How do I even start this turkey?
I mean, honestly.
I’m about to recommend a movie riddled with gratuitous violence, nudity for the sake of nudity, and some of the dumbest one-liners I’ve ever heard spoken by muscle-bound men.
I often call that the “good stuff,” but I recognize that I’m not your average movie enthusiast.
I guess I could start by saying “trigger warning,” but that seems like an understatement. Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987) isn’t a trigger, it’s a goddamn grenade.
It’s got rocket launchers, boobs, and mutant snakes; it’s got drug smugglers, undercover agents, boobs, and flagrant misogyny; it’s got explosions, boobs, a sick theme song, and the casual racism of the 80s; and it also has boobs, a frisbee with razor blades, and an inflatable sex doll.
Did I mention the boobs?
So, if you’re one of those people—and you know who you are—that can’t handle something I like to call “having fun,” then go ahead and hit the back button because this movie is not for wimps.
Hard Ticket to Hawaii was produced, written, and directed by the infamous Andy Sidaris. Between 1985 and 1998, Sidaris produced a series of B-movies known as the Bullets, Bombs, and Babes series (or BBB for short). These films featured a rotating cast of stock players, including numerous Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets.
Some of the more notable titles in the BBB series are Malibu Express (1985), Picasso Trigger (1988), and Savage Beach (1989). But really, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Their storylines follow a basic formula: undercover cops—who are often babes—discover crime lords doing bad stuff and they have to shut it down before things get worse.
While the stories may be similar, the films are never boring. The cheesy acting alone is worth the price of admission, but when you pair that with campy special effects, 80s music, and actually good cinematography, you’ve got B-movie gold.
Now, I’ll admit that Hard Ticket to Hawaii isn’t a good movie in the conventional sense. It’s definitely somewhere in the so-bad-it’s-good territory, but I think it’s more enjoyable than something like Tammy and the T-Rex (1994), for instance. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tammy and the T-Rex, but Hard Ticket to Hawaii has that undefinable “je ne sais quoi.”
Like, just watch this seen. How is this not a perfect movie?
In fact, Paste Magazine ranked Hard Ticket to Hawaii as the best B-Movie of all time in 2014—even nudging out Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003). That’s no small feat.
But what makes a bad movie better than another bad movie? Well, it’s like the old saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But in this scenario, it’s probably more accurate to say, “Trash is in the eye of the garbage man.”
Well, dear reader, this garbage man thinks Hard Ticket to Hawaii is Grade A Trash.
Check it out.