Film Review: Hard Ticket To Hawaii (dir by Andy Sidaris)


I absolutely love Hawaii.

Years ago, my family spent a wonderful summer in Hawaii.  I’m not a swimmer and I have a morbid fear of drowning but oh my God, I loved walking along the Hawaiian beach.  It was the most incredibly beautiful place that I had ever seen.  The water was so blue.  The trees were so green.  And the people … oh my God, the people were so friendly and generous!  I have never had more drugs randomly offered to me than when I was walking on the back in Hawaii.  Even the screaming homeless people in Hawaii seemed nicer than the screaming homeless people on the mainland.

Of course, the truth is that no place is perfect.  Undoubtedly, Hawaii had its dark side.  I mean, just look at the 1987 film, Hard Ticket to Hawaii.

Directed by Andy Sidaris and officially the second film in his Triple B (Bullets, Bombs, and Babes) franchise, Hard Ticket To Hawaii has been described as being the greatest B-movie ever move.  I don’t know if I’d go that far but it’s certainly the only Andy Sidaris film to ever air on TCM.

Hard Ticket To Hawaii tells the story about … well, actually, it tells a lot of stories.  This is a Sidaris film, which means that it’s collection of bad puns, double entendres, cartoonish violence, and totally random scenes that don’t really link up to anything else in the film.

For instance, there’s a scene where a sportscaster interviews two former football players and has a panic attack when he thinks that the N-word has been broadcast on national television.  But then it turns out that the feed went out before the word was uttered so … hey, problem solved.  And it’s never spoken of again.

And then there’s an aging actress and a sleazy producer and they have a few scenes before they vanish from the film.  I’m not sure why they were in the film in the first place.  Maybe they were friends of Andy Sidaris.

And then there’s the giant mutant snake.  It says something about the narrative strangeness of Hard Ticket To Hawaii that the giant mutant snake is just a relatively minor subplot.

The actual plot begins when two innocent Molokai cops are executed by some smug drug dealers.  “Ah!” you say, “it’s going to be a film about drug runners!”  No, actually it’s a film about diamond smugglers because the whole drug things get abandoned fairly quickly.

A stash of stolen diamonds is accidentally recovered by Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton).  Donna and Taryn work for Molokai Cargo.  They transport packages and they take tourists around the island.  Except, Donna is also a secret government agent and apparently, Taryn is in the witness protection program.

Anyway, they not only find the stolen diamonds but they also lose the aforementioned mutant snake.  With the smugglers determined to get the diamonds, Dona calls in Rowdy Abeline (Ronn Mass), cousin of Cody Abeline who was the lead character in Malibu Express.  As soon as Rowdy arrives on the island, he is targeted by an assassin on a skateboard.  The assassin is carrying a gun and sex doll but he didn’t consider that Rowdy would have a bazooka in the back of his jeep.

Meanwhile, there’s a guy named Shades who just hangs out on the beach while holding a submachine gun.  He’s guarding something and Rowdy knows that he needs to get by Shades.  Fortunately, a local woman always play frisbee with Shades.

“Good,” Rowdy says, “I can use that.”

And use that he does.

Now, this may all seem incredibly stupid but last year, the Alamo Drafthouse showed the frisbee scene before a showing of Free Fire and the audience went crazy.  Seriously, it’s an iconic scene, even if it doesn’t make any sense.  And hey, now I know what to say that next time a total stranger tells me that I have a nice ass.

You too, Pilgrim!

Hard Ticket To Hawaii is insane.  (I haven’t even mentioned half of the crazy stuff that happens in this movie.)  It makes absolutely no sense but it’s so quickly paced that it doesn’t matter.  Hard Ticket To Hawaii cheerfully embraces its weirdness.  It may not be any good but it is a lot of fun.

Add to that, Hawaii, as always, looks great!

One response to “Film Review: Hard Ticket To Hawaii (dir by Andy Sidaris)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 2/26/18 — 3/4/18 | Through the Shattered Lens

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