Tuesday, 10 November 2020

The Dallas Connection (Christian Drew Sidaris, 1994) Review

Find more exploitation reviews here.

“I guess you could say I blasted myself out of the rough.” After what was essentially a reboot to the 'L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies' franchise with 1993's Enemy Gold, Christian 'Son of Andy' Sidaris returned with this 'soft sequel' in which the hunky/gorgeous agents of 'The Agency' are tasked with protecting the launch of a cutting edge anti-arms satellite. If only they weren't so easily seduced...

Click “READ MORE” below to continue the review and see more screenshots…

“That was some scene back there. Remind me never to have sex with you.” / “I do justice to my codename.” Kicking off in classic Sidaris-verse fashion with a globe-trotting tour of assassination, we find Black Widow (Julie Strain, Enemy Gold) seducing a Parisian scientist (with decidedly prominent abs), rocking his world with a sprinkling of sub/dom play, before planting a bullet between his eyes with the assistance of her underling Platter Puss (Cassidy Phillips). Skipping off to South Africa, we then witness another buxom assassin – Cobra (Julie K. Smith, Day of the Warrior) – blowing up another scientist with, what else, an RC car with some TNT strapped to it! Oh, now we're in familiar territory.

“Oh cool! Right between the eyes!” Strap yourselves in, though, because no sooner has the smoke cleared than we're whisked off to Hong Kong where Scorpion (Wendy Hamilton) rocks up to a country club with a curiously lax dress code (she plays a round of golf in a silver bra and a bright red skirt that might as well be a belt!). She bumps off another scientist, this time with an explosive golf ball – as you do. Phew! Can I have a moment to catch my breath? Hell no! Get back on that stock footage plane (what is this, Hell of the Living Dead?), 'cos now we're off to Washington D.C. and then Texas, as our heroes – and the plot – are laid out in a good old exposition dump. The 'International World Arms Removal' group have developed a satellite system that is capable of scanning the globe and revealing where every bad guy's weapons are stashed. Time's of the essence, because a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower is due, and will – for some inexplicable reason –  enhance the satellite's power. Eh?! Right, well, whatevs, 'cos Antonio Morales (Rodrigo Obregón, Return to Savage Beach) is the only scientist left alive and he needs protecting. Step forth agents Chris Cannon (Bruce Penhall, Savage Beach), Mark Austin (Mark Barriere, Fit To Kill), and Samantha Maxx (Penthouse Pet June 1993 Samantha Phillips, Dollman). But will their lust for fast women jeopardise the mission? Of course it will!

“A right cross is something you're born with, a natural thing, you don't just learn it. It's not like that Kung-Fu crap.” God only knows how The Agency manages to keep the good people of 1990s America safe with their curious methods. Rather than keep the four microchips that will power the Lacrosse satellite in some highly secure government facility until they're required, the Agency splits up the chips between Chris, Mark, Samantha, and another agent, by stashing them inside conspicuous medallions (and never mind that they hang out together an awful lot in their downtime!). Giving extremely valuable tech to easily seduced agents, whose enemies are all buxom strippers … what could possibly go wrong?! Still, like all the films in the Sidaris-verse, The Dallas Connection isn't meant to be taken seriously (anyone who does can't be much fun at a party). Chock full of knowing humour, it's all about the glamorous secret agent lifestyle of jet skis, hot tubs, and … er … remote control toys.

“I was with a great looking chick, too. Showed me her hooters and nailed me with a taser gun.” You can tell the 1990s were advancing and the taste for T&A in premium cable TV movies was strong, as Sidaris' movie is riddled with bared flesh and scenarios engineered to have the randy Agents whip their kit off at a moment's notice (did you expect anything else?). From line dance bar/strip club Cowboys (seemingly the bad guys' answer to Edy's), to Morales' race track fantasy, Christian Sidaris successfully manages to emulate his father's formula more closely here in this tenth entry in the dozen-strong franchise, in comparison to his previous effort. Guns, explosions, and boobs – it's a simple enough formula to grasp, but Enemy Gold did lack the sheer silliness of the previous eight movies. However, The Dallas Connection bolts on a solid slice of silly to entertain the viewer with awkwardly elaborate sleights of hand revealed along the way (dig that inflatable decoy). Indeed, the silliness ramps up even higher for keen-eyed viewers – doesn't that Paris-set footage look rather familiar? Yep, it's from Picasso Trigger, and it explains why Black Widow has to lie down and take a nap in the back seat (so the continuity will match)!

“Those girls were pros, we're lucky we still have our underwear.” / “That's it for me – no more casual sex.” / “Yeah, right.” Further oddball moments come in the form of Scorpion's seduction of Mark. Pro tip, never trust a woman who rocks up at the lake in a knee high leather boots/g-string wet suit combo and has surprisingly easy access to a red wine picnic. However, once again stealing every scene she appears in, Julie Strain's statuesque physicality is put to good use as Black Widow, a sexual sadist/assassin/manager of Cowboys strip club line dancing bar and restaurant! Her curious M.O. suggests some sort of serial killer glee in her work as, appropriately enough for her codename, she has her fun with her male targets before killing them. It's not quite all goofy merriment and shenanigans though, as her killing of one cast member skews into full blown sexual assault with some sadomasochism on the side. Hey, it was the 1990s, you could do these things to a guy and play it off for cheap thrills. Strain's Black Widow is a dominant force to be reckoned with and the actress, as in the last few movies, was clearly having a ball kicking butt, taking names, and gazing above the heads of her male co-stars.

“Check this style, bitch!” The final two films in the 'L.E.T.H.A.L Ladies' franchise were once again written and directed by Andy Sidaris (who brought the first eight entries to our screens), but his son Christian had clearly learned a thing or two from the experience of making Enemy Gold. With more exposed boobs and butts than you can shake a floppy disk at, The Dallas Connection proves to be a playful and amusing watch. We're still a ways down the ladder from the best and most enjoyable entries in the series, but this outing takes a couple of steps back up from its predecessor, boosted by a lead-spraying final act with plenty of juicy fireballs and explosive toys.

No comments: