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Andy Siadris boxset - volume 4

Day Of The Warrior is also released in a DVD boxset edition, with Sidaris' earlier films, the magnificent Do Or Die, and the vastly underrated Hard Hunted.

Visit the filmmakers' website - for great pictures, the latest film news, and details of Sidaris' autobiographical book Bullets Bombs And Babes, and other collectors' items.
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Day Of The Warrior

cast: Julie Strain, Kevin Light, Julie K. Smith, Shae Marks, and Marcus Bagwell

writer and director: Andy Sidaris
96 minutes (R) 1996
BCI Eclipse DVD Region 1 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Jeff Young
Forget about those dumbly imitative Naked Gun and Scary Movie franchises. Just ignore the never-ending 007 rip-offs, overblown fantastic actioners like xXx this, M:I that, and hi-tech super-heroism whatever. Any discerning fan of genre satire knows that Andy Sidaris is the king of this often maligned corner of the cinematic map. Obviously the inspiration for Pamela Anderson's hit TV series, V.I.P. (1998 - 2002), the appealing L.E.T.H.A.L. ('Legion to Ensure Total Harmony And Law'!) ladies have nothing to fear from such rivals, because they remain without equals when required to look damn sexy while defeating numerous bad guys...

Wasting no time setting up its comicbook premise, Day Of The Warrior briskly intros Shae Marks, alias Tiger, a secret agent who discovers that a security breach of LETHAL's computer database has put several field ops in jeopardy. Before they can investigate further, and catch the pesky traitor in Washington DC, our heroes have to save the rest of their special team from being caught and killed by villain Manuel (Rodrigo Obregon, a Sidaris' regular since Hard Ticket To Hawaii), and latest archenemy, the mysterious 'Warrior' (pro wrestler Marcus 'Buff' Bagwell). Although the LETHAL force includes Doc Austin (Kevin Light) and J. Tyler Ward (Cristian Letelier), it's definitely the females who are the stars of this movie. After playing deliciously wicked characters in Enemy Gold, Fit To Kill, and The Dallas Connection, the ever-busy Julie Strain finally wins acceptance for the heroic role of Willow Black. (Excuse my self-indulgence here, but I just keep wondering why Ms Strain has not been considered for Joss Whedon's much-touted 'Wonder Woman' movie..? Everybody knows Julie is more 'Amazonian' than any of the usual Hollywood crowd. If only Whedon & Co would just wake up and realise that she is obviously more statuesque and impressive than any of the competition - including former Xena starlet Lucy Lawless, we might get a costumed superheroine flick that's actually worth seeing. Julie Strain deserves a chance to play Wonder Woman! OK, rant over. Back to the present...)

A coded signal alerts blonde agent Cobra (Julie K. Smith) to danger, while Willow jets to Las Vegas to contact undercover 'Elvis', Fu (martial artist Gerald Okamura, a B-movie veteran). Nearly as amusing, a pair of other agents: Shark (the wooden Darren Wise, making his only screen appearance, to date) and Scorpion (Tammy Parks) are working undercover as porn stars. (Well, I suppose that had to happen, eventually.) Among the henchmen and sidekicks we find muscular Kym (female bodybuilder Raye Hollit), who deals out rough shotgun justice to weasely lackeys and, in a truly bizarre scene - annoying owls, alike. One of the heroes is from west Texas, where the landscape is so flat that "when ya dog runs away from home, ya can see him for three days."

When some of the evil-doer's goons are so foolish that they start a shootout while hiding behind a shed marked 'fuel storage', perhaps it's no surprise that our top-heavy heroines and brawny heroes can so easily get away with punching far below their weight in the acting stakes. Admittedly, this is not serious entertainment. It is great fun, though, because the filmmakers put so much effort into making sure everything looks glamorous or seedy, or sometimes both. There are the usual silly gadgets, flashy vehicles (classic cars, planes and boats, etc), and diverse locations that we expect from yet another slickly produced Sidaris movie. Of course, there are predictable twists in the relatively unsophisticated plotline, but we anticipate these eagerly, nevertheless. That's honestly part of the appeal here. Sidaris always fulfils viewers' expectations. We can guess from the start that Willow must have a showdown fight with Warrior. He's such a braggart, and needs taking down a peg or two. Our heroine is simply the best man for that particular job, and we get ringside seats for the finale's hyterically comical tussle.

DVD extras: a director's commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, a selection of rare production and publicity stills, text biographies, and trailers for other DVDs in the Andy Sidaris collection.

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