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  Pacific Banana High FlyersBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: John D. Lamond
Stars: Graeme Blundell, Robin Stewart, Deborah Gray, Alyson Best, Helen Hemingway, Manuia Taie, Luan Peters, Audine Leith, Graham Duckett, Alan Hopgood, Joy Thompson, Renata McLachlan, Angela Menzies-Wills, Violet Waieria, Leonora Jackson, Mary MacGregor
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Trash
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Poor old Martin (Graeme Blundell). He is a pilot who was flying a light aircraft for rich Lady Blandings (Audine Leith) when she suddenly became amorous and threw herself at him. He managed to fend her off, but in the limousine to her offices, she made another attempt and was discovered by her husband (Alan Hopgood), who happened to own the airline. Lady Blandings accused Martin of throwing himself at her rather than the other way around with the result that he is sacked, but his boss tells him he knows what really happened and gives him a job with the decidedly low rent Banana Airlines...

Actually, Pacific Banana isn't so much about pilots as it is about premature ejaculation, because this is a sex comedy, and Martin's encounter with his boss's randy wife has ended up with him unable to sustain much of anything in the sexual department without sneezing his passion away, something repeatedly represented by a wind sock going limp in a faltering breeze and some wacky sound effects. Of course, this is simply an excuse to show as much naked flesh as possible, because this film followed in a small tradition of seventies efforts from Australia in this field.

The daddy of all these was 1974's Alvin Purple, which not only spawned a sequel but also a television series in its native land, so it was no surprise for aficionados of such things to see the writer of that film, Alan Hopgood (yes, that's him playing the boss), and the star, Blundell, reuniting here. Alas, Pacific Banana doesn't have the cultural recognition factor as its predecessor does, and frankly it wasn't all that funny either, but was a plucky attempt at providing some thrills for the undemanding, or at least those who demanded nothing but nudity.

Martin isn't the only pilot who works on this cheap airline, as he is co-pilot to Paul (Robin Stewart), a man with a girl in every airport, or the beaches near them anyway, and two fiancées in the shape of Sally (Deborah Gray, who later became a professional white witch) and Mandy (Alyson Best), who also happen to be the airline's stewardesses. What follows is a selection of contrived situations and laboured gags, but there's nothing meanspirited about them and mainly seem to be playing up to ancient (even by 1981) stereotypes about pilots (and their stewardesses, for that matter).

Everywhere Martin goes he is followed by the Blandings' youngest daughter, Julia (Helen Hemingway), who has taken a shine to him but is faced with being sent back home at every turn, not that she takes that advice and keeps stowing away on the plane. Little does Martin know that his salvation lies with the girl, as in the meantime he tries out various ways of prolonging his sexual experiences without sneezing, even going to the extent of being taken under the wing of imported British star Luan Peters as Candy Bubbles, who runs a retreat on a Pacific island that is full of eligible young ladies. Predictably, everything fails until the final scene, and if this wasn't all that hilarious at the time, imagine how it looks today - they resort to a custard pie fight at one point as a mark of how desperate they were to fill up the time. Still, there are worse ways to pass eighty minutes. Gray and Peters wrote and performed the catchy theme song, too.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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