1985 - 105m.
As a child of the 80's with a love for b-movies, I am a big fan of the Andy Sidaris flicks. Sidaris created a series of action/spy movies during the glory days of home video that could always be relied upon to provide some fast cars, a variety of Playboy Playmates, and characters that could spout one-liners with the perfect amount of cheese. I have seen many direct-to-video action flicks in my day and the Sidaris family had their own style that was instantly recognizable. Maybe it was the girls or maybe it was goofy tone but you could always count on an entertaining night when you took home a Sidaris flick (especially if you were a dude). Imagine your favorite 80's action TV series (ie. "CHiPs", "Knight Rider", "The Fall Guy") with nudity and that is pretty much what you get. I miss the days of looking forward to silly movies like these. Malibu Express is the movie that started the successful "bullets, bombs, and babes" franchise and although it is a little technically rough around the edges, it still has everything that you would expect.
Former child star Darby Hinton is Cody Abilene, a rich PI who drives a red DeLorean in the opening scene and brings to mind Tom Selleck in his "Magnum P.I." glory days. He has a knack for attracting beautiful women and it seems that everywhere he goes, there is someone trying to take him to bed whether it be a race car driver (Lynda Wiesmeier), a cop (Lori Sutton), an Italian countess (Sybil Danning), or a pair of fun-loving girls who live in the boat next to him (Kimberly McArthur, Barbara Edwards). This of course, provides many opportunities for eye candy and there is never a shortage of bare breasts gracing the screen. Even though Cody cannot aim a gun any better than I can play team sports, he still has a charisma that makes him likeable. As he gets more involved in the case and begins to investigate a murder, he finds himself being pursued by various thugs and must try to keep himself alive when he is not getting laid. By the end, I felt like I had watched a "Hunter" episode directed by Russ Meyer.
The only distracting thing about this movie is some terrible editing choices. Hopefully, they were not intentional but there are a few times where the scene jumps ahead and back almost like the cuts are switched around. There is also a voiceover from Cody in certain scenes where he is describing what he is doing that is distracting in its simplicity even though it does help to fill in a few plot gaps. Aside from these two minor complaints, the movie clips along nicely and provides a great blueprint from the films that followed. Hinton has the good looks to play the part and somehow convinces us that he is able to solve a case even though he recites lines from the Dirty Harry series and is somewhat inept. He has the image down and enough charisma to overlook the fact that he is not as cool as he thinks he is. Brett Clark also makes an impression as an arrogant chauffeur with a gambling debt. The girls are all beautiful as usual with Lynda Wiesmeier standing out for two big reasons. The movie climaxes with a helicopter chasing a race car down a desert road in a scene that works well for a low-budget flick.
Aside from being a regular on "Daniel Boone" as a kid, Hinton was also in Firecracker and Without Warning. Every self-respecting b-movie fan should know who Sybil Danning is but if you don't, she is one of the more well-known female action stars of the 80's and she can rock any outfit that shows off her cleavage. Fans of Bachelor Party will instantly recognize Brett Clark from his brief role as Nick the Dick in that movie. He is only onscreen for a few minutes but it is one of the classic scenes from raunchy comedies. You may also recognize the male cop as John Alderman who has been on countless flicks from Love Camp 7 to Pink Angels to Takin' It All Off. Lynda Wiesmeier was also in Wheels of Fire and Preppies among other things. Lori Sutton was one of the girls at Spicoli's side in his dream sequence in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and she starred in A Polish Vampire in Burbank. Kimberly McArthur was in Slumber Party Massacre 2. Although Malibu Express is the first official film in the Malibu Bay Films series, it is a loose remake of an earlier flick that Andy Sidaris directed entitled Stacey. (Josh Pasnak, 7/26/12)
Directed By: Andy Sidaris.
Written By: Andy Sidaris.
Starring: Darby Hinton, Sybil Danning, Lori Sutton, Brett Clark.