Do or Die (1991)
Cast: Erik Estrada’s back, though this time he’s playing good guy Colonel Richard “Rico” Estevez. There’s no comment about his uncanny resemblance to the Jack of Diamonds, either. And to make matters creepier, he’s romancing Donna this time around.
Dona Speir and Roberta Vasquez return as Donna and Nicole. Mrs. Supermarket hit on the problem with these two within seconds: they’re pretty much the same character. Since she was introduced in Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Donna was the glowering, no-nonsense one, which contrasted well with bubbly, goofy Taryn. Nicole basically has the same personality as Donna does. They’re the Even Couple.
Bruce Penhall, Cynthia Brimhall, William Bumiller, and Michael J. Shane are all back as Bruce Christian, Edy Stark, Lucas, and Shane Abilene respectively. Newcomer Stephanie Schick (better known by her classy sobriquet Pandora Peaks) rounds out the cast (sorry) as new agent Atlanta Lee.
Lastly, Pat Morita plays bad guy Masakana “Kane” Kaneshiro. And yes, he is frequently shirtless and massaging or being massaged by a woman young enough to be his granddaughter’s much younger cousin. It’s upsetting. There might be no more sacrosanct character from my youth than Mr. Miyagi, and this movie has a woman grabbing his dick.
Playmate Quotient: Surprisingly low! Speir, Vasquez, and Brimhall are the only actual Playmates on hand. This doesn’t mean the acting is any better, though.
IMDB Plot Keywords: assassin, sex, cleavage, gun action, director cameo
IMDB User Lists Appearing On: Trash & Treasure, List D, Watchlist + +, trash movie night, Owned Movies on DVD
Synopsis: We open on a luau, because goddamn it, we’re in fucking Hawaii. Donna and Nicole are pulled out of it to meet bad guy Kane. And he’s just doing the Miyagi voice. He’s not even trying here. Anyway, he tells them that he knows they’re government agents, he’s had it with their nonsense, and his dispatching six teams of assassins to kill them. “Why not kill us now?” they wonder aloud, not understanding that maybe that should be an internal monologue. He’s a sportsman, he explains. You need the opportunity to use your skills and resources. Then one of Kane’s thugs slips a tracking device on Donna’s watch without her noticing, and the bad guys leave.
The ladies head home and the greatest thing ever happens. Donna slips into her hot tub (what Mrs. Supermarket and I have referred to as their “thinkin’ tub”) with Nicole, and they’re both topless because they have to be to think. Only Sidaris somehow knew and he totally calls it out when Nicole says, “Don’t you do your best thinking in here?” So, yeah, Donna’s brain is fed through warm chlorinated water absorbed through her nipples. Mystery solved.
Donna calls up agency boss Lucas, and he titles at them that they’re in a “Do or die situation.” I suspect they will be invincible. He tells them to go to Vegas.
The first team of assassins attacks before noon, which only serves to annoy our grouchy heroines. These two guys attack from a helicopter (the same one that appeared in Guns), but fortunately they attended the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. Donna and Nicole shoot back, and this time it’s Nicole shooting the thing down with a rocket.
Meanwhile, Kane gives a topless massage to a young woman, and I hate everything. The computer beeps, and they get to it in time to see the names Duke/Woody get transported to a box called the Death Zone. This happens every time one of the teams of assassins gets taken out.
The ladies arrive in Vegas and immediately attend a model airplane show, which is just as bizarre as it sounds. They’re just picking up a model helicopter, because of course they are. This gives the second team of assassins time to get on our heroines’ tail. This team consists of a weird bald guy, and a shapely woman in the most ’91 ensemble ever, consisting of a ripped up thong onesie, black leather pants, and a half jacket with shoulder pads. She’s so 1991 she looks like a modern Jim Lee design.
There’s a chase, and Bruce and Rico show up to save the day, which Rico does with some kind of weird hand-held rocket mortar. Hey, it wouldn’t be a Girls, Guns, and G-Strings movie without bizarre weaponry. It’s worth noting here that Bruce is in his black leather vest with no shirt. The good guys leave Vegas.
