Cheap, Sleazy and Depraved -- I loved it! AKA: The Hawaiian Split
This is a somewhat violent crime/Mob action/drama with a few softcore sex scenes thrown in for the dirty raincoat crowd, though by 1971 this might have skated by with an "R" rating with a few judicious trims (pun intended). I'm sure it got mostly Grindhouse or Drive-In play, though with a cast including Rene Bond and Uschi Digart, someone could have ballyhooed this as a porno, but it isn't one.
What it is, is a whole lot of sleazy violent fun! Mobsters are sending a courier with a load of drugs from California to Hawaii to pick up suitcase full of money as payment (don't drugs, like Heroin from Asia, usually come in the other direction? Whatever...) Meanwhile the courier's girlfriend is sending a tough bald dude with a beard (guess Sid Haig was busy that week) to steal the money and drugs. Also, the Godfather has this scary hit-man who looks like half of Grant Wood's American Gothic (that would be the old man, not the daughter), overalls, ten cent haircut and all.
The whole atmosphere is something Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez might have pastiched, had this not been an authentic 1971 artifact. Even the music seems over-the-top grungy, like a tribute track from 1992 Seattle to a 1971 movie soundtrack. But it is a 1971 movie soundtrack. (Hawaiian Split is almost as bad a title as Godchildren, but it does give a vague French Connection vibe.)
But somebody, please put a lid on lame Bobby Lee O'Toole and his whole W.C. Fields as a drunk hippie shtick. It's amusing for about one tenth of a second. Too bad (SPOILER ALERT!) he's just about the only character that doesn't die by the end of the film. Well, him, Uschi Digart and the bartender who made a "great Mai Tai" by pouring rum in a glass and sticking a cherry in it! That's it???
Anyway, see this joint, film scratches and all, and get the vibe of a Texas Drive-In or a 42nd Street grindhouse at 3 a.m. in the early Seventies. FUN!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?