Hard Ticket to Hawaii Blu-ray Review


“Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Pee…”

The stupider elements of Hard Ticket to Hawaii offer a little – and only a little – reprieve from repulsive idiocy everywhere else. One scene sees two DEA agents in a jeep chasing down a villainous skateboarder. For whatever reason, the skateboarder clutches a blow-up doll (?). The jeep rams the skateboarder who flies into the air, and the DEA agent whips out a rocket launcher (!) to blow up their assailant. Words cannot form an appropriate response.

Someone wrote this movie. Someone shot it too. That was Andy Sedaris, likely a nice guy, but his work is laced with bigotry, misogyny, and racism to such extremes, the Z-grade Hard Ticket to Hawaii checks the wrong boxes. Ed Wood made more competent movies. They last, culturally. Wood’s derided output held awkward charm. Sedaris made this lug to see more boobs.

It’s cheeky. Hard Ticket to Hawaii knows how awful it is. These performances alone would draw ire in a porn, and that’s nearly what Hard Ticket to Hawaii is. Prior to his career as an action movie director, Sedaris directed softcore videos for Playboy. This is another of those, just with guns. Given dialog that ceaselessly puts women down and action that renders them helpless, Sedaris’ writing clearly did not receive a feminine pass.

… leering and tawdry, slimy exploitation of the lowest degree

Donna Spier and Hope Carlton star, both former Playmates, willing to undress, disrobe, or wander around screen topless whenever asked. Hard Ticket to Hawaii takes them up on that offer. The two play DEA agents (for some reason on a case of missing diamonds and not drugs) using throwing stars (huh?) and nunchucks (really?!) to tear down their foes.

The whole thing is leering and tawdry, slimy exploitation of the lowest degree. Churlish violence spews plenty of blood. A chunk of the arduous runtime is spent cringing at two white men performing xenophobic Asian accents while mocking martial arts. Try to look away from the inherent bigotry as a sportscaster interviews two black men, and ignore how desperate this movie is to fill itself with nudity. Troma productions have more class.

Oh, there’s also a killer snake on the loose. According to the dialog, that snake was infected by “rat cancer,” creating a biological hazard in the form of a barely mobile rubber puppet. Hard Ticker to Hawaii never fits together, reaching a low of insufferable filmmaking. If not the worst of cinema’s dredges, than only one tier above. This Hawaiian schlock isn’t lacking color thanks to the locale, the closest thing to a compliment Hard Ticket to Hawaii deserves.

Video

Reasonably sharp, some undeserving restoration is applied here. Mill Creek states a 4K scan, but that seems unlikely. It’s too chunky. Although, in fairness, part of that falls on compression that swallows entire scenes whole.

Marginal detail appears in the early scenes. Most of that disappears behind overly compressed grain. Some brightening brings up black levels, allowing additional noise to fester within shadows. With that goes contrast, giving the images a weird glow. Images hardly look natural.

Print damage runs fairly high, especially in terms of vertical scratches. Those appear everywhere. Stray dirt and debris hamper efforts too, if not to any detriment of detail.

In finding anything to compliment, it’s color. Although flesh tones exhibit a red push, overall primaries glisten in this transfer. Various bikinis and dresses vibrantly show off their saturation.

Audio

As with the video, this sounds awfully compressed. There’s no range, the score is flat, and a theme song (named after the movie) bleeds instrumentation and lyrics into a ball of barely audible mush.

All dialog in this DTS-HD mono affair carries a scratchy, pitchy quality. Some of this is dubbed (quite obviously given the difference in volume), but even this lacks clarity.

Extras

Andy and Arlene Sedaris provide commentary, with Andy ogling his cast every chance. It’s creepy. A rotting half-hour behind-the-scenes featurette covers Sedaris’ work as a whole, and it’s not worth dealing with the low quality. An introduction from Sedaris is great set-up for the perverted material to come and nothing else.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Movie

Worse movies exist than Hard Ticket to Hawaii, but few manage to sink to such depths in terms of racism, misogyny, and bigotry.

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