Thursday, September 12, 2019

PICASSO TRIGGER (1988), SAVAGE BEACH (1989), GUNS (1990) & DO OR DIE (1991) (Mill Creek Entertainment Blu-ray review)

PICASSO TRIGGER (1988) 

Label: Mill Creek Entertainment 
Region Code: A 
Duration: 99 Minutes 
Rating: R
Video: 1080P HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Director: Andy Sidaris
Cast: Steve Bond, Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, Harold Diamond, John Aprea, Roberta Vasquez

In the Andy Sidaris fever-dream action fantasy Picasso Trigger we have the oft-nude agents, former Playboy Playmates 'natch, Donna (Dona Speir, Dragnet) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton, Slaughterhouse Rock) working for the Agency once more, wearing body-hugging outfits when wearing any clothes at all. The story this time around is that bad-man  Miguel Ortiz (Rodrigo Obregón, Hard Ticket To Hawaii)is out to eliminate all the Agency agents responsible for the death of his brother in the last film, beginning with assassinating double-agent code-named the Picasso Trigger (John Aprea, Caged Heat), then setting is sights on the busty Dona and Taryn, by blowing up their houseboat with an R/C plane armed with an explosive device - director Andy Sidaris must have been an R/C enthusiast, it seems that most of his films have some version of them. The lovely ladies survive the assassination attempt and team-up with Agency agents Travis Abilene (Steve Bond, Gas Pump Girls) and the sexy Pantera (Roberta Vasquez) to snag Ortiz before he can kill them all. 

This is the usual silly stuff from Sidaris, action-packed nonsense peppered with copious amounts of glistening nudity, terribly tasty dim-dialogue and action set pieces that while not reaching the levels of Hard Ticket To Hawaii are plenty of fun. How can you not love a crutch that conceals a rocket launcher, and the dance routine of  undercover agents Kym (Kym Malin, Joysticks) and Patticakes (Patty Duffek) are not to be missed. Totally cheesy, totally fun, absolutely ridiculous, that's how Andy Sidaris made 'em and that's why we love 'em for the most part.  

Special Features: 
- All new 4K transfer by the American Genre Film Archive
- Introduction by Director Andy Sidaris & Julie Strain 
- Audio Commentary with Andy and Arlene Sidaris
- Malibu Bay Trailers
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette 
SAVAGE BEACH (1989) 

Label: Mill Creek Entertainment 
Region Code: A 
Duration: 95 Minutes 
Rating: R
Video: 1080P HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Director: Andy Sidaris
Cast: Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, John Aprea, Bruce Penhall, Rodrigo Obregon, Michael J. Shane

Foxy secret-agents Donna (Dona Spier) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) returned in Andy Sidaris's Savage Beach (1989), a real fun entry from the director, with our former Playboy Playmates characters crashing their plane on an uncharted island while trying to deliver a vaccine to dying kids! On the island the ladies manage to get mixed up in a bad-guys (Rodrigo Obregón) U.S. military aided plot to recover some stolen WWII-era gold that's on the island, which is being protected by a former Japanese soldier who is also stranded on the island. This one has some jungle-fun set pieces that looks great in film, lots of eye candy, plus we get the usual array of nudity, hot girls in hot tubs, and Donna and Taryn putting their plane  auto-pilot before getting nude in the cockpit - no wonder they crashed! Highlight include an appearance from former Playboy Playmate and porn star Teri Weigel (Cheerleader Camp)  as the bad-guys revolutionary Filipino girlfriend, and Lisa London showing up as another agent from Agency. It's just another Sidaris action-gem stuffed with the usual golden treasures, including hara-kari, lota of blood, boobs and babes, plus drug-stuffed pineapples, but strangely there are no R/C delivered explosives this time.    

