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May 26, 2011

Supremely Cheesy Cinema, Vol. 5: Malibu Express

Back in the '90s, Saturday Night Live ran this fantastic fake commercial about an automobile known as "The Paradox".  The joke behind the commercial was that the car was created by two different teams of engineers, each of whom designed the car in varying ways.  For example, one group gave it dual air bags, one made it shatter on impact and throw the passengers at least 300 yards through the air.  One gave it six doors, one gave it ONE BIG DOOR.  The fake ad went on like that for - well, as long as a commercial should - and then ended with "It's the best car money can buy. Or is it the worst?"

That's kind of exactly how I feel about Malibu Express, the first movie I've watched from an allegedly legendary director/producer of schlock called Andy Sidaris.  A whopping TWELVE films by Sidaris have recently been collected in one under $6 Mill Creek Box set, and with the promise of "Girls, Guns, and G-Strings" for less than 50 cents per film - well, I just couldn't resist. After all, I do strive to have a knowledge of all genres of film, don't I? I can't really ignore the "low-budget action with lots of Playboy playmates" genre, can I?  The answer is clearly NO.
Malibu Express is Sidaris' first film, and it stars a fantastically mustached and curly haired fellow named Darby Hinton as the irresistible modern day cowboy Cody Abilene.  Cody's kind of a big honkin' doofus - he can't hit the broad side of the barn with his 44 Magnum and he simply can not get an iconic Dirty Harry quote right - but Malibu Express expects us to believe that he is also the most adept ladies man in the history of time.  It's probably the 'stache, I guess. Somehow, he gets like 14 women to take their tops off for him repeatedly throughout the movie. Just look at him - he is a God.

Aside from that, I'm not sure what actually happened in Malibu Express.  I know there's some sort of interest in computers, I know that "Nick the Dick" from Bachelor Party is a dick (in multiple ways) and then gets murdered, and I know that Cody gets lots of people to get naked.  Oh, and one of the women - in fact, I think it's the one pictured above - is named June Khnockers, with an H.  Meanwhile there's cheap action including race cars, helicopters, and guns as Cody tries to investigate the murder that happens halfway through the film.  And now that I realize the murder happened halfway through the film - I realize that I have no idea what the first half of the film was on about.  Character development, I guess.

As I mentioned, the pseudo-noir plot and "fast-paced action" (quotations denote sarcasm) are complemented by more naked breasts than I've seen since that semester in college when our dorm rooms inexplicably started to offer Cinemax.  Of course, now that I'm not a teenager who has suddenly been given the gift of boobs on the TV screen, the novelty of this has worn off a bit.  I mean, I can tell that these aren't exactly the kind of women I'd bring home to meet FMWL, and that most of their breasts are the product of some strange experiment in silicon.  At the same time, their ridiculous top-halves go perfectly with the over-the-top film.  It's like I should know these excessive mammaries aren't interesting - because they really aren't - but at the same time I'm kind of totally thrilled that they're there to support the cheese of Cody Abilene and the world he lives in.
As if the film didn't have enough top-heavy femme fatales, FMWL favorite Sybil Danning - who can probably be called The Queen of Misshapen Breasts - shows up in a "special appearance" as the Countess who sends Cody Abilene on his mission.  Her role is actually relevant to the plot (whatever it is), and - in a shocking turn of events - her breasts are only barely shown on screen.  It's like Sidaris got her to be involved and then said "Hey, we've got classic boobs now - lets throw an extra dozen sets in for good measure".  (Considering his excess, I bet he's that guy who brings an extra crock pot of baked beans to the company potluck too.)

Danning's role actually plays into the plot, which rolls to a playful finale that wraps up the loose ends that I'd forgotten about while I was drowning in a sea of sweater puppies.  And that's kind of the thing that draws me into Malibu Express.  There's so much sleaze, yet it's surrounded by ridiculous spy hijinks and Cody Abilene's inner monologue (which offers up lines like "June's gorgeous front porch really saved our ass.") and races with the overweight yokels that continuously harass Cody.  All this cheesy writing mixes with the cheesy chests to make me think that Sidaris kind of had an idea what he was doing when he made this movie.  And seriously, that worries me.
Should I feel like Sidaris has accomplished something by making one of the most topless films I've ever seen?  Should I think that Cody Abilene is an icon of cinema who I want to randomly talk about with people?  Should I still, even after Howling II and Reform School Girls, feel like I kind of love Sybil Danning in inappropriate ways?  I'm not really sure.  But I do know that I'm kind of ecstatic that Malibu Express allows me to ponder these moral quandaries.  If the other 11 films Sidaris directed or produced are anything like Malibu Express, this 12 Film Set will probably be both the best thing I've bought all year and the worst thing I've bought all year.

1 comment:

A hero never dies said...

I've bought this same set after reading your review here, and also at Video Junkie, it sounds like a lot of fun and with 11 more to follow, how can you go wrong!