Ava/Skip get transported to the Death Zone, while Kane mutters about shiatsu.
Lucas picks up Edy, who is doing a Country Western lingerie concert, and I don’t even know how I can describe what she’s wearing. I’m pretty sure she was crocheted into it. Lucas picks her up there, and there’s a jarring cut to a sex scene between the two of them. This is the first time the series has really felt like softcore porn. Even the other sex scenes (which had been vanishing from the series) never felt this tacked on.
Donna, Nicole, Rico, and Bruce arrive in Louisiana, where the girls fly in this weird boat/plane thing while the guys use an SUV. I only bring it up because the boat/plane thing is so goddamn strange and it doesn’t actually factor into the plot.
Anyway, the next two assassins are waiting in a local restaurant, and they’re played by Richard Cansino and Chu Chu Malave, who played the mentally challenged hitmen in the last one. So they’re in their wheelhouse. Lucas and Edy, as well as Shane and new recruit Atlanta show up at the restaurant, and all eight heroes have gathered. That’s right. Eight heroes. Fighting two person assassin teams who can’t figure out that they might have a better chance if they attacked en masse.
The assassins try to poison the heroes, but Nicole susses it out accidentally when she feeds a cat. It’s a “bad dates” moment. The hitmen flee, but the heroes arrest them. Boudreaux/Herbert go in the Death Zone, which implies that Donna coldly executed them offscreen. Probably with a speargun.
The heroes sensibly think that they might have a mole in their midst, since wherever they go the assassins are just waiting for them. They go to a lake house, and Bruce says he’ll keep watch. Just to prove that they’re not too clear on this whole “keeping watch” thing, Nicole and Bruce have sex. Maybe he thinks the next team of assassins are hiding in her vagina?
The next day, the ladies are in a hot tub, but everyone’s tops are on, so they’re not getting any thinking done. Two guys show up on dirt bikes, pull out sniper rifles, and then miss an easy shot on Donna. At this point, it should be abundantly clear that all these assassins suck. Rico takes one of them out with an exploding baseball that the guy actually has to swing at to detonate! Spencer/Dudley go in the Death Zone.
The heroes decide to split up, because with their numbers advantage, it’s just ridiculous. “Synchronize your watches,” says Rico. Edy doesn’t have one, so Donna lends hers, which is where the tracker is. So the next two assassins, in brightly colored wetsuits, attack on jetskis. They are mercilessly killed by Edy and Lucas. Hotdog/Sledge go in the Death Zone (and with names like that, I’d hoped for more).
Shane and Atlanta do it in a convenient outdoor waterfall. One couple to go.
Anyway, Edy accidentally discovers the tracking device on Donna’s loaned watch. Then Kane calls up and suggests that Donna and Nicole meet Lew and Chen (James Lew and Eric Chen returning from both Savage Beach and Guns) and fight it out. I think he’s finally realized that he has no chance against this massive Justice League of Playmates, strippers, bodybuilders, and Erik Estradas.
Donna and Rico have sex in a pool, because they were the last couple.
The next day Donna and Nicole call Kane back and agree to meet the assassins. They go off in the woods, and are attacked by ninjas. The ninjas are the assassins, of course, but I couldn’t help but think that Donna and Nicole live in a world where random ninja attacks happen. The ladies beat the crap out of both ninjas, but instead of killing them, they draw them into a needlessly complex trap involving mannequins, the repurposed tracker, and that model helicopter. Lew/Chen go in the Death Zone. And then the computer hilariously flashes GAME OVER because this was 1991.
We get the final, formal-wear wrap up (and with none of Taryn’s charming kleptomania, either), and Lucas just handwaves that they turned Kane’s girlfriend. What? When? These movies really come off like the breathless ravings of a sexually-precocious eleven-year-old.
Yakmala? Mrs. Supermarket noticed something very important which might tip this film into Yakmala territory. On the computer screen, all the assassins are listed, ready to get thrown into the Death Zone. You know whose names aren’t on that list? Donna and Nicole. Her hypothesis: this was Kane’s way of disposing of the dipshits on his payroll. I’m inclined to agree.