Thursday, 14 June 2018

Do Or Die (4 Stars)

This is the sixth film in the Andy Sidaris collection, made in 1991. It follows a similar plot to the last film, "Guns". Instead of the Agency – whatever the Agency is – having to go on a mission, its agents are on the defensive, having to defend themselves from attack.

At a charity function an enigmatic crime lord who calls himself Kane captures Donna Hamilton and Nicole Justin. He tells them that he has decided to kill them because of all the harm they have done his international business. He could easily shoot them while they're standing in front of him with their hands tied behind their backs, but where's the fun in that? He wants to give the girls a fair chance. They will be released, and over the next week he will send six teams of assassins to kill them, one team of two assassins each day. If they survive, which he considers highly unlikely, he will let them live. A challenge like that makes Kane sound like a typical James Bond villain.

What the girls don't know is that one of Kane's henchmen has planted a tracking device on Donna's wrist watch, so she can always be found. The girls flee from Hawaii to Texas, Las Vegas and Louisiana, but they can never escape the assassins, who either try to shoot them, poison them or chase them in helicopters. Wherever they go, the next pair of assassins soon arrives. Kane wants it to be a fair two-on-two battle, but the girls don't play fair. They're not stupid enough to play a game with their own lives at stake. As they travel they pick up other agents, until finally they have six companions.

Here are two of the other agents, Rico and Bruce. If Rico looks familiar, it's because he's played by Eric Estrada, the actor who played Juan Degas, the gun smuggler in the last film. Donna greets him as a friend, not noticing that he's the doppelganger of the man she shot a year ago. But what about Bruce? He's played by Bruce Penhall, who first appeared as an evil henchman in "Picasso Trigger", but ever since "Savage Beach" he's been Bruce Christian, a member of the Agency. It gets confusing watching the actors play rotating roles.

One of the actresses who doesn't return after this film is Stephanie Schick, better known by her adopted name Pandora Peaks. This was the first of only two films that she made. The second was "Striptease" in 1996. Her problem was her figure. Hollywood is biased against women with large breasts. She didn't want to appear in pornographic films, so the only career option for her was as a nude model for men's magazines. Russ Meyer featured her in his disappointing final film named after her, and she showed off her body in a few Playboy videos. I don't know why Andy Sidaris never used her in his films again. She had big things ahead of her.

As usual, Andy Sidaris gives a short film introduction while being distracted by Julie Strain. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it.

Unfortunately, Rodrigo Obregon doesn't appear in this film. I know that his fans are disappointed, so I'll make up for it by giving you a photo of Ai Shinozaki. Rodrigo appears in 10 of the 12 films in the Andy Sidaris collection; he's only missing from the first and the sixth films.

I forgot to mention in my review of "Guns" that the traditional final scene with a champagne toast was missing. Andy's fans must have complained, because he put a champagne scene into "Do Or Die", where all eight agents celebrate their survival. I hope that isn't too much of a spoiler. Cheers! Here's to many more missions, and more importantly, here's to many more films!

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