Saturday, June 28, 2014

#1,412. Malibu Express (1985)

Directed By: Andy Sidaris

Starring: Darby Hinton, Sybil Danning, Art Metrano

Tag line: "Packing Heat From Texas To Malibu Beach!"

Trivia: Director Andy Sidaris makes a cameo appearance in the movie, playing a guy driving a winnebago

Andy Sidaris was a writer / director who specialized in a very specific type of movie, namely action / adventures with lots of guns and plenty of soft-core sex. His 1985 film, Malibu Express, was the first in what’s become known as his “Triple B” series (which also includes Savage Beach), and while it’s a muddled mess (yet another aspect of Sidaris’ work), you can’t help but admire the movie’s chutzpah.

Cody Abeline (Darby Hinton), a California private eye, is enlisted by Contessa Luciana (Sybil Danning), an undercover FBI agent, to break up a spy ring that’s been stealing U.S. technology and selling it to the Russians. To this end, Cody moves in with Lady Lillian Chamberlain (Niki Dantene), who the authorities believe is unwittingly harboring the spy. But who is the guilty party? Is it Lady Chamberlain’s nephew, Stuart (Michael A. Andrews); her niece Liza (Lorraine Michaels); or Stuart’s wife Anita (Shelley Taylor Morgan)? Maybe it’s Shane the chauffeur (Brett Baxter Clark) or the maid, Marian (Robyn Hilton)? Regardless of which one it is, Cody will do whatever he can to bring the guilty party to justice, even if it means sleeping with every pretty girl he encounters along the way!

Make no mistake: Malibu Express sucks. As gorgeous as the women are (many were once Playboy Playmates), none of them (with the exception of Sybil Danning) can act. Neither can the guys, for that matter (Darby Hinton makes for a likable hero, though he’s never really convincing as a private eye). And as for the film’s story, it’s practically indecipherable. At the outset, we learn about the spy ring, but the moment Cody moves into the Chamberlain estate, we’re thrown head-first into a soap opera (Anita is having an affair with Shane the chauffeur). Then, when one of these characters is gunned down in cold blood, Malibu Express changes gears and becomes a murder-mystery, with our hero, Cody, on the run from hapless thugs whose boss wants him dead. Malibu Express even takes a few stabs at comedy, and while I did laugh at the opening scene (where we learn Cody isn’t exactly an expert marksman), the side story about a hillbilly family (the Buffingtons, played by Abb Dickson, Busty O’Shea, and Randy Rudy) that continually challenges Cody to a drag race gets old real quick.

But none of this matters, because Malibu Express is all about the ladies, each of whom is portrayed as a horny sex fiend who can’t resist throwing herself at our hero’s feet. He’s introduced to his new neighbors, a pair of buxom beauties named Faye (Kimberly McArthur) and May (Barbara Edwards), when they invade his yacht and ask if they can use his shower (which they jump into together, no less). Not even the pretty police detective (Lori Sutton) is immune to his charms (while investigating the murder, the two get it on in the victims bed), and late in the film, when Cody, behind the wheel of a souped-up race care, is on the run from the three goons (who are pursuing him in a helicopter), the aptly named June Khnockers (Lynda Wiesmeier), sitting in the passengers seat, pulls off her top and tries to seduce the surprised private eye, despite the fact he’s concentrating on the road (not a bad idea when you consider he was doing about 180 miles per hour at the time).

So, to sum up, Malibu Express is a poorly acted movie with a needlessly complex plot and a cast of former Playboy Playmates who never miss an opportunity to take their tops off.

Andy Sidaris may not have been a talented filmmaker, but he was one hell of a showman!

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