REVIEW: "Fit to Kill" directed by Andy Sidaris
Or: How I Learned to Stop Hating
and Love Chu Chu Malave"
By Christopher Jay
NOTE: This review is dedicated to whatever remains of Russian intelligence. Let it be a small gesture of apology for all past humiliations suffered at the hands of Mr. Kane...if that is even his REAL NAME!
First things first, hats off to Andy and Arlene Sidaris. As a married couple, they created some of the most jaw-droppingly hedonistic B-movies of the 20th century, including such classics as Picasso Trigger, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, The Dallas Connection, and Fit to Kill. Created during the 80's and early 90's, the films are orgies of teased bangs, inconceivably gargantuan breasts, tanlined ass-cheeks, symbiotic moustaches perched beneath aviator sunglasses and bomb-bearing remote control cars. Director Andy Sidaris (his wife Arlene produced) has a book out, a biography, which contains such gems of knowledge as "The family that blows things up together, stays together." Words to live by.
The film's main characters are a group of lazy "secret C.I.A. operatives" who like to swim topless, make coffee topless, fuck, play paintball, and blow shit up with remote-controlled cars. I know how they feel – putting on a shirt can be exhausting. The female agents are all played by aging Playmates and Penthouse Pets. Among them is Julie Strain, a gigantic Amazonian woman who I once met as a teen (I have an autographed photo that probably got me through many a lonely night when I was in short pants). The baddies in the film are mostly communist Chinese midgets who, lest you not notice that they are Communists, have stitched red stars all over their clothing, their weapons, their boats, just fucking anywhere there's not a star. Like all of the Sidaris films, Fit to Kill is shockingly un-PC. When the main Asian bad guy is introduced ("Cheng"), the filmmakers had the gall to actually insert THE SOUND OF A GONG BEING STRUCK as non-diagetic sound. Amazing! So brutally insensitive! You know the foley art guy had to be like "What the fuck, you can't be serious – a GONG?!"
As far as plot goes, fuckin' search me. Mr. Cheng (who was introduced originally as a villain, and somehow re-becomes one towards the end) wishes to recover a stolen diamond, for purposes of giving it to "the Russian people." (How exactly will the Russian people divide it up?) His Robin Hood-like intentions for the gem are thwarted by Mr. Kane, a young, evil, and emaciated multimillionaire with a plan to steal the diamond, for purposes of "humiliating whatever is left of the Russian intelligence." When Mr. Kane takes his shirt off, he looks like something from a UNICEF commercial. As a bad guy, he doesn't really carry much weight. His Chinese wife, Satin, is always trying to make love to him, and he consistently avoids it. There's a pretty poignant scene where she strips down to what God (and plastic surgery) gave her, and he just stares into the distance drinking champagne. Kane's impotence extends to his inner circle. He hires two bumbling henchmen (one of whom is played by a character actor named Chu Chu Malave, greatest name ever) who accidentally blow themselves up with a bomb-laden remote controlled car. His ship captain is a hairy bear of a man who we see entirely too much of. You actually get to see this beauhunk bite a woman on the asscheek. What follows is perhaps the most disturbing implied salad tossing this side of…it is THE most disturbing implied salad tossing I have ever encountered in cinema. I pray that it remains so for many years.
Kane steals the diamond, so that instead of making the Russians feel better, it humiliates them. Things go wrong when the band of insignia-laden Chinese communist midgets board his ship and turn that motherfucker out. Kane attempts to shag ass, but is told by a CIA operative that "If you go into international waters, I'll board you so quick, your head will spin!" Oh, sailor! Meanwhile, everyone fucks everyone. Kane confesses to one of his captors that he has been trying to be straight (as in non-criminal, of course), but he "Can't go straight without a little…cooperation!" Don't I know it – I myself am also trying to be straight, but no one is around to cooperate with.
The film ends with all of the bad guys dying and all of the white – er, I mean, GOOD – people celebrating by fucking some more and drinking some more. You know, if secret CIA operatives really lived like this, there'd probably be a dirty bomb in every third basement. Overall, the production values are standard Sedaris – archival footage is used rampantly (some of those explosions look really familiar), the sound is mixed bizarrely (a doorknob turning is exactly as loud as a gunshot), and the soundtrack is profoundly, skull-poppingly horridly wonderful. It literally sounds like someone switched on a 1986 Casio, hit "Samba Rhythm," and walked out of the room. Perhaps to make topless coffee.
LIFE LESSON LEARNED:
If you feel like doing something to improve the self-confidence of whatever remains of the Russian people, try to fight the urge – it'll just get you a throwing star in the face.