This film originated the "shooting the swordsman" gag that was popularized in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). A similar scene was recycled into the plot of the film Fit to Kill (1993) where a hitwoman with a machete was shot.
When Ed Parker kills the ninja played by Tadashi Tamashita after eliminating the Big Boss, Mr. Lee, he pulls out his gun and utters the line "Hiyah, my ass!". This very same line would be reused in a similar scene in one of Andy Sidaris' later films. Guns. In that film, Donna Spier says the line before also killing a ninja assassin in her gym during a workout.
Filmed almost primarily in Hawaii as with many of Andy Sidaris' movies following this film starting with Malibu Express in 1985. The only scene that was not filmed in Hawaii was the marina scene where William Smith meets up with Barbara Leigh and Susan Kiger on the yacht which is their introduction in the film.
Andy Sidaris originally planned to make Malibu Express before this film. However, the bank that he had gotten the loan from for the budget of the film fell through. Sidaris made this film soon after and eventually made Malibu Express on his own 6 years later.
For the scene in which the Comedian played by Art Metrano has to eliminate one of the bosses in the club, Andy Sidaris told Metrano to "go wild" and to perform one of his comedy routines in which Martin Kove who played the hit-man protecting the boss, literally was laughing all throughout the scene.
The first film to feature a Playboy playmate which would be a staple of Writer & Director Andy Sidaris films. The first was Susan Kiger and later ones would include Donna Spier, Roberta Vasquez, Cynthia Brimhall, and Julie K. Smith.
This film is one of the longest of Writer, Producer and Director Andy Sidaris at 101 Minutes. His films usually run uncut at around Ninety to Ninety-Five Minutes. Malibu Express is the longest of his career at 105 Minutes.
A few scenes have the feel of Writer & Director Andy Sidaris' style while he worked on ABC's Wide World of Sports and in particular the scenes where we're introduced to TK (The Dragster), TK's hang glider attack, and the chase scenes around the island.
Tadashi Yamashita who is the henchman carrying the sword for protecting Mr. Lee, would go on to play a ninja in The Octagon starring Chuck Norris, would would be released in 1980, months after the release of this film and American Ninja, where he was the deadly Black Star Ninja.
Little Egypt who plays the double crossing agent, Mailei was a professional belly dancer in clubs and probably featured in the film due to Andy Sidaris' personally probably because he loved the way she looked.
There is no credited composer on the film. Writer/Director Andy Sidaris may have possibly used music from ABC's Wide World of Sports vast music library to score the film since Sidaris worked on that show for more than a decade. Even the music tracks aren't credited to specific composers during the end credits.
Prior to Directing this film, Andy Sidaris was a Director for ABC Sports starting in the late 60's winning 7 Emmy's for his work during the Olympics in 1968 and 1976. He used the experiences directing on that show for this film because of the style and look of it.
In this film, only one person uses a machine gun. Martin Kove uses it in the club to kill the Comedian played by Art Metrano after killing his boss and wounding him while trying to protect him then killed soon after as Metrano is wounded gravely.
At the end of the film before the Centerfold played by Susan Kiger kills off the double agent Mailei, we see the Cowboy wearing the same gold necklace with a medallion he wore before eliminating the surfer at the beach. In this scene, the medallion still has the bullet that almost killed him still logged into it from the scene where Mailei thought she had killed him after he killed the surfer.
The finale where Susan Kiger kills Mailei as her act of revenge for shooting The Cowboy and nearly killing him after he'd killed the Surfer, would be reprised in Andy Sidaris' film, Guns, 13 Years later. In that film, Cynthia Brimhall who plays Edy Stark finds and eliminates Cash played by Devon DeVasquez, who had killed The Magician and Wife who were part of her team. Like Kiger in this film, Brimhall also uses a silencer to finish her off.
This is the first of many films that Writer & Director Andy Sidaris would feature scenes in luau bars and clubs that either open the film or just after it and would reappear later in the film at a certain point.
The rocket launcher that the Professor uses to eliminate McDowell one of the cartel bosses along with Drew eliminating The Kahuna on the boat would inspire similar styled weapon which Donna Spier uses in Guns, to blow up the helicopter in the Las Vegas desert in that film.
The first film of Andy Sidaris' that would feature a villain with a unique name. The main villain is The Kahuna in this film his future films would include villains named Jack of Diamonds (Guns) played by Erik Estrada, and Kane (Do Or Die) played by Pat Morita to name a few
Guich Koock, who plays The Cowboy and Richard LePore, who plays The Professor in this film would both reappear in Picasso Trigger which was also Written and Directed by Andy Sidaris nine years later and would be the final film they would work on with Sidaris.
