Andy Sidaris, RIP

Andy_l You may not recognize the name, but to exploitation-movie connoisseurs, the films of Andy Sidaris were as instantly recognizable as those of Hitchcock or Scorsese (or, more to the point, Roger Corman or Russ Meyer). Sidaris, who died Wednesday at age 76, was a pioneering, seven-time Emmy-winning director for ABC Sports (he claimed to be the first person ever to put a TV camera in a football field’s end zone, and he choreographed the climactic pigskin match in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H), but he was better known for his side job: writing, producing, and directing about a dozen movies characterized by (as the Cramps song put it) bikini girls with machine guns. Sidaris’ silicone-enhanced spy stories (including Savage Beach, Picasso Trigger, and Day of the Warrior) featured Penthouse Pets and Playboy Playmates (including Devin DeVasquez, pictured with Sidaris) cavorting in Hawaiian locations, dropping deadpan double-entendres, doffing their duds, and generally delivering good, clean, dirty fun. (For all the exposed flesh and gun-toting, Sidaris’ films were light on gore and profanity, and all centered on strong, capable heroines.) Whether he was shooting the summer Olympics or swimsuit-clad secret agents, Sidaris certainly knew how to catch your eye.

addCredit(“Sidaris/DeVasquez: Miranda Shen/Globe Photos”)

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  • EP Sato

    Sus, we must have watched different Sedaris movies. Guns and Picasso Trigger had massive body counts, and had more unrealistic explosions and BS escapes than both seasons of Prison Break combined.
    Since these movies came out in an era when guys like Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone were singlehandedly winning the Vietnam war and Ahnold was going back in time as a cyborg who couldn’t show emotions, the mostly straight to video Sidaris flicks barely caused a blip among most movie watchers. But for VCR addicted pop addicts, we would watch his movies just for the laughs.
    Exploitation? For shizza. But not as fun as Rudy Ray Moore.
    That said, I kinda miss the days of ex porn stars riding atvs on the beach while their bikini top/bullet proof vests fluttered in the wind just before they’d enter a room and kick some Azz.
    Isn’t that what movies are all about? So Mr. Sidaris, rest in peace. May heaven have all the boobies the South Park movie promised…

  • S.C.

    The point wasn’t that the body counts weren’t high, it was that in most cases the deaths weren’t the gorefests that are so common today. A person gets shot, a squib explodes, and a bit of blood comes out, and that’s it.
    Not that I actually watched these films.

  • Chuck_A

    Goodness. I can remember laughing my buns off at “Hard Ticket to Hawaii” back in the late 80s. My roomate and I stumbled onto it one night and couldn’t believe the combination of eye candy and…..well, eye candy. It was absolutely one of those films where you say that it’s so bad that it’s good (and did I mention the eye candy?).
    RIP Andy.

  • Brian

    Every Andy Sedaris film had the same simple rule — Every seven minutes something or someone will be blowing up or losing clothes. I worked in a video store in the late 80′s early 90′s and his movies were staples. Funny – thoughtless exercises. “Hard Ticket to Hawaii” is probably the best and the funniest.
    Sedaris movies always had a campy cameo as well. The funniest were Pat Morita and Eric Estrada.
    Rest in piece Andy!!! The world has lost a true original.

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  • Mark Carlton

    Andy Sedaris became the great Emmy award winning sports director from humble beginning as live TV director of Romper Room, Julie Benell’s Cooking Show and ABC Sports events while at ABC’s WFAA-TV in Dallas where I perfected my directing skills with him in 1950s. Strange. I find no metroion of his early TV experience in any of the many posts.

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