Squeeze, Don't Pull
J. H. Minde | Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York | 09/18/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"GUNS is another installment in the Andy Sidaris magnum opus of "Bullets, Bombs, and Babes." As an overall formula it works well, but not as well as usual in this particular picture, which is a laughless letdown after HARD TICKET TO HAWAII, SAVAGE BEACH and PICASSO TRIGGER.
GUNS suffers from a surfeit of gore and not enough camp. Sidaris and Co. seem more interested in showing us blood- spattered shootouts than in showcasing the more than half dozen Playboy Playmates who comprise most of this cast.
It's very unlike Sidaris, the master of what's light and breezy, to show us a sheet-shrouded bloody corpse being loaded into an ambulance. Yet, in GUNS he does. It's dark and ugly and it shocks. The GUNS good guys are done in with such disturbing regularity that I began to think of going to casting call for the next film. Never mind the gunshots Andy, bring back the skin shots.
Dona Speir reprises her role as Donna Hamilton, the head of a supersecret Federal spy force, L.E.T.H.A.L. (Legion to Ensure Total Harmony and Law). She is partnered with Playmate Roberta Vasquez in this film. Her former partner Taryn Kendall (Playmate Hope Marie Carlton) is nowhere in evidence, and more's the pity, because if none of these women can act, at least Hope Marie had a definite screen presence.
Ms. Vasquez is about as emotive as a bag of potatoes. I was bored watching her, which just goes to show that looks aren't everything. This is true especially in regard to the two transvestite assassins (the major comic relief in what should have been a comic picture) who look like Howard Stern in high heels.
Ms. Speir too, looks unusually tired, and her performance lacks the spunkiness of her earlier Sidaris films. Of all the female leads, only Playmate Cynthia Brimhall, a statuesque redhead with a pleasant singing voice, and Playmate Devin DeVasquez, who plays the "bad girl" Cash, really catch and hold your attention.
The male "bad guy" lead is Jack of Diamonds, a gun smuggling Latin lover, played by CHiPs hunk and former TV star, Erik Estrada. It may have been Sidaris' ability to sign Estrada that undid this film. Estrada's career since CHiPs has largely gone South of the Border, but having someone on the set with a real acting resume forced some of the cast to try to keep up, a fatal mistake in any Sidaris film.
Sidaris' charm is due to cheesy dialogue and sexual innuendo mixed with beautiful people and a change-at-will plotline. The beautiful people are there and the plot is properly absent, so the fault must lie in the writing, a largely dialogueless nod to Stallone-inspired minimalism. Without the dialogue however, there are no laughs, and GUNS sinks under the weight of its silicone-enhanced cast faster than the Titanic at tea time.
This Special Edition DVD includes two installments of "Film School" in which Andy and Arlene Sidaris give us glimpses into how movies are made (and proves they do know their craft despite the "B" reputation of Andy's films). They provide us with several cast interviews, including one with the endearingly quirky Devin DeVasquez. Portions of Devin's nude videos are also included, and we get to see more of this beautiful woman than is usual in a Sidaris film. As a rule, Sidaris avoids full frontal nudity and explicit sex.
Cynthia Brimhall sings in summation that, "GUNS aren't fun, unless it's love, and then I'm the one." That pretty much sums it up."