Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Return to Savage Beach (1998)

My critical knives were just itching to cut into the bloated carcass that is Return to Savage Beach (a.k.a.  L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach) for having so many freakin' endings, when, all of a sudden, Carrie Westcott, of all people (an "actress" who displays more charisma while unconscious than she does while conscious), chimes in, and, in one fell swoop, undercuts the point I was going to make about how this film's ending seems to go on forever. You see, just as I was starting to lose patience with the multiple endings that were being  thrown in my general direction (they even found the time to throw in a Scooby Doo-style ending), Carrie refers to the fact that this story has too many endings. Meaning, writer-director Andy Sidaris is totally aware of what's going on. I was always under the impression he had no idea what's going on. Anyway, unless I decide to circle back and watch the action-adventure films Andy Sidaris made during the 1970s, this is it as far as Andy Sidaris/Christian Drew Sidaris movies go. On the one hand, I'm kind of happy that it's over, as, let's be honest, the film's have been getting steadily worse ever since Malibu Express and Hard Ticket to Hawaii. Sure, there are a few exceptions here and there (Guns, for example, is an excellent piece of trash cinema). But for the most part, things have been going slowly downhill.

Yet, I'm also kind of sad. I mean, this is it. No more movies with terrible actresses with fake breasts trying recite expository dialogue, no more movies with poorly-staged shoot outs (can I at least get a muzzle flash up in this overpriced bistro?), and no more movies that feature the cast standing around holding glasses of champagne in bad 1980s/90s fashions in the final scene.

A sequel to Savage Beach (duh), but also a sequel to Day of the Warrior, as that film's entire cast is back for more scantily clad hijinks,  L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach involves lost treasure buried on a remote island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

I know, didn't Special Agents Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) help return the buried treasure to government of the Republic of the Philippines in Savage Beach? That's true, they did. However, as usual, unlawful shenanigans of a duplicitous nature were afoot, and the treasure somehow ended up back on–you guessed it–Savage Beach.

Since this film boasts the same cast as Day of the Warrior, including wrestler Marcus Bagwell (now sporting a George Michael circa 1998-2008 haircut), it boasts some of the same problems. The biggest one being the complete and utter lack of talent displayed by Julie K. Smith and Shae Marks, who are, if can you believe this, supposed to be the new Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton. Oh, sure, they have big breasts. But they bring nothing else to the table in terms of wit or personality.

Emerging from the Pacific Ocean in a skimpy lavender bathing suit, the so statuesque it's ridiculous Julie Strain hops in her car and drives to the KSXY studios in Molokai to watch a new spy satellite being launched. As usual, Ava (Ava Cadell), "your personal sextrologist," along with Harry The Cat (Kevin Eastman), her engineer (who looks like a roadie for, oh, let's say, Toad the Wet Sprocket), and Silk (Carolyn Liu), are there to greet her.

As in the previous films that take place in this universe, Ava uses her radio show to deliver coded messages to L.E.T.H.A.L. (Legion to Ensure Total Harmony and Law) agents in the field.

Delivering a coded message to Tiger (Shae Marks) and Tyler (Christian Letelier) in Dallas, Ava informs them that a group of "bad guys" are smuggling weapons into the U.S.A. via Mexico. And thanks to the new satellite in orbit, Ava can pinpoint their exact location for Tiger and Tyler, using code, of course.

Donning wet suits, Tiger and Tyler confront the "bad guys" on jet skis. What ensues enfolds as followed: Chase. Shoot out. Explosion. Cheesy one-liner. 

Meanwhile, a mysterious blonde, a woman named "Sofia" (Carrie Westcott), is putting on a red PVC outfit in a Dallas Ramada. Wait, why is she carrying pizzas and ginger ale on roller-blades? Oh, I see what's going on. With most of the L.E.T.H.A.L. agents out hunting gun runners, there's no one around to mind the store.

