• Hard Ticket To Hawaii (Mill Creek Entertainment) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Mill Creek Entertainment
    Released on: April 16th, 2019.
    Director: Andy Sidaris
    Cast: Ronn Moss, Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, Harold Diamond, Rodrigo Obregón, Cynthia Brimhall, Peter Bromilow
    Year: 1987
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    Hard Ticket To Hawaii – Movie Review:

    Made two years after success of Malibu Express, 1987’s Hard Ticket To Hawaii (filmed on location in the Aloha State!) follows opens when a pair of drug enforcement agents are killed by some dope peddling maniacs on a private island somewhere in the lovely state of Hawaii. An organization known only as The Agency employs two fine and foxy operatives, Donna (Playboy Playmate Dona Speir) and Taryn (Playboy Playmate Hope Marie Carolton), who by no intentional means end up scoring a load of diamonds that were meant to be delivered to Seth Romero (Rodrigo Obregon) by a white guy named Mr. Chang (Peter Bromilow). Seth is the drug dealer who was responsible for the death of the two NARCs. How did this happen? They shuttled some lovebirds to the island and, while wandering around, came across a remote control helicopter that contained the diamonds! These deadly ladies barely escape with their live and quickly head back to their base of operations and get in the hot tub. After all, Donna tells us, this is where she does her best thinking.

    But there was something else aboard that plane… something awesome – a radioactive snake! The movie establishes this early on but then sort of scurries it away for a while, but never lose sight of this… it will become VERY important later in the film.

    Anyway, snakes aside, Romero is pretty pissed off about losing his diamonds and of course, gets his goons together so that he can take them back. Donna and Taryn get a few other Agency operatives in to help them out. These operatives are rocket launcher loving Rowdy Abilene (Ronn Moss) and martial arts bad ass/ponytail aficionado Jade (Harold Diamond). They join up with the girls and wage an all-out war on Romero and his cronies to avenge the death of the NARC and stop him from getting the diamonds and peddling more dope. If that weren’t enough trouble for our heroines, that deadly mutant snake comes back, slithering around the area killing people left, right and center! Oh, and there’s a crossdresser, a scene where one of Seth’s operatives is taken out with a killer Frisbee, lots of improperly used nun-chucks, a great dummy death, an exploding toilet and LOTS of breasts!

    Hard Ticket To Hawaii feels like a movie made just for me. Highlighted by a scene where a skateboarding assassin and his inflatable love doll are blown up in midair by a rocket launcher, Hard Ticket To Hawaii features all the boobs and explosions and shoot out’s you’d expect from Sidaris. Girls take of their tops to hop in the hot tub together, the run around fighting crime wearing nothing but bikini tops to barely cover their bouncing, heaving, hooters, and everything is completely ridiculous and completely enjoyable.

    Another really enjoyable aspect of this movie, at least in the nostalgic sense, is the bad eighties fashions on display here. Everyone is wearing at least one pastel shade at any given time during the movie’s ninety minute running time, and more often than not, their entire ensemble looks like something out of a bad Miami Vice episode.

    Oiled up musclewomen practice their martial arts skills, tough talking guys try to figure out how to take down their enemies, and buxom women spend a lot of time running around bouncing. If any one movie personifies what Sidaris’ style is all about, it’s Hard Ticket To Hawaii. Everything that the man is known for is in here and nothing is watered down or left to the imagination. It also, amazingly so, features more bad martial arts scenes than any of his other movies combined, always a nice touch.

    Hard Ticket To Hawaii – Blu-ray Review:

    Hard Ticket To Hawaii arrives on a 50GB Blu-ray disc framed at 1.85.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer taken from a new 4k restoration provided by AGFA and it looks quite strong. Colors are nice, especially in the film’s many brightly lit outdoor scenes, while black levels are solid too. Skin tones look nice and natural and the whole thing feels appreciably filmic in its look and feel. There are no noticeable issues with any edge enhancement or noise reduction and the disc is free of obvious compression artifacts. Some minor print damage does show up here and there but it’s tiny stuff, not distracting at all.

    The DTS-HD 2.0 audio track does what it can with the limitations of the source material. Dialogue is clean and clear and properly balanced but there’s a bit of flatness to the audio that, no doubt, stems back to the original recording. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion and optional subtitles are provided in English.

    Aside from a quick ninety-second optional introduction to the film provided by Andy Sidaris and Julie Strain, we get a commentary track featuring Andy Sidaris and his wife/producer Arlene Sidaris. It’s a fun track delivered with a good bit of humor but it’s also pretty informative. They talk about how and why the different cast members featured in the film wound up in the production, the different locations that they chose for the picture, putting together some of the effects and action set pieces and more.

    Additionally, the disc includes a thirty-six-minute behind the scenes piece that replays material from the introduction before then showing off various behind the scenes clips and clips from the films all with Sidaris chiming in as needed. There are some interesting cast and crew interviews here and plenty of material from his other films too. Julie Stain fans will also appreciate seeing her get ready for a photo-shoot in this piece.

    Rounding out the extras are trailers for a host of Malibu Bay productions like Malibu Express, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Picasso Trigger, Savage Beach, Guns, Do Or Die, Hard Hunted, Fit to Kill, Enemy Gold, The Dallas Connection, Day of the Warrior and Return to Savage Beach. Menus and chapter selection options are also provided. All of the extras included on the disc are carried over from the older DVD releases.

    Hard Ticket To Hawaii – The Final Word:

    Hard Ticket To Hawaii is one of the late, great Andy Sidaris’ best films and Mill Creed has given it a very nice Blu-ray presentation. Sure, the story might seem like it was written by a twelve year old boy who just discovered his first Playboy magazine but God damn if it isn’t a blast and a half to watch.

    Click on the images below for full sized Hard Ticket To Hawaii screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Funny stuff. love your reviews.

      I believe the snake is actually a Cancer snake. Once bitten you die from immediate cancer.

      I love the frisbee blade. I highly recommend listening to the commentary track around the frisbee scene. Andy was beyond giddy about it. It's kinda creepy and endearing at the same time. Like I hope there aren't any unsolved murders involving a frisbee, because he'd be the #1 suspect.

      The bouncing boobs are great too.
    1. moviegeek86's Avatar
      moviegeek86 -
      One of my absolute favorite B-movies of all time. So much fun and so damn hilarious.

      I can't order this badboy until next month. Mill Creek is putting out more Sidaris in July so that makes me happier.