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Seven
(1979)
 

Director: Andy Sidaris                         
Cast:
William Smith, Barbara Leigh, Guich Kooch


There are a number of great mysteries in the world that have stumped scientists and scholars all over the world for hundreds of years. I don't think about such matters; rather, I ponder over topics more relevant to today's society, like, "Why doesn't Leonard Maltin review Herschell Gordon Lewis movies in his annual book?" and "Who is the father of Simba's girlfriend in The Lion King?" As I'm writing this review, one such question currently overwhelms me. That question is, "Why are Andy Sidaris movies so popular?"

For those of you who don't know who Andy Sidaris is (and I envy you), a brief but accurate explanation. Andy Sidaris, with his You know a movie is bad when it's introduced by Sybil Danning own production company, has made crimes against humanity that include the movies Do Or Die, Hard Hunted, The Dallas Connection, and Savage Beach. The general way to describe these movies would be as efforts to emulate the James Bond movies, though differentiating themselves from those big budget efforts by making them R rated. Certainly, the violence and language in these movies is greater than that found in the Bond movies, but Sidaris also adds something else you won't find in a 007 movie - a heap of T&A from the female cast.

I suppose that might be the answer to the burning question I posted in the first paragraph - it's the breasts that keep Andy financially comfortable so that he can keep cranking out these movies. Yet... there is so much other evidence that practically screams that breasts alone couldn't be the answer. You see, Andy Sidaris movies are awful. There's Albert Pyun bad, but there's also the equally lethal Andy Sidaris bad. That bad comes from cinematography making the movie look like it was shot on videotape. From budgets so low that the few props and sets made for the movie look like they were made by children. From no-name actors and former Playboy Playmates who simply can't act. From sluggish pacing and long, long periods before anything remotely exciting happens - and then it comes across as something that you, with no directing experience, could have directed better. You know you're watching an Andy Sidaris movie when your eyes glaze over and you get into a stupor so deep, that not even the display of breasts shake you out of your induced coma.

You feel numb for days after you watch an Andy Sidaris movie. Neverless, I knew it was my duty to review at least one for my readers, so they could be warned. Naturally, I was not feeling very enthusiastic about having to do this, but duty calls. In Mexico, you get Montezuma's Revenge. In Hawaii, you get heartburn When I got my hands on Sidaris' second movie, Seven, a faint glimmer of hope stirred in me. I saw that the movie had an actual star  - William Smith - in its cast. A B movie star, but a star all the same, and one who has a cult following. As the credits started to roll, more hope started to build. Seven managed to get a mini-major studio (American-International) to distribute it in theaters. Also, Sidaris was not working from his own production company, but working for another one - so this would probably mean Sidaris would not be able to have full, ahem, "creative control" over his direction, and that someone probably kept an eye on him. And although Sidaris gets story credit, the actual screenplay was written by two other people.

All of those signs were very promising, but I was still holding myself back - I still had the Sidaris stench on me from the movies of his I had previously watched. But fifteen minutes later, I was shocked to find I was having a good time. Could this be what I was starting to think it was - an Andy Sidaris movie that is actually enjoyable to watch? How could I not help thinking that after seeing all the stuff that happened in those first fifteen minutes? In Hawaii, we see two hitmen gunning down not only an undercover government agent, but his innocent wife as well. Another hitman elsewhere in the islands, performing a Hawaiian dance in front of a crowd, throws his burning spear into the chest of another government agent. We then see a third hitman (on roller skates!) skating down a highway and not even having to slow down when he fires his crossbow (!) at his government agent target.

Then after the same hitman gets on his skateboard and violently guns down a senator, the government becomes pretty fed up. So one of the few government agents that are left goes to California to meet professional mercenary Drew Savano (Smith), to hire him to eliminate the "...see, babe, that's why I often go for the bald look in my movies." large crime syndicate behind the hits. He tells Drew that they need "...a tight group with a lot of imagination. No arrests, no jacking around! Just a quick, clean, no-news wipeout!" Yeah! With the promise of more violence after all the entertaining kills we've seen so far, I was getting pretty pumped up. Also, it looked like this movie would have another entertaining Smith performance, seeing how Smith in this scene was clearly having a ball, clicking his tongue and pointing his finger while cooly saying, "You've got it!" I was now set for the rest of the 85 minutes to be just as amusing and action packed.

You guessed it. The movie almost immediately died after that point, and became awful. Not your typical awful - Andy awful.

The next section of the movie contain brain-numbing blows, coming from  the introduction of - get this - fourteen new characters. The pattern goes like this; we see Drew traveling to where one of his mercenary buddies is living, he meets the buddy, and he spends time talking to him or her, convincing them to join the team. Then we get to see footage of the mercenary's chosen target doing their A typical action sequence in an Andy Sidaris movie dirty work in Hawaii, while we hear Drew's narration on why this target is so evil. Repeat, until it has fully played out seven times. By the time this has played out the seventh time, you feel absolutely numb from boredom. Not only is it tiring seeing the same basic thing played out over and over, there is almost no effort by Sidaris to make it fun. None of the characters that are introduced, both good and bad, are the least bit interesting. They have no personalities, since even with all of their introduction, we learn hardly anything about them. The only thing noteworthy about the characters is that the number of good guys number eight, though the bad guys number seven. So either the name of the movie, for some reason, refers to the bad guys, or the number of those brain-numbing blows.

After becoming punch-drunk from those blows, Andy moves for the kill. From here, up until about the last twenty minutes of the movie, nothing happens. I really mean that - nothing really that essential to know happens. You could walk out of the movie after the characters are introduced, come back during the last twenty minutes, and not be confused in the slightest. (And you'd be better off from it.) All that's in this ungodly length of celluloid is yak yak, yak yak yak, yak yak yak yak, yakyakyakkillmenowplease. Cripes, Sidaris doesn't even try throwing in some breasts until near the end of this segment, but by then you are so deep into your coma, you won't notice them. Even if you were awake, I somehow have the feeling that you wouldn't appreciate the sight of breasts if they come along with the sight of a man in his mid-50s dressed only in skimpy plaid briefs.

Having watched several other Andy Sidaris movies in the past, my body is now somewhat tolerant to being exposed to them, so I was (barely) able to stay awake to see many other things wrong with Seven, but I don't think it's necessary to mention them. You'll be asleep when these thing happen, and the heart of what's bad with this movie centers around its You have to admit that's a good looking explosion sheer boredom factor. That is not to say that there is no good stuff aside from those first fifteen minutes. The last twenty minutes does offer some watchable mayhem that includes spectacular explosions and splattery gun wounds. But even that is surrounded by bits of tedium, so adding  that aforementioned sheer boredom, it's like having a few drops of cold water dropping on your comatose face - you might stir a little, but you soon go back to dreamland. Maybe if you absolutely have to watch an Andy Sidaris movie would you want to watch Seven - but unless you are at gunpoint, why would you have to?

Check for availability on Amazon (VHS)

See also: The Five Man Army, Raw Force, Survival Quest

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