Monday, 18 June 2018

Fit To Kill (4½ Stars)

This is the eighth film in the Andy Sidaris collection, made in 1993. It marks a new start in his films for one significant reason: Julie Strain. She's the actress who's most connected with Andy Sidaris' films in the minds of his fans, even though she only appeared in five of his films. Other actresses appeared more often, such as Dona Speir (seven films) and Cynthia Brimhall (six films).

Julie Strain began her acting career in 1991, the same year in which she appeared in Penthouse Magazine as the Penthouse Pet of the Month. A year later Julie was told about Andy Sidaris' films by her friend Donna Spangler, who had played a small role in "Guns". After watching the films Julie began to bombard Andy's wife Arlene with telephone calls, telling her "You need me in your films". Who was this woman harassing her? Arlene invited her for an audition, and as soon as Julie walked in the door Arlene knew she was the perfect woman for Andy's films. Julie was given the role of the assassin Blu Steele in "Fit To Kill". The script had already been written, but it was rewritten to give Julie more screen time.

Julie had decided to give up modelling to become an actress, but her old career wasn't yet dead. While Julie was on the set filming "Fit To Kill" she received a phone call telling her she'd been selected as the Penthouse Pet of the Year for 1993.

The scene which introduces the assassin Blu Steele is an homage to Julie Strain's beauty, the camera generously displaying her beauty to impress the viewer. After close ups of her head and shoulders we see her flexing her muscles on top of the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Finally she undresses and slips into clothes more appropriate for her job as a hired assassin.

I think this small photo gallery should be enough to show you why Arlene Sidaris was so impressed with Julie Strain. She's an awe-inspiring woman.

Blu Steele's target is Kane, who we know from the last two films. He's played by Geoffrey Moore, the son of Roger Moore. He wasn't as committed to acting as his father. He retired from acting after making "Fit To Kill", and I have no idea what he does now. I hope he's happy with whatever career he's chosen.

Blu Steele fails to kill Kane, which is just as well, because there are plot twists typical for Andy Sidaris' films. After trying to kill Donna Hamilton in the last two films they now become lovers.

This film has to do with a giant diamond stolen by the Nazis from a museum in Stalingrad during the Second World War. After the war it was sold to a Chinese businessman called Chang. Chang is now sick and expects to die soon, so he wants to ease his conscience by giving the diamond to the Russian government. The Agency, in particular Donna Hamilton, Nicole Justin and Bruce Christian, have been assigned to protect the diamond at the handover ceremony in Hawaii. As you can imagine, the publicity about the diamond, now worth $150 million, attracts the attention of various thieves and their gangs. Nobody can trust anybody else. The gangs attack one another, and each gang has members willing to betray their bosses. Caught in the middle are Donna and Kane in the heat of passion. A dance leads to a kiss, and the kiss leads to more.

The KSXY radio station is back again, as the cover for the Agency. Staff briefings for upcoming missions are held in the hot tub room. Secret agents never had it so good.

Rodrigo Obregon plays a good guy again. This time he's Mikael Petrov, the representative of the Russian government sent to collect the diamond. One of the advantages of being a good guy is that he can get intimate with the beautiful Agency operatives. He ends up having a fling with Ava, the host of KSXY's loveline programmes.

The obligatory end-of-film champagne toast is enjoyed in the hot tub. With perks like that I want to be a secret agent as well. Where do I sign up?

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