My first thought when I came across 1994’s The Dallas Connection:
Oh my God, it’s a movie about my hometown!
And, just judging from the film’s poster, it appears that Dallas is blowing up! Look at all of those flames behind Reunion Tower!
(Whenever a film is set in Dallas, you know you’re going to see Reunion Tower in the background. Depending on when the film was made, you’ll probably also see Bank of America Plaza. That’s the green building.)
Of course, film posters are often inaccurate and it’s not really a spoiler for me to tell you that, at no point, does Reunion Tower blow up in this movie. Don’t get me wrong. A lot of stuff does blow up in The Dallas Connection. It’s a Sidaris film, produced by Andy Sidaris and directed by his son, Christian Drew Sidaris. The Sidaris name is pretty much synonymous with stuff blowing up.
That said, a good deal of The Dallas Connection does take place in Dallas and, unlike a lot of other films, it was actually filmed in Dallas. This wasn’t a case of something like Dallas Buyers Club or Killer Joe, where New Orleans was used as a Dallas stand-in. Nor was it like that terrible “Babylon” episode of The X-Files, where a bunch of Canadians in denim were awkwardly cast as Texans. It’s always fun to see building that you recognize when you watch a movie.
That said, The Dallas Connection opens in Paris. We know it’s supposed to be Paris because of all the French stock footage. Inside a Parisian mansion (which looks suspiciously like a house one would expect to find in the suburbs of Dallas), an assassin named Black Widow (Julie Strain) is murdering a scientist. Black Widow’s trademark is that she has rough sex with her targets before murdering them.
Meanwhile, Black Widow’s associates — Cobra (Julie K. Smith) and Scorpion (Wendy Hamilton) — are killing scientists in South Africa and Hong Kong. The South African scenes feature a lot of grainy stock footage that was probably lifted from a nature documentary. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, death comes via an exploding golf ball.
Why are all the scientists being killed? Well, it turns out that they’re all due to attend a scientific conference in Dallas. (Woo hoo! Way to go, Dallas!) Apparently, they’ve developed some sort of missile defense system or something. The last remaining scientist, Morales (Rodrigo Obregon), needs to be protected from Black Widow and her assassins so it’s time to call in Chris Cannon (Bruce Penhall) and his team of incompetent government agents.
In typical Sidaris fashion, the plot is pretty much impossible to follow. That’s not because the story is especially complex or clever. This isn’t one of those films where you need to rewatch it to pick up on all the details or the clues or anything like that. Instead, The Dallas Connection’s incoherence feels as if it’s a result of everyone just making it all up as they went along. It’s a Sidaris film so you know that, inevitably, everyone’s going to end up in the bayous, blowing stuff up.
And yes, yet another remote control boat shows up and explodes. Of all of the Sidaris trademarks, the exploding remote controlled boats is perhaps the strangest. At the same time, it’s also the most amusing. Seriously, whenever anyone is standing near any body of water, you just know a tiny speedboat’s going to come along and blow him up.
In the end, The Dallas Connection is a typically incoherent Sidaris film but at least it features a lot of scenes shot in my hometown.