Category Archives: Cult Movies

hard ticket to hawaii

Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987)

Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987)

“Just when you thought it was safe to take a pee”
Starring: Ronn Moss, Dona Spier & Hope Marie Carlton
Written & Directed by Andy Sidaris

To the uninitiated (and I’m assuming that would be most sane people) Andy Sidaris is a filmmaker whose genre would be best described as ‘chicks with guns’. They are jam-packed with nudity, explosions, gunfire and god-awful one-liners. They could only be a product of one decade: the eighties. And action films don’t get much more “eighties” than this flick. This is one of those films that would change your life if you saw it as a fourteen year old. The plot is minimal and the dialogue is terrible, but if you turn your brain off and focus on the boobies, weaponry and violence (as Sidaris certainly has) you’ll easily endure the awful writing and acting.

Dona Spier & Hope Marie Carlton (both Playboy Playmates circa 1984-5) play busty undercover female agents operating a charter plane service in Hawaii. They are asked to deliver a snake to a local resort but on the way stumble across a diamond smuggling racket. Fortunately the girls know kung-fu and with the aid of some ninja stars they defeat the baddies, secure the diamonds and escape home in their sea-plane. Dona says “Let’s hit the jacuzzi… I do my best thinking there” and they jump in the spa topless and discuss what they should do now that they are targets of a lethal crime syndicate. It may seem a little odd that at this crucial point in the plot the lead characters whip their tops off and go skinny dipping, but as these girls spend 50% off the film either naked or in bikinis you’ll get used to it. Perhaps it’s Sidaris’ ingenious method of making sure we pay attention to the dialogue scenes or possibly a technique to distract us from noticing holes in the plot. Gratuitous nudity would be an understatement.

Back to the plot… the bad guys decide to break into the girls’ house and rough them up a little. Bad idea fellas. After defeating the creeps the girls telephone their secret agent friends Harold Diamond and Ron Moss (yes, Ridge from Bold & The Beautiful) hoping to get a little back up. And just when things seem like they couldn’t get any worse they receive a call warning them the snake they have in the cage is contaminated from feeding on cancer infested rats. Worse still, the giant snake has escaped and cannot be found.

Highlights of this film (besides big boobs) are plentiful and rank among some of the most ridiculous ever shot. Ronn Moss takes out an armed guard with a Frisbee lined with razor blades. Moss blows away a skateboarder in mid-air with a rocket launcher and then a blow-up sex doll for the hell of it. The giant snake (which is really fake and rubbery looking) leaps out of an exploding toilet to attack Spier. The same snake attacks and kills honeymooners snapping a few naughty Polaroids. Messages are delivered by Chinese cooks to secret agents inside salad sandwiches. An evil female spy working in a local bar turns out to be a transvestite. Moss crashes through the wall of a house on a motorcycle. There’s a softcore fetish/bondage scene and much, much more.

It’s not exactly high art but will satisfy your thirst for eighties action cheese. It should appeal to any testosterone driven male or anyone that likes movies about babes with big bazookas (in both senses of the term). Believe it or not Dona Spier returned for six sequels to this film (including Guns with Erik Estrada), all were directed by Sidaris naturally.

eegah poster

Eegah (1962)

Eegah (1962)
Directed by Arch Hall Sr.
Starring Arch Hall Jr, Richard Kiel, Marilyn Manning, Arch Hall Sr

Arch Hall Sr started his career in radio as a writer and performer. He served in the Air Force as a pilot during WW2, his goofy antics during this period oddly enough were the subject of a mainstream war-comedy “The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961)”, directed by Jack Webb (Dragnet) and starring Robert Mitchum as Arch Hall. In the same year Arch began producing his own films on a much, much smaller budget. The first film he made was “Magic Spectacles”, a nudie flick with a rather self-explanatory title. His next film “The Choppers” would introduce the world to Arch’s teenage son, appropriately named Arch Hall Jr.

From this point on Junior would appear in almost all of daddy’s movies. Arch was a guitar swinging rock’n’roller and his father’s plan was to market him as a teen heartthrob via these cheap little movies. Most of the films allow Junior the chance to show off his guitar and singing talents, in “Eegah” he performs at least three songs in their entirety. In 2005 Norton Records released a long overdue collection of Junior’s songs including rare recordings and live performances as well as tunes from his movies. Arch Hall Sr produced a handful of flicks between 1961 and 1965; he also worked with other cult filmmakers such as Ray Dennis Steckler (The Incredibly Strange Creatures That Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies) and Ted V Mikels (The Corpse Grinders). He died in 1978 from a heart attack.

“Eegah” is a film with an extraordinary low-budget, despite this fact it was very successful financially and is quite entertaining for the absurd junk it is. Written, directed and starring Arch Hall Sr under various pseudonyms and with a cast of unknown amateur actors including his aforementioned son, his secretary Manning and Richard Kiel, a tenant of Hall’s whose rent was overdue. Kiel’s career was quite successful after this debut and he is best known for his role as the villain Jaws in several James Bond movies.

“Eegah” is the story of a couple of teenage lovers Roxy and Tommy (Manning & Junior) that witness a giant, prehistoric caveman in the Californian desert. Nobody believes their story except for Roxy’s father Robert Miller, a renowned novelist of adventure stories. Miller sets out in a helicopter to find the giant caveman but is captured by Eegah and taken back to his cave.

Eegah is the last of his kind and lives in a cave with the mummified remains of his family. The corpses of his dead relatives are incredibly dodgy looking, possibly made from paper-mache. When Miller doesn’t return home from his expedition Tommy and Roxy set out in their dune-buggy to find him. Unfortunately Eegah finds Roxy first and she in inducted into the caveman family where she is reunited with her father. Inside the cave Roxy is fed raw meat, teaches Eegah to shave and tries to thwart Eegah’s constant attempts to fondle her rude bits.

Upon discovering Eegah’s lair Tommy helps the Millers to escape from the caveman’s clutches. The lovelorn Eegah leaves the desert in pursuit of Roxy, following her scent all the way back to civilisation where he terrorises a rock’n’roll pool party that Tommy and Roxy are attending.

This movie is really just harmless fun. It’s squeaky clean and doesn’t offer the gore or nudity that are present in many low-budget flicks of the day. The plot is minimal and the acting and direction are fairly mundane but it does have its moments. Such as Junior’s cheesy songs, the scene where Roxy shaves Eegah’s beard off and the silly dune-buggy chase scenes. For me it was fun to watch but I wouldn’t give it a high recommendation. Oh, movie nerds look out for the cameo scene where Eegah pushes Ray Dennis Steckler into a swimming pool (of course this is not reason enough to go and buy it).