Knocking out a security guard, a receptionist and an office manager with some spiked ginger ale, Sofia, who was posing as a pizza delivery girl, simply walks in and steals some "obsolete computer files." I know, why would anyone want to steal obsolete computer files? 

While that was a weird thing for her do, did you see the receptionist? (The blonde in the turquoise dress?) Yeah, her. (What about her?) I thought she was the most normal-looking woman to ever appear in an Andy Sidaris production made between 1985-1998.

Now, under normal circumstances (no pun intended), being "normal-looking" would be a negative. However, after being repeatedly beaten over the head with what Andy Sidaris considers to be female beauty, to see a natural woman not dressed like a tarted up hosebeast onscreen, even it was for only a few seconds, was an amazing sight to behold.

Yet, like I said, the receptionist, played by Elizabeth O'Donnell, is only onscreen for a few seconds, so, unfortunately, we're back to the watching the usual Andy Sidaris-approved nonsense in no time.

Trust me, if you have watched as many Andy Sidaris films as I have, you will embrace just about anything that deviates from the status quo. And if that means obsessing over receptionists who drink ginger ale that's been drugged by a plastic-looking bimbo, than so be it.

I would rather watch the receptionist character pretend to pass out, than sit through another one of Julie K. Smith's unsexy strip routines. Is this supposed to be titillating? It looks like she's having a seizure. Oh, and don't get me started on the guy who replaced Kevin Light (Nowhere) as Doc, Miss Smith's love interest in Day of the Warrior. He's awful, truly awful. And you know what? I'm not even going to mention his name.

After getting the computer disc that contains the exact location of Savage Beach, Sofia flies to Hawaii and personally delivers it to Rodrigo Martinez (Rodrigo Obregón). Yep, the Rodrigo Martinez. It would seem that he wasn't killed at the end of Savage Beach after all.

Why Sofia is wearing a fur coat? Doesn't she know she's in Hawaii? Ugh, this movie. Oh, wait, she's got a surprise for Rodrigo underneath it... a sexy surprise.

Just in the nick of time, we're introduced to Fu (Gerald Okamura), Julie Strain's loyal sidekick, and Warrior (Marcus Bagwell), who's a good guy now.

Pay close attention to when Willow Black and Warrior show up at Fu's house. You'll notice that as Julie Strain bends over to grab something from the back seat of her car, she revels a slight hint of thong ensnared butt-crack... or is it, butt-crack ensnared thong? Either way, it's a beautiful sight to behold.

To find out what happens when they finally arrive at Savage Beach, see my review of the original Savage Beach, as it's basically the same thing. Except, in Return to Savage Beach, the ninjas use guns. That's right, the ninjas in this film are packing pistols. What has the world come to?

After about six endings, including a twenty minute wrap up monologue by Rodrigo Obregón (who kinda deserves one, as he's been in at least twelve of these movies), harmony has been achieved and the law has been enforced.

In a bizarre twist, the final shot features Ava Cadell lounging in Molokai in black stockings with seams. It's "bizarre" because it shatters my previous theory that stated that stockings, especially black stockings, are not conducive to Hawaii's humid climate. Well, if you will excuse me, I need to go wash the egg off my face, as Andy Sidaris just made a fool out of me. Black stockings in Hawaii... who would have thought? (Not to nitpick, but Carrie Westcott appears in black stockings earlier in the film.) Yeah, so what? The final shot of an Andy Sidaris film features a leggy Hungarian woman reclining in a leggy manner in black stockings. The end.


  1. I found this one to be pretty fun movie, even if most of the cast can't act for toffee. Its also fun to sell this movie on the fact that it features the creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as Harry the Cat, aswell as an early appearance by he of "Mega Piranah" fame Paul Logan who thankfully got a better haircut and still remains one of the unsung heroes of z-grade cinema.

    1. The creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?!? I did not know that.

      Holy crap, it says here Kevin Eastman was married to Julie Strain.