Monday, May 12, 2014

Savage Beach, Playmates in Peril

Andy Sidaris (1931-2007) had quite a life.  Born in Chicago, died in Beverly Hills, Sidaris was the director of Monday Night Football at it's onset in 1970.  He directed Kojak and a number of movies.  As the 1980s were coming to a close, "Ordinary People" and "Terms of Endearment" were set to be the decade's defining films.  Fortunately for us B Movie aficionados he revived the 1970s sexploitation genre with several films spanning from the late 80s into the mid 90s. Hence today's film, 1989's "Savage Beach."  Set and filmed in Hawaii, each of these films could be titled "Playmates with Guns in Peril."
The plot: Donna (Donna Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) are undercover agents for the Drug Investigation Division (DID).  As the film begins, they and two other babes, take down a smuggling ring at a pineapple facility.  To celebrate they lounge around in bikinis by a hot tub.  When this philanthropic duo find out a children's hospital on a remote Hawaiian island needs vaccine, the two jump in their plane and deliver it.  Unfortunately, on their return flight, a storm forces them to crash land on an uncharted island, occupied by a Samurai warrior who is still fighting WW2.  At the same time, a Filipino Communist rebel, masquerading as a member of the cabinet in the Philippines is working with the U.S. military to locate a sunken WW2 Japanese sub.  On board the sub is looted gold taken from Manila by the Japanese during the war.  Guess where the submarine beached?  Exactly, on this...shall we say...SAVAGE BEACH!  So our beautiful DID agents will have a lot of company soon.  The rebel leader and his femme fatale girlfriend (Teri Weigel, pictured below) head to the island to recover the treasure and finance a Communist takeover of the Philippines.  As beautiful as our blonde duo are, Teri Weigel as Anjelica (the evil rebel lady) is terrific and captivating.  
As our heroines make do on the deserted island, they realize a Samurai warrior is hunting them.  After some narrow escapes (mixed in with some skinny-dipping), the rebels and military arrive.  After being captured and tied up a couple of times, Donna and Taryn escape, grab machine guns and crossbows and find surprising allies.  As our girls fight off the bad guys, they discover the mystery of the lost Japanese submarine and the surviving warrior.    
"Savage Beach" would have played well in the late-eighties to adolescent boys.  Remember those days when HBO and Showtime showed these flicks late at night?  Speir and Carlton were fresh from their Playboy photo spreads, but their acting is appropriate for this venue.  This movie is one-third Playboy video, one-third Hawaiian Tropic calender shoot, and one-third adventure saga (kind of).  Andy Sidaris was the type of fellow who could have accomplished anything he set out to do.  We have to admire him for choosing to create exploitation films instead of romantic comedies.  We miss you Andy!  


1 comment:

  1. I watched this series on late night cable back in the late 80's and mid 90's. I loved watching it, good escapiest fantasy and the girls were so good looking as well.