’s actually a noticeable difference in style in this film, and while there’s not too much room to branch out beyond the T&A scenes, Sidaris strives for creativity even in its titillation. It also introduces the audience to Julie Strain, a beauty with a hard, busty, and far different look than most of the girls in the previous films. 

All of the films have been presented in their original 1.33:1 full-frame ratio.  While varying in quality, they generally look solid. Colors are often rich, and while there are some grainy moments, the contrast is generally decent.  Darker scenes don’t offer the depth of bigger budgeted looking films, but they’re still acceptable. Fleshtones appear natural.

Each film is presented with a 2.0 stereo mix. There’s little separation, but fidelity is fine, and dialogue is always intelligible. 

VENTURA and MALIBU BAY have thrown in some worthwhile extras for this release.

In addition to numerous cast and crew bios, there are 12 trailers, commentaries for each film, and a documentary for each film as well!

Andy and Arlene Sidaris provide the commentaries, and they’re actually entertaining. Not just because of the casual atmosphere that they were recorded in, but due to the clueless-ness of Sidaris at times!   He really thinks he’s made some great talent discoveries here! Some of the extra featurettes are quite lengthy, offering some interesting behind-the-scenes footage and more one-on-one looks at the talent. They make for light, breezy entertainment, and are actually more enjoyable than most featurettes offered for “big” films.