Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Picasso Trigger (5 Stars)

This is the third film in the Andy Sidaris collection, made in 1988. In the introduction he calls it the second film, and he repeats this in the Behind The Scenes featurette, but he's wrong. He must have been too confused by Julie Strain's antics. At the beginning of the introduction she jumps into the room with her breasts exposed. Naughty girl! Even when she covered up Andy couldn't stop staring at her.

I don't understand why people call "Hard Ticket to Hawaii" a cult film and not this film instead. I consider "Picasso Trigger" to be the best of the early films in the Andy Sidaris collection. It has fast paced action that puts it ahead of the first two films.

Once more the film deals with The Agency. Based on the evidence in this film alone if sounds like it's referring to the FBI, but it's still being kept deliberately vague. The leading male actor is Steve Bond, who plays Travis Abilene. Is he yet another cousin of Cody Abilene (in "Malibu Express") and Rowdy Abilene (in "Hard Ticket to Hawaii")? He must be a close relation, because he's living in the same yacht that belonged to the two other Abilenes. Although he's the leading male actor, Dona Speir has more screen time as Donna. As the Andy Sidaris films continue the women in his films become steadily more important than the men.

A lot of characters return from "Hard Ticket to Hawaii", making it look like a sequel, but that isn't the case. Not exactly. The actor Rodrigo Obregon returns in a new role. In the last film he played Seth Romero, the second in charge in a drug cartel. In this film he's Miguel Ortiz, a man seeking revenge for his brother who has been given the death penalty for unnamed crimes. His glasses, beard and curly hair aren't enough to disguise him.

Miguel is attempting to kill all of the Agency operatives who were involved in bringing his brother to justice. After killing them he intends to kill the witnesses who testified in court. Some of the Agency members survive the attacks, so they go underground pretending to be dead. This gives them freedom to prepare a counter-attack.

"Picasso Trigger" introduces a theme which is used in most of the following films: remote controlled toys are used as weapons. It's a simple but effective idea. Explosives are attached to a miniature car or plane. Then they're sent towards the enemy, and boom! He never saw it coming.

I was curious to see how many Playmates are in this film, so I checked out the character biographies.

  • Dona Spier (Donna) was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in March 1984.
  • Hope Marie Carlton (Taryn) was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in July 1985.
  • Roberta Vasquez (Pantera) was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in November 1984.
  • Cynthia Brimhall (Edy) was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in October 1985.
  • Kym Malin (Kym) was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in May 1982.
  • Patty Duffek (Patticakes) was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in May 1984.
  • Liv Lindeland (Inga) was Playboy's Playmate of the Month in January 1971.

Seven Playmates of the Month in one film! Andy knew what he was doing.

Most of my readers must know IMDB (Internet Movie Database), but how many of you know IMFDB (Internet Movie Firearms Database). I stumbled upon it by accident when I mistyped IMDB in a Google search. It's an easy mistake to make when you type as badly as me. The F is next to the D on the keyboard. The IMFDB is a site that describes the guns used in films. The site's contributors must be big gun freaks to be able to recognise all the guns seen briefly in films. In "Picasso Trigger" a lot of different guns are used.

  • Beretta 950BS Jetfire -- used by Taryn.
  • Dan Wesson Model 15-VH -- used by L. G. Abilene (Travis' father).
  • Luger P08 -- used by Travis
  • Kimar 911 -- used by several thugs
  • Single Action Army -- used by Patticakes
  • Edison Giocattoli Sharkmatic -- used by a thug
  • Armalite AR-7 -- used by Pantera
  • Karabiner 98k -- used by a butler
  • Ruger 10/22 -- used by Taryn
  • Colt Model 1878 Reproduction -- used by Hondo
  • Winchester Model 1300 -- used by several thugs
  • Koon Snake Charmer -- used by Kym
  • IMI Uzi -- used by Taryn and Miguel
  • IMI Micro Uzi -- used by Hondo, one of Miguel's men
  • Sterling Mk. IV -- used by Edy

That's 15 different guns, and multiple copies of some guns were used. Andy Sidaris' films are a delight for gun collectors. I can't help wondering, did Andy have a big box of guns at home that he brought to the film sets? Or did he just tell the actors to bring their own guns? In America anything is possible.

Here are the members of The Agency gathering at the end of the film for their obligatory glass of champagne. For a change they're meeting at Edy's club in Honolulu, not on the Abilene yacht.

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