Picasso Trigger (1988)
Cast: Playgirl model, Chippendale’s dancer, and soap star Steve Bond (born Shlomo Goldberg) plays the third member of the Abilene clan, Travis. Like his brothers? Cousins? I don’t know and don’t really care. Anyway, like Cody and Rowdy, Travis Abilene enjoys stripping down to banana hammocks, softcore sex scenes, and not hitting the broad side of a barn with his comically overcompensating firearm. He exists chiefly so the guys watching the movie won’t feel uncomfortable with the real heroes, Donna and Taryn, saving the day.
Playmates Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, and Cynthia Brimhall as well as greasy beefcake Harold Diamond reprise their roles as agents Donna, Taryn, Edy, and Jade from Hard Ticket to Hawaii. Allegedly Patty Duffek is reprising her role as Patticakes as well, but I don’t remember her so I’m calling her new.
Guich Koock, a man whose first and last names are words for your taint, plays LG Abilene, the clan patriarch.
Sidaris favorite Rodrigo Obregon, who last played down-on-his-luck drug lord Seth Romero, plays Miguel Ortiz, a similarly hapless villain.
Playmate Quotient: Other than Speir, Carlton, Brimhall, and Duffek, Miss November 1984 Roberta Vasquez plays Pantera, who manages to be the least metal thing in the film. Patticakes gets a partner in the form of creatively-named Kym, played by Miss May 1982 Kym Malin. And lastly Miss January 1971 Liv Lindeland (Cyd Charisse’s daughter), shows up as Inga, because old playmates never die, they just smell that way.
IMDB Plot Keywords: Helicopter, scantily clad female, no panties, erotica, lace panties
IMDB User Lists Appearing On: 80’s Action Movies: Best and Worst, Movies reviewed on Junk Food Dinner, Worst Movies Of All Time, Girls, Guns and G-Strings: The Andy Sidaris Collection (12 Film Set), my DVD’s
Synopsis: Unlike Hard Ticket to Hawaii’s relatively clear throughline, Picasso Trigger is oftentimes nightmarishly complex. I suspect Sidaris liked to keep masturbators on their toes.
We open in Paris. We know because there’s the Eiffel Tower. Some guy delivers mail to the man we later find out is Salazar, known by his titular codename, “Picasso Trigger.” (It’s a kind of fish. No, seriously.) Salazar is some kind of bad guy, and he has a massive L-shaped scar on his chest. The mail is a VCR tape from bad guy Miguel Ortiz, who swears vengeance against the Feds responsible for his brother’s death, and thanks Salazar for helping out. He will strike in Texas, Vegas, and Hawaii.
Salazar leaves, only to be followed by a pair of weirdos in a motorcycle and sidecar. One of them is either the butler or a priest, and he carries around what looks like a Nazi iron cross. Salazar donates a painting of the Picasso Trigger (still a fish) and on his way out the butler-priest-Nazi assassinates him.
LG Abilene calls Travis, presently lounging around in a lime green banana hammock to tell him the Picasso Trigger is dead. Meanwhile, in Vegas, Kym and Patticakes do a western-themed stage show that’s just depressing. Instead of setting them up as the government agents we later learn them to be, Sidaris spends his time with two cops who are shortly assassinated by the minions of Schiavo, a fine purveyor of snuff cinema. Lastly, Ortiz is sleazing around Edy’s place, where his minions murder a pair of government agents.
We finally get to Donna and Taryn, who decide to swim to shore from their boat for some reason. Good thing too, because the two thugs who offed the agents at Edy’s show up and blow up the boat. I was convinced this was the explanation for why Taryn was in Witness Protection in the last film (she was testifying against Ortiz’s brother), but nope. I was wrong.
The last assassination is an attempt on LG Abilene, but the incompetents only get a ranch hand.
The heroes slooooooowly get together. Pantera, an agent who went undercover in Salazar’s organization is introduced. Travis sleeps with her because he’s an Abilene and their dicks are essentially skank-seeking missiles. Not that you can blame the guy. Pantera answers the door in complicated lingerie, then puts on some jeans with more rips than actual fabric. I think her labia fell out at one point. Pantera and Travis went to college together, which is a useless bit of backstory that doesn’t do anything.
