Thursday, 12 July 2018

Day of the Warrior (4½ Stars)

This is the eleventh film in the Andy Sidaris collection, made in 1996. After the two films nominally directed by his son, Andy has taken full control. While this is a quasi-sequel to the previous films, only two of the Agency agents return from the last film: Julie K. Smith as Cobra and Gerald Okamura as Fu. Julie Strain and Robrigo Obregon return as different characters, since they were both killed in the last film.

In "The Dallas Connection" he was just called Fu, but in this film he's Elvis Fu, since he works in Las Vegas as an Elvis Presley impersonator.

He looks better without the wig. Gerald Okamura is a master of several fighting arts and holds a black belt in San Soo, but he doesn't get a chance to show off his skills. In his only fight scene he acts like a weakling, throwing ineffective punches and repeatedly getting knocked down. That's a shame. I would have liked to see him in action. His fighting must be much better than his singing.

Cobra shows that she can be an elegant lady, not just a scantily clad super-spy. Julie K. Smith is beautiful however she dresses.

Julie Strain's rebirth in "Day of the Warrior" is the most unusual. In the last three films she played bad characters, Blue Steele, Jewel Panther and Black Widow respectively. Now she's become a good girl, a high ranking Agency operative, Commander Willow Black. I can't really accept her as a good girl. She'll always be bad to me. True to her bad character she doesn't dress in typical office clothing. She wears a revealing leotard to work. Maybe it's informal Friday? She even holds meetings with her agents while working out on an exercise machine. That would make me sweat more than her.

Julie Strain might have changed sides from the devils to the angels, but not Rodrigo Obregon. Once more he's a bad guy that we love to hate, and we wouldn't have him any other way. He plays Manuel, the second-in-charge in the Warrior's organisation. And in case you think I've forgotten to tell you who the Warrior is, he's a professional wrestler who has founded an international crime syndicate.

In the film he's only known as The Warrior, and he's played by the wrestler Marcus Bagwell aka Buff Bagwell. He was best known as a wrestler for WCW (World Championship Wrestling) before it was bought by WWF (World Wrestling Federation, later renamed World Wrestling Entertainment) in 2001. He only appeared once on WWF's Monday Night Raw on July 2nd 2001. A week later he was fired, allegedly because he had a bad attitude. Since then he's been wrestling for smaller companies in America and other countries. "Day of the Warrior" was made in his early WCW days.

The Warrior is an ex-wrestler who began a career in crime while wrestling in Russia. He began to collect Russian artwork and religious artefacts by illegal means and smuggled them to America. He later branched out into jewel theft and the pornography industry. The Agency is trying to gather evidence against him and has planted four undercover agents in his organisation. Cobra is a courier in Beverly Hills. Shark and Scorpion (nice names) are working as porn stars in Las Vegas. Doc Austin, who obviously didn't deserve a deadly animal codename, smuggles jewels for the Warrior across the border from Mexico into Texas.

The mysterious Agency is finally given a name in this film. It's called LETHAL Force. LETHAL stands for Legion to Ensure Total Harmony And Law. I love the name! It sounds like something from a 1960's television series.

They even use the Agency's name as the screensaver on their office computers. That's understandable. They need to make sure the employees can memorise the name. It's easy to forget. I just asked myself what the organisation's name is in "The Girl from BIKINI", and I'd totally forgotten. I had to look it up. I need a snazzy retro screensaver to remind me.

LETHAL Force might have a cool name, but it doesn't have a good firewall. The film begins with a computer breach being detected in the Dallas offices. Someone working for the Warrior has stolen classified data, so he now knows the identities of the four undercover agents. The agents can't even be warned, because if they're told to quit the Warrior will know that LETHAL Force knows that he knows who they are and he'll kill them. Won't he kill them anyway?

This is a fast paced thriller, one of Andy Sidaris' best films. It's everything a James Bond film should be and more.

This time the champagne celebration is held in a Dallas nightclub. These super agents sure know how to party in style.

They're even serenaded by the one and only Mr. Elvis Fu. I hope none of them choke on their champagne.

As you can see from the first photo in this post, Julie Strain is continuing to tease Andy Sidaris every time he makes a film introduction. I have to add that his wife Arlene was always in the room when Andy made an introduction. So she's teasing Andy in front of his wife! That's pure evil! He isn't allowed to react, he has to fight to control himself.

In a video that Julie Strain filmed of her fellow actress Shae Marks she calls Andy Sidaris "a little Buddha boy that I've adopted". That doesn't sound very complimentary, but I'm sure he didn't mind.

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