Special Features: 
- All new 4K transfer by the American Genre Film Archive
- Introduction by Director Andy Sidaris & Julie Strain 
- Audio Commentary with Andy and Arlene Sidaris
- Malibu Bay Trailers
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
GUNS (1990)

Label: Mill Creek Entertainment 
Region Code: A 
Duration: 96 Minutes 
Rating: R
Video: 1080P HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Director: Andy Sidaris
Cast: Erik Estrada, Dona Speir, Roberta Vasquez, Bruce Penhall, Cynthia Brimhall, William Bumiller

Sidaris' movies rarely wrestle any sort of actual emotion from me, but Guns 91990) manages it, I was a bit broken up that the pairing of Dona (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton)as Agency agents is broken-up, Dona this time around is partnered up with a new sidekick by way of Nicole (Roberta Vasquez, Savage Beach). This film's baddie is a South American gun-runner played by Erik Estrada (TV's CHiPs) who is in Vegas trying to smuggle some Chinese mega-guns into the country. This one loses some of the Hawaiian charm and appeal that made the earlier entries so attractive, but it's not without it's charms, and the killer explosive R/C vehicle is back! 

Estrada is fun as the villain here, clearly having a good time vamping it up, aided by his right-hand man Tong (Danny Trejo, Machete), with plenty of corny dialogue, unexpected ninjas, tits and ass and a ridiculous sex scene atop a motorcycle, plus we get Cynthia Brimhall (Picasso Trigger) as a rhinestone-thong clad crooner.   

Special Features: 
- All new 4K transfer by the American Genre Film Archive
- Introduction by Director Andy Sidaris & Julie Strain 
- Audio Commentary with Andy and Arlene Sidaris
- Malibu Bay Trailers
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
DO OR DIE (1991) 

Label: Mill Creek Entertainment 
Region Code: A 
Duration: 97 Minutes 
Rating: R
Video: 1080P HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Director: Andy Sidaris
Cast: Pat Morita, Erik Estrada, Dona Speir, 
Roberta Vasquez, Bruce Penhall, Cynthia Brimhall

Sure, Erik Estrada's bad-guy might have gone boom in the previous film but Andy Sidaris brought him back in his next film, this time as a good-guy, an agent working with Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton). The bad-guy in this one is Pat Morita - that's right, friggin' Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid!  The ladies run afoul of the baddie after upsetting several of his criminal organizations nefarious plans, so he sets several teams of assassins to take out the ladies in a series of gun play and explosions that are par for the course for Sidaris. Highlights include a pair of cross-dressing hitmen, and poor Lisa London's death with a bullet to the head, which caught me by surprise! This is not Sidaris' finest moment, Morita is a lame-ass villain, it's Mr. Miyagi for Christ's sake, but it's not without it's share of Andy's patented formula of bullets, bombs and babes that made his brand of t&A fueled action-fantasy so darn entertaining if all together not good, it was always at least passably entertaining, and this is definitely passably entertaining, just not on par with Savage beach or Hard Ticket To Hawaii, which for Andy Sidaris were high watermarks.    

Special Features: 
- All new 4K transfer by the American Genre Film Archive
- Introduction by Director Andy Sidaris & Julie Strain 
- Audio Commentary with Andy and Arlene Sidaris
- Malibu Bay Trailers
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

Audio/Video: All four of these films arrive on Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment with 4K restorations prepared by the America Genre Film Archive (AGFA) that looks pretty dang spiffy. There's some rough edges by way of vertical lines throughout the presentation, but the grain structure is rich, colors are vibrant, and the plentifully displayed skin tones looks natural. The image and colors  are much brighter compared to the previously released DVD, but the image is cropped from the original full frame to create a widescreen 1.78:1 presentation that's HD TV friendly, but the cropping looks good and doesn't looked cramped. 

The discs all include English DTS-HD MA stereo audio that sounds good, it's clean and well-balanced with optional English Subtitles are provided. 


All the extras are ported over from the previous special edition DVDs, we get an introductions for each film from director Andy Sidaris who is joined by often topless Julie Strain, plus an audio commentaries for all four films from the director and his wife, plus each disc has 22-mins of Malibu Bay trailers, and behind-the-scenes footage. These release also comes with a digital code of the film for Mill Creek Entertainment proprietary streaming service movieSPREE. 

I love seeing these cheese-tastic action films from director Andy Sidaris getting the Blu-ray treatment, I believe their are still six more that have not been released in HD, so here's hoping Mill Creek Entertainment are selling enough of these suckers to merit the whole collection eventually getting Blu'd and into the hands of fans who crave that patented Sidaris formula of bullets, bombs and babes in hi-def.  

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