Travis decides to assemble the group in Vegas. This includes Donna, Taryn, Jade, Edy, Patticakes, Kym, Pantera, and some black guy who doesn’t get a name, but his huge mass of constantly-twitching muscles look like they’re on the verge of attaining sentience.
For no real reason, there’s a huge title card (and we’re halfway into the movie now). THURSDAY. Maybe they want me to know these people are missing NBC’s hallowed Thursday night line up? The gang at Cheers will be so disappointed. Anyway, the briefing states that Ortiz assassinated Salazar to take over. The good guys have to kill Salazar’s old minions because that’s how this shit works. It’s the fucking Chicago Way!
Edy and Jade get to kill Toshi Lum, the link to the far east. Kym, Patticakes, and Meathead get Patterson and his henchmen Glen and Schiavo. These guys have a white slavery operation and there are the aforementioned snuff films. Donna and Taryn get Ortiz, which causes a snotty little exchange between Donna and Pantera. Donna then marks her territory by banging Travis. Considering she was sleeping with Rowdy in the last movie and Rowdy was either a brother or cousin, this is a little gross.
FRIDAY. Okay, so we’re doing this now.
Kym and Patticakes sucker Schiavo into scouting them for snuff talent. On the plane, Travis puts something together from the pictures of Salazar, noting that the man’s watch is on the other wrist. Donna and Taryn stop by the Professor’s place, where they obtain some Wile E. Coyote shit: an exploding boomerang and exploding RC car. Travis gets a crutch because he sucks.
SATURDAY. Nothing much happens on Saturday.
SUNDAY. Jade and Edy, posing as phone company employees, go after Toshi. This fails because Jade is totally unconvincing at being anything other than a giant, sweaty slab of beef. He resorts to karate, which is fine, until he rips the eyes out of one of the thugs. Holy shit. What’s with the ‘80s and sudden, terrifying, karate-themed tonal shifts? Then he karates the shit out of Toshi.
Kym and Patticakes do their show for all three targets, then pull guns and get in a shootout. Patticakes gets winged in the head, and all three bad guys are killed.
Donna and Taryn first hunt Ortiz’s thugs, killing one with the boomerang. Donna will attack the house from the water while Taryn goes in by land, and it’s totally the same house from the end of Hard Ticket to Hawaii, which suggests Salazar got it on the cheap from another drug smuggler’s estate sale. Anyway, Taryn just starts blowing shit up, but she only gets shot for her trouble. She’s forced to just use a gun on the two thugs in the house. And her supposedly “bulletproof vest” is just a regular vest, like something you’d wear while fishing.
Ortiz bursts out of the house right as Donna comes out of the water. She kills him with a dynamite speargun and shut up that is too a thing, Brad, I’m calling it.
Travis sneaks up on a house with his leg in a cast and using the crutch from the Professor. He meets up with Pantera, who totally does a villain smile. Salazar, still alive, is in there. He sums up his entire plan — basically get his enemies to kill his other enemies for him — while Travis just blatantly assembles the crutch and stuff in the bandage to a working gun. Seriously, he doesn’t even try to hide it. Doesn’t that defeat the entire purpose of a crutch-gun? And he has a working gun right there in his waistband. This gives Salazar all the time in the world to extend some bulletproof glass and escape, because, oh yeah, the crutch is a one-shot weapon. Unlike — and I can’t emphasize this enough — the fucking pistol whose barrel is lovingly nestled next to Travis’s dick.
Pantera comes in and Travis shoots at her with the gun. So we know it fucking works. Goddamn it. Anyway, he apologizes and they hug, but she pulls a knife to stab him. Fortunately Donna is there and totally spearguns Pantera. They go after Salazar, who (now helmeted) is riding a hovercraft because of course he is. Donna blows his ass up too. Seriously, do not fuck with Donna when she’s packing a speargun. Turns out the Salazar from the beginning was a decoy, and surprise surprise, so is the guy in the helmet. Salazar is back in the house, looking sad about Pantera. But Travis programs a rocket to seek out Salazar’s pacemaker (remember the L-shaped scar from the beginning) and the heroes win.
True to the films’ most enduring trope, there’s a gathering at the end where the last threads of the plot are explained. Taryn takes possession of the real Picasso Trigger painting (Salazar donated a fake, which is now believed to be real), because that’s what Taryn does.
Yakmala? No. It lacks the inspired insanity of its predecessor, and the plot never really comes together. It ends up being too dull to be truly fun.