Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fit to Kill (Andy Sidaris, 1993)

She can sing, she can dance, she's funny, and, of course, she's got killer legs, yet time and time again, the gorgeous Cynthia Brimhall is relegated to the sidelines. I've been wanting to say this for a long time and now is a good as time as any: If I have to watch another Andy Sidaris film that treats Cynthia Brimhall like a second class citizen, I'm going to throw the hissy fit to end all hissy fits. (Um, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Fit to Kill was the last Andy Sidaris film to ever feature the luminous Cynthia Brimhall.) You're joking, right? (I'm afraid not.) Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!! What? Too many o's? Not enough o's? Either way, this review will have to serve as my humble tribute to Cynthia Brimhall. You appeared in a total of six Andy Sidaris films. And while you might not have been the star of any of them, in my mind, you were easily the best thing about all six. If I had to pick, I'd say Guns was your crowning achievement in terms delivering the awesome. On the bright side, this particular film, the one I'm currently writing about, would turn out to the last Andy Sidaris film for Dona Speir and Roberta Vasquez as well. Woo-hoo! If you have been closely following my epic journey into the jiggle-friendly realm of Andy Sidaris, you'll know that I can't stand Dona Speir in these movies, haven't since the moment I laid eyes on her in Hard Ticket to Hawaii. I have nothing against her personally, it's just that it angers me that Andy Sidaris allowed someone so woefully untalented to star in seven of his films. If she had, say, appeared in two or three of his movies, I might have forgiven him. But seven?!? That doesn't make any sense. I mean, Cynthia Brimhall is clearly more talented than her. I guess I'm old fashioned. In that, I believe you should hire people based solely on talent.

As for Roberta Vasquez, I liked her in Picasso Trigger (if you remember correctly, I had a bit of a thing for her ample booty encased in leopard print tights), but have have slowly grown to dislike her; for one thing, her ample booty seemed to get less ample with every successive movie. I know, pretty outrageous. Nonetheless, so long, Roberta. Don't let the door hit you in your not quite as ample as it once was ass.

(I'm curious, with Cynthia Brimhall, Dona Speir, and Roberta Vasquez hanging up their g-strings for good, who's going to carry the Andy Sidaris flag into the mid-to-late '90s?) Oh, boy. Have I got a treat for you. (Don't tell me, it's Naida Albright, who plays "female commando"?) Nah, not her. Though, I will admit, she is one of the sexiest women to ever appear in an Andy Sidaris film. (Really?) Yeah, but more on her later. No, carrying the babes and bullets mantle into the future is  6' 1" Julie Strain, who basically acts as a gigantic breath of fresh air for the Andy Sidaris universe.

Injecting the franchise with the same villainous glee Teri Weigel and Devin DeVasquez brought to the table as brunette troublemakers who like metallic lingerie, yet Julie Strain seems to be more aware of her surroundings than her dark-haired sisters of villainy. (Huh?) What I mean is, she totally gets that these films are ridiculous. And the fact that she is aware of this, brings an extra level of camp to the proceedings.

Of course, before we can meet the saviour of the house that fake boobs built, we have to endure the sight of special agents Donna Hamilton (Dona Speir) and Nicole Justin (Roberta Vasquez)  bathing underneath a waterfall (yawn). When they're done doing that, Donna and Nicole put on the stupidest sunglasses they can find, grab their Uzis, and start to hunt a couple of masked men carrying automatic rifles. It turns out this is just an exercise; the masked men were fellow special agents Bruce Christian (Bruce Penhall) and Shane Abilene (Michael J. Shane). But Lucas (Tony Peck), their boss, has a nasty surprise for them when sicks a toy helicopter equipped with missiles on them (he scolds them for letting their guard down).

If you remember the Andy Sidaris film, Malibu Express, which came out in 1985, you'll recall that there's a reoccurring gag involving the fact that Cody Abilene is a lousy shot. Well, this is the eighth Andy Sidaris film in a row to feature the whole male members of the Abilene family can't shoot straight schtick. And since this probably the last time we'll see this bit in action, I just want to take the time to say, good riddance to one of the hokiest/lamest reoccurring gags in film history.

Meanwhile, at the KSXY studios, Ava (Ava Cadell), "your moonlight mistress," is steaming up the airwaves. (Hey, where's Becky Mullen?) Becky who? (You know, the attractive woman who periodically got out of a hot tub to get Ava coffee in Hard Hunted.) It would seem that she's been replaced with some chick named Sandy (Sandy Wild). Which, of course, makes no sense, as Becky Mullen is way hotter than this Sandy person.

After doing some early morning tai chi, we're finally introduced to Julie Strain. Playing Blu Steel, the world's premiere assassin, Julie is about to take out self-described super-villain Kane (Geoffrey Moore) in Las Vegas, when the tables are turned on her. Maybe she wouldn't have been so easily detected had she not decided to wear a black cat suit with metallic flourishes all over it  In fairness to her metallic flourishes, it seemed like Kane knew she was coming; his lead henchmen Burke (Brett Baxter Clark) and sexy sidekick Silk (Carolyn Liu) were waiting for her with their guns drawn. Anyway, instead of killing Blu Steel, Kane proposes that she come work for him; she was working for Po (Craig Ryan Ng), a rival super-villain who no likey Kane.

