Sunday, 17 June 2012

02/06/2012: Malibu Express [1985]

I have until this point only seen two Andy Sidaris movies in my life. However, watching those outrageous movies with my friends is some of my fondest movie memories. So, when I saw Girls, Guns and G-Strings on Amazon for $5, I did not hesitate to throw it in my cart and pick up all 12 of Andy Sidaris's B-movies. Now I will spend the summer sharing them with some new friends, and hopefully they will enjoy them as much as I did years ago.

My friends and I got our first taste of Andy Sidaris's movies from a youtube clip. This clip consist of the most inexplicable elements ever to grace the screen. It was from Hard Ticket To Hawaii, the first of the Triple B series we saw. This clip had, a man known as Skater, riding a skateboard down a highway, holding a blow-up sex doll, and firing a machine gun at an approaching jeep. He was then blown up my a man in the jeep armed with a rocket launcher, with a second missile destroying the sex-doll. If my memory isn't completely correct forgive me, I'm rewatching Hard Ticket next. After watching that we sook (what the hell is the past tense of seek?) out the rest, and unfortunately only ever saw Malibu Express.

With two of Andy Sidaris's movies giving me some of the most hilarious moments watching movies with my friends, I am excited to watch all 12. While I know that their quality may vary, their shear B-movie cheesiness, combined with the playboy playmates, outrageous one liners, and insane storylines will all be entertaining. So, how did my 2nd watching of Malibu Express go? Almost better than the first. I think in the time since, my appreciation and understanding of B-movies has grown. Once you've seen a few, you realize that what you expect from these movies is not what I expect from Hollywood's A-list titles. But in the same aspect, Hollywood could never produce such a quirky and flawed movie, that is still as enjoyable as Malibu Express.

They are so dedicated they don't even fully dress before chasing down the bad guys.

Malibu Express is Andy Sidaris's first movie in what is known as either his Bombs, Bullets and Babes series, or as the L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies series. That being so, it doesn't fall quite into the same standard storyline as the later films, which was typically about a bunch of female secret agents. Instead, Malibu Express is the story of a Cody Abiliene a semi-successful private detective who is hired to solve the murder of Contessa Luciana's husband. Ok, I just watched the movie, and I don't even remember this plotline, perhaps IMDb is wrong on this one, but then again maybe not. One of the greatest things about Andy Sidaris's outrageous stories is that no matter how many plot threads crop up, and apparently no matter how few you remember, in the end he manages to weave them altogether. I mean, lets put things straight, I'm not watching Malibu Express for the story, but that said, it does juggle a solid number of plots, without ending up with a big tangle at the end.

Seeing as I barely remember all the plots, I won't explain them much farther. Let's get on the the other reasons I watch these movies. First is their hilarity level. While Hard Ticket, has Malibu Express beat in some scenes, ME no means lacks. Almost all of them are filled with some great one liners. Great is a relative term here. From, the completely random races Cody gets into with a random redneck family, to the one liner about being raped in the desert, Cody gets into some interesting scenarios. While investigating whatever case he was originally sent on, he gets caught up in a complex case of blackmail, adultery and wait, what was the angle of those guys from the gym again? Oh well, Malibu Express was enjoyable regardless of what Shakespearean level story it crafted.

I think that the costume designer must not have been able to afford buttons on any of the actresses shirts.
The kind of movie that Malibu Express is could not be made today. It is simply an embodiment of 1980's B-movie filmmaking. It is a mix of outrageous action, and humour, with a heavy helping of topless nudity. As cheap as this movie is, with its thrills, and teasing, you can tell that, at least in Malibu Express, both Andy Sidaris and his cast had their entire heart put into making this movie. While many people might watch Malibu Express and not feel the love, I assure you, I feel that it is there. That is what sets great B-movies apart from just cheap failures of A-movies. The people set out to make them the way they are, and put effort into that goal, it is something you can really notice I think.

 As much heart as Andy Sidaris put into making his movie, it wouldn't have been so great without the cast. First off is the trademark of Andy Sidaris's series, the Playboy Playmates. Malibu Express casts, I think 4 Playmates: Kimberly McArthur (Jan. 1982), Barbara Edwards (Sept. 1983), Lorraine Michaels (Apr. 1981), and Lynda Wiesmeier (July 1982). While yes, these girls spend varying amounts of time with their tops off, you can tell they were also game to try out their acting skills. However, these B-movies just wouldn't be what they are without cleavage being sprinkled in at every opportunity, and sometimes, even when there wasn't an opportunity. I mean, Cody can't even get stuck in the desert without encountering a women who immediately take off her top and throws herself at him.

If I ever see a cow-skin gun-case, I'm buying it. No questions asked.
As for the action in these B-movies, while Malibu Express is a little lacking in the explosions department, there is more than enough thugs floating around, willing to toss a grenade or two. Aside from the gunfights, we also get a car chase scene involving a helicopter. Even a Winnebago, with Andy Sidaris himself driving, gets tied up in that mess. Cody Abiliene of course takes everything in stride. Whether he is being shot at, seduced, hoodwinked, or even apparently raped by that topless used car saleswoman. As any great B-movie character is, Cody somehow rises above the faceless and stereotypical hero, and becomes quite the character. I sure as hell wouldn't mind seeing any more of his adventures.

Overall, Malibu Express is what it it. It is a low budget B-movie, starring a bunch of topless playmates, filled with outrageous action sequences, and cheesy one-liners. But go ahead "Make My Day", try and watch this movie without enjoying it. Its lighthearted, nothing taken seriously fun is sure to make anyone laugh at just how cheesy this 1985 B-movie is.

This weekend I intend to gather up some friends and throw on Hard Ticket To Hawaii, and while B-movies aren't for everyone I think that if they just give it a chance, they should be able to see how fun it is. I will be watching all 12 of Andy Sidaris's movies over the next, 8 or 9 weeks, along with as many of the 21 or so James Bond movies I have in my possession. I think they will complement each other nicely.

Malibu Express IMDb
Andy Sidaris's Website (managed by his wife)

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