Julie Strain Versus Wrestler Buff Bagwell

The eleventh movie from director Andy Sidaris and Malibu Bay Films, Day of the Warrior brings in Playboy Playmate Shae Marks and WCW wrestler Marcus “Buff” Bagwell as fresh blood for the series. The addition of a pro wrestler makes total sense for the testosterone-loaded action movies.

1993 Penthouse Pet of the Year Julie Strain plays commander Willow Black, leading the gorgeous ladies of LETHAL in an all-out hunt to stop an international criminal ring. That description alone should inform viewers what they are in for if they haven’t seen a movie by Andy Sidaris. Bullets, bombs, and babes is an apt description used by the man himself to describe his movies from the ’80s and ’90s.

A cheesy cross between a skin flick and b-movie action plotting, Andy Sidaris continues the same formula he perfected in the 1980s. Day of the Warrior sees Andy Sidaris back in charge as director after briefly handing duties off to his son. Nearing retirement, Sidaris would only have one more movie in him with Return to Savage Beach in 1998.

Day of the Warrior brings in Playboy Playmate Shae Marks and WCW wrestler Marcus “Buff” Bagwell as fresh blood for the series

The ladies of L.E.T.H.A.L. (Legion To Ensure Total Harmony And Law) are back in action and ready to kick butt. Played by Shae Marks, Julie K. Smith and Julie Strain, the well-endowed actresses often find themselves in and out of their clothing. With code names like Cobra and Scorpion, they must track down a former CIA agent gone rogue nicknamed the Supreme Warrior. Played by wrestler Buff Bagwell, the Warrior heads an international outfit dealing in smuggling, drugs, pornography and slavery.

The cheeseball action plotting is mostly a vehicle ensuring actresses Shae Marks and Julie Smith show off their ample assets in sexy scenes. Julie Smith’s “Cobra” character works as an undercover stripper. Bagwell slides right in with his over-the-top wrestling antics and stage presence. The plot shoehorns in a climactic wrestling match between the villain and Julie Strain, which even by Andy Sidaris standards is ridiculous.

The biggest complaint I have in most of these films is the attempted comic relief side characters. This time we get two wiseguys code-named Smith & Barney, playing minor villains that serve as comic foils. While horribly stereotypical, an Asian character working as Willow Black’s sidekick actually delivers some laughs.

Originally hitting home video in 1996, Day of the Warrior stands out for Shae Marks and Marcus Bagwell in the Andy Sidaris canon. They’d both come back for Andy’s last film, Return To Savage Beach. You know what you are getting if you’ve seen even one Andy Sidaris “masterpiece” before. That is sub-par acting by centerfolds as they play out the campy action fantasies of Andy Sidaris, with a few steamy scenes thrown in when the movie starts dragging.

Video

Mill Creek continues their reliable work on Andy’s films. Day of the Warrior receives a stout 1.78:1 presentation in fine 1080P clarity. The movie sees a new film transfer taken from solid elements, presumably the camera negative. It’s unprocessed and film-like in appearance, retaining fine detail in close-ups. Running slightly over 96 minutes, the main feature gets a flawless AVC encode on a BD-50 at generous parameters.

The cinematography in Andy’s movies are always a little haphazard and minor tonal inconsistencies appear. Exteriors always pop with sun-lit definition and a brilliant contrast. Shadow detail and delineation occasionally reveal limitations in the original cinematography. The print has little visible damage, though establishing shots are often softer and hazier.

Select scenes look outstanding with sharp texture and definition. Andy always went for a bright production with generous amounts of clarity.

Audio

An average stereo mix is provided in 2.0 DTS-HD MA lossless quality. Day of the Warrior is a clean recording with completely intelligible dialogue. Somewhat underwhelming are a few of the gunshots and explosions, hardly making a sonic impact.

The best-sounding part of the mix is probably the soft jazz score by Ron DiLulio, a cheesy effort perfect for the various sex scenes. The action in an Andy Sidaris production tends to look better than it sounds. The basic audio design at best is b-movie quality.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.

Extras

Mill Creek finishes out their line of Andy Sidaris Blu-rays with Day of the Warrior and Return To Savage Beach, completing all twelve films on the format with new transfers and bringing over all special features found on the original BCI Eclipse DVDs.

It’s a surprise the label didn’t go for slipcovers on this line but Mill Creek rarely uses them on BD for whatever reason.

Introduction By Director Andy Sidaris (01:51 in SD) – Alongside a half-nude Julie Strain, Sidaris playfully introduces Day of the Warrior in style.

Audio Commentary By Andy Sidaris and Arlene Sidaris – A very comfortable discussion between the married couple on making Day of the Warrior. Not dissimilar to any of their prior commentaries, Andy likes talking up his cast while Arlene drops in a few snarky comments. You develop a good grasp of how a low-budget filmmaker cuts corner to save time and money.

Behind The Scenes Featurettes (39:11 in SD) – A total of six featurettes pulled from the BCI Eclipse DVDs run in consecutive order. You get Andy’s trademarked Film School Sexy and Film School Action segments, breaking down on he films the different type of scenes. A revealing interview with actress Shae Marks and appearances by Julie Strain are included. A featurette on the location shoot for Hard Hunted is included.

Day of the Warrior Trailer (02:04 in HD)

Trailers are also provided for the other eleven Malibu Bay Films by Andy Sidaris:

Malibu Express (02:21)

Savage Beach (01:38)

Hard Ticket to Hawaii (01:40)

Picasso Trigger (01:30)

Guns (01:28)

Do or Die (01:19)

Hard Hunted (01:07)

Fit to Kill (01:45)

Enemy Gold (02:28)

The Dallas Connection (01:28)

Return to Savage Beach (02:25)

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.

Day of the Warrior
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  • Extras
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Playboy Playmate Shae Marks and WCW Wrestler Marcus Bagwell bring new life to the campy and fun formula used by director Andy Sidaris in one of his last movies.

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