Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Blu-ray Review: Hard Ticket To Hawaii

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
For those of you who actually follow this blog, then you would know I had reviewed Malibu Express Blu-ray last week; which was the first movie in the "Bullets, Bombs and Babes" series from the late director Andy Sidaris. The second entry, Hard Ticket To Hawaii, was released to theatres in 1987 and it landed on Blu-ray (R; $19.98; 96 minutes) for the first time last week from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Unlike the first film in the franchise, Hard Ticket To Hawaii is a James Bond meets Rambo spoof, but instead of a male lead, here we get two female heroines - Donna and Taryn (played by Playboy Playmates Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton), who are undercover agents for "The Agency."

The main plot involves Donna and Taryn teaming up with  Rowdy Abilene and his pal, Jade (played by Ronn Moss and Harold Diamond) to stop a drug lord and his henchmen from smuggling diamonds into Hawaii. And then there's the whole subplot about the giant rubber snake that gets loose and wrecks havoc. (Yes, that actually happens!)

Blu-ray Special Features include:
  • Introduction by Director Andy Sidaris
  • Audio Commentary
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Trailers

Final Thoughts

Hard Ticket To Hawaii is one of many of films I'd watched on premium cable late-at-night as a teenager during the mid-1990s. And when I mean "films," I'm referring to sleazy low-budget nudie movie that I probably shouldn't have been watching at the age. Then again, I had been watching horror films since I was seven, so I had pretty much seen everything that was seen in this flicks.

Out of the Andy Sidaris' "Bullets, Bombs and Babes" series, Hard Ticket To Hawaii happens to be best one; mostly thanks to the bigger budget. This film marked the start of a trend that would continue throughout the franchise, where women would be become the heroines and fight side-by-side with their male costars. The women (played by Playboy and Penthouse models) were smarter in the sequels compared to the ditzy female characters in Malibu Express.

The biggest name in Hard Ticket To Hawaii is a young Ronn Moss, who would later go on to play the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful for 25 years. In the film, he plays Rowdy Abilene, who's supposed to be the cousin to the main character, Cody Abilene, from Malibu Express. Rowdy is even seen living on his cousins' yacht, which is dubbed the Malibu Express! This doesn't make a bit of sense since a movie poster for Malibu Express is seen hanging on a wall inside the women's apartment; though they do refer to Cody, as well as the two other female characters that worked for The Agency." But not much actually makes sense in this film, so I shouldn't complain too much.

The acting is from passable to laughable, which is mostly in part to the cheesy dialogue. The plot is bonkers, especially with the giant rubber poisonous snake that all the characters believe is actually real! Yeah, you can't take this movie too seriously.

The picture and sound quality is pretty good, though there are a few scenes that are a little grainy, which is probably due to Mill Creek Entertainment having to transfer an older print to Blu-ray.

There's a reason why Hard Ticket To Hawaii never won any Oscars!!! However, it does have a cult B-movie following thanks to its over-the-top violence, unnecessary nude scenes, and silly story. Personally, I had good time watching the movie on Blu-ray. If you're a fan of low-budget '80's action films, then you're probably going to enjoy this release.
*Note: I received a review copy from Mill Creek Entertainment.
All opinions are my own.

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