Well, it was only a matter of time before we journeyed into the strange world of Andy Sidaris. In the days where video rental stores and cable tv were hungry for content, his films were a permanent fixture. Sidaris served in various capacities as writer, producer, and director for a loose series of twelve films about a group of federal agents, usually played by former Playboy playmates, taking down bad guys from their base in Hawaii. Rest assured that you don’t gain important plot points by watching the series in order, so today we jump in with the fourth installment…1989’s Savage Beach.
Our story concerns a group of lovely ladies who work for “the agency.” Now exactly what agency these girls work for is unclear, but whatever it is it allows them to shoot guns and fly their small planes around Hawaii before getting naked and jumping in the hot tub. These skilled ladies are led by Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton). Why exactly Sidaris felt the need to have Dona with one ‘N’ play Donna with two ‘N’s’ is totally lost on me.
One day a call comes in that a hospital that serves the natives on a distant island is short on some crucial supplies. Dona and Taryn step in to fly the supplies over, but they only have a small window of opportunity as a nasty storm is in the area. By the time they arrive at the island, the rain has already started. So much so that once they are airborne for the trip home they have no choice but to change out of their wet clothes in the cramped cockpit. So, at least they are dry when the storm plays havoc with the plane and forces them to land on a deserted island.
The girls do their best to make do on the island…building a shelter out of palm branches and taking time to skinny dip. Soon, though, they find out that they are not alone. It turns out that an evil foreign diplomat along with some US military men are on the island searching for some Japanese gold lost during World War II. What an amazing coincidence! But that’s not all, campers! There is also an aging Japanese soldier (Michael Mikasa) with crusty skin and a samurai sword who has been stuck on the island for 40 years and is ready to do some deadly damage.
Story is not exactly a high priority for Sidaris’ films and in this particular case it is very easy to get lost very early on. Characters come and go and we’re never really told who they are and why the heck they are important. I mean, we have about half a dozen too many bad guys in this flick. Whoever they all are, they seem to be doing a lot of plotting and double-crossing. Too bad none of it makes any sense. At least Al Leong shows up to make things interesting. I don’t know who he was working for, but who cares. It’s Al Leong!! Even the good guys have a few too many team members. Dona and Taryn’s fellow agents Rocky (Lisa London) and Pattycakes (Patty Duffek) seem to only be there to fill out the hot tub scene.
I don’t think any of you will be surprised to hear that the acting is sub par to say the least. Let’s face it, our lead actresses here went to the Playboy playmate school of acting. The dialogue is delivered in a labored and stilted fashion with awkward pauses long enough for you to step out to change the oil in you car and not miss anything. I also found it a, shall we say “unique” acting decision that these actresses always hunch over like Quasimodo any time they are given the difficult task of walking and holding a gun at the same time.
Sidaris made a whole bunch of films and sometimes his formula works. Take some gorgeous ladies, add some guns, Hawaiian locale, explosions…top it off with a ridiculous scenario, bad dialogue and worse acting; that can actually be a lot of fun. Such is not the case with Savage Beach, however. It’s too confusing and relies too much on coincidence for it’s story to go anywhere. At least it’s got Al Leong.