This is virtually the only movie of Writer/Director Andy Sidaris that doesn't really have a true sex scene. There are a few post sex scenes that involve both William Smith with Barbara Leigh and Guich Koock with Susan Kiger but not full blown sex scenes that would be come staples of his films in later years.
Art Metrano who plays The Comedian would go on to appear in Malibu Express six years later which was Writer - Director Andy Sidaris' first independent production which he personally financed with his wife, Arlene and owns with Universal Pictures being the distributor.
This film does not feature Andy Sidaris' film production logo, Malibu Bay Films that his later films would start with after Malibu Express which was distributed by Universal Pictures. This film has no opening company logo credits belonging to either MGM or American International Pictures. It doesn't even feature a Filmways Pictures logo after AIP became Filmways after this film was released.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The film is almost unintentional remake of "The Magnificent Seven" with William Smith as the leader with a few Spaghetti Western attributes in its' action sequences (like when The Comedian kills one of the bosses with him flying out of the door), Playboy Playmates (such as Susan Kiger and later on Donna Spier and Julie Strain which is an Andy Sidaris staple for all of his films), Hawaiian locations, villains and unique deaths and weapons throughout.
Drew is paid seven million dollars to eliminate the seven cartel bosses by the government. The key plot point of this was that Drew and his band of seven assassins had to do them within 30 Minutes on the same day before the cartel bosses were to unite to take over a specific location to cause bloodshed for a specific purpose.
There are several indirect hints of someone's death or an allusion to someone being involved with a hit in the film whenever the color red appears in a scene. Several examples are: Cowboy's truck, Mailei the double crossing agent is a redhead, Drew is wearing a red jacket throughout the sequences where he is trying to eliminate The Kahuna, the "target" tee shirt that Cowboy gives The Butterfly to wear surfing with, the warning signal sent by Meilei blinks a red light to all of the cartel bosses, and Barbara Leigh and Susan Kiger's toe nails are painted red and involved with the eliminations of The Hermit, The Butterfly (aka. The Surfer) and Meilei.
Each death is unique and different for all Seven bosses. Ed Parker eliminates Mr. Lee in his office by throwing him out the window and killing his henchmen soon after. The Dragster eliminates the Japanese bosses via hang-glider by throwing a hand grenade, The Cowboy eliminates the boss protected by the bulletproof car at the gas station with help from the Playmate by pouring gasoline all over the car and blowing the car with a flare gun. The Cowboy kills the Surfer Boss after he and the Playmate trick him by giving him and his friends graphic T-shirts., The Indian kills of the evil Scientist after his attempted rape of her with a cooker time bomb in his crotch area blowing him up in the water. The Professor eliminates the bosses in the parking lot of the club with a special rocket launcher and finally, The Kahuna is killed by the same special rocket launcher by Drew while the Kahuna is attempting to make his getaway on his yacht.
Maile the double agent is given a Lai to wear on stage during the final scene of the film sent by Drew and those who survived the mission with the exception of The Comedian, which is similar to earlier in the film when Martin Kove has a Lai sent to his target before he's killed by a spear in his gut. Maile is killed with silencer by the Playmate, who was the only one who hadn't killed anyone but participated in assisting The Cowboy in his assassinations.
The club where The Comedian played by Art Metrano performs and meets up with William Smith was actually owned in the film by Metrano's character, which is only revealed briefly when he tells Martin Kove about selling it to the cartel boss he's supposed to eliminate later in the film.
Martin Kove wears the same casual jogging suit in the opening of the film when he assassins the husband and wife couple as well giving the Lai to signal the hit and target of the guy who got speared in the show and when Art Metrano kills off his boss, Kimo and is ultimately killed wearing it.
All the deaths of the cartel members are almost similar but unique to those of Andy Sidaris' future films after this. Examples include Ed Parker's elimination of Mr. Lee and his swordsman wielding bodyguard which no doubt inspired the famous scene in Raiders of The Lost Ark and the same line uttered by Parker, "Hayyah My Ass" reused later in Guns, the hang glider bombing, the crotch timer bomb by Barbara Leigh which would inspire a similar use in the Gary Busey film, "Eye of The Tiger", and the rocket guided assassination of McDowell by the Professor as well as Drew's assassination of The Kahuna with the same weapon.