Assembling a meeting at the KSXY studios to discuss an upcoming mission, Lucas is about to start giving the agents their orders, when he notices that one of the chairs is empty. The lovely Edy Stark (Cynthia Brimhall) is apparently a bit late. Stumbling into the meeting with an adorable thud, Edy struggles to get to her seat. I'm not 100% sure, but I could have sworn I saw Donna and Nicole roll their eyes in response to Edy's clumsiness. The reason I'm not 100% sure is because for them to roll their eyes would require them to act. And, as everyone knows, Dona Speir and Roberta Vasquez couldn't act their way out of a poorly constructed bean-bag chair.

Whether they rolled their eyes or not, the looks on their unjustifiably smug faces as Edy awkwardly tried to compose herself made me angry. (You, angry? You never get angry.) Yeah, well, the sight of Donna and Nicole being indifferent to Edy's plight in Fit to Kill made me angry.

On the other hand, it caused me to admire Cynthia Brimhall even more. Think about it, it takes guts to for someone so aggressively attractive to allow themselves to appear foolish like that. I mean, you would never see Dona Speir or Roberta Vasquez leave themselves open to ridicule. Again, for them to do that would require a modicum of acting ability. Either way, here's to you, Cynthia Brimhall, and your unexpected comedic chops.

It just dawned on me: Am I still writing about this movie?

Okay, here's what I'm going to do. After doing a quick synopsis of the film's plot, I'm going to make a few profound observations, and then wrap things up.

Let's see, what's this film about? The Russian ambassador (Rodrigo Obregón), or, I should say, the ambassador of  The Commonwealth of Independent States (remember when that was something that actually existed?), is in Hawaii to be presented a large diamond by a local businessman named Chang (Aki Aleong), who acquired the diamond from a German World War II officer. And thanks to a surprisingly well put together flashback sequence, we learn that the diamond was stolen from a museum during the siege of Leningrad, and that German officer who took it gave it to Chang on his death bed (with instructions to give it back to the Russians). Anyway, as you might expect, Kane wants the diamond for himself. If you're thinking Kane simply wants the get his grubby hands on the diamond for greed-related purposes, think again.

In a shocking twist, we find out there's more to Kane than meets the eye. In fact, he somehow manages to weasel his way into becoming the most interesting character to ever appear in an Andy Sidaris film. And to think, all it took was two scenes that involved reciting some mild exposition. I wonder if Dona Speir, Roberta Vasquez, and the rest of these braindead chuckleheads realized that the son of Roger Moore was stealing their movie right from under their surgically-altered noses? Nah.

In Edy Stark news: She gets to sing a song at Chang's party (complete with a gown with a massive slit down the side and black nylons) and partakes in an impromptu photo shoot wearing a white lingerie, white heels and a white hat. Oh, and the less said about those tight gold pants, the better. Yeesh.

According to the trivia section of her IMDb page: Cynthia Brimhall is good friends with actress-singer Apollonia Kotero and considers one of her few vices to be a deep love of expensive lingerie.

As in Hard Hunted, Edy Stark and Lucas are targeted by bumbling assassins played by Richard Cansino and Chu Chu Malave, whose code names are "Evel" and "Kenevil" this time around.

There's moment in Fit to Kill that literally floored me. (The sight of the black suspenders attached Julie Strain's equally black garter-belt tearing across her intimidating backside?) No, it was the sight of Naida Albright, the lone female member in Po's elite squad of Red Chinese commandos. (Yeah, the part where she gets the jump on Donna Hamilton and kills that guy with a ninja star was pretty cool.) Yeah, those things were pretty cool. But I was actually referring to the fact that Naida Albright looked like a normal woman. What I mean is, she didn't have that "I'm a vapid Playboy model who has no business acting in movies" look about them. And because of this, I was naturally drawn to her. Of course, she's killed in a manner that was degrading (think of the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy kills that black turban guy wielding the sword), but I found her presence a refreshing reminder that not all women mindless are  bimbos.


  1. Apparently, Andy Sidaris directed Monday Night Football games?
    From Entertainment Weekly's obituary: He "was a pioneering, seven-time Emmy-winning director for ABC Sports (he claimed to be the first person ever to put a TV camera in a football field’s end zone..."

    1. He also apparently pioneered the tradition of training the camera on "hot chicks" in the crowd at NFL games.

      I don't now if they still do this (I don't watch the NFL anymore), but I remember the practice being mildly creepy.

    2. Yeah, it looks like that's where he made his career and money:

      I didn't catch as many NFL games this season as the past few years, but they still tend to do that. College games, definitely.

      I wonder if Sidaris had anything to do with moving the NFL Pro Bowl to Hawaii?

      Actually, I think Andy Sidaris is more like Jess Franco than Jean Rollin.

    3. That's probably true, too. I've only seen "Faster Pussycat." Which I enjoyed. I liked the desert and death setting.

  2. I wish I could watch more CFL games. Go Argonauts.

    Seriously, though, football is so sexualized without even having to resort to showing "hot chicks" in the stands. Now, if they show anyone in the crowd, it's the idiot who is not wearing a shirt in subzero weather.

    1. I just saw a bit about the crowds at Seahawks games. It would seem that they're a tad on the loud side (mild earthquakes?!?).

      If I was running things, I would ban fans from attending the games and I would force the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to switch back to their orange uniforms; when they changed to their current unis, I stopped watching the NFL for good (holy crap, I don't think I'm kidding). ;)

  3. It's taken me a few months, but I finally finished watching all seven of the Donna Hamilton films, and yes, Cynthia Brimhall was the best thing about them.

    1. Congrats on grinding through seven of these movies.

      I don't really like them, but I did enjoy reviewing them.