FLY ME (1973) begins by introducing us to its three main characters who are stewardesses (or flight attendants if you prefer a more politically correct term for today’s audiences). Toby (Pat Anderson), Andrea (Lenore Kasdorf) and Sherry (Lyllah Torena) are all working a flight headed to Japan. Upon landing at their destination, Sherry is abducted (for reasons unknown), so the other two girls set out to find and rescue her – mostly because they’re not qualified to do so.
During the search for Sherry, we learn that Andrea is a master of kung fu and has the ability to battle highly trained ninjas and other martial artists. In the case of her first opponents, they appear to be ninjas. I don’t know. Maybe they’re assassins. Maybe it doesn’t matter. We also meet Toby’s mother (for reasons unknown) and learn that she’s a royal pain in the ass. She never once lets Toby out of her sight, let alone allowing her to have dinner with a male romantic interest.
With the film coming to a close rather quickly, the plot is ultimately revealed and Toby’s physician friend becomes a ferocious kung fu killing machine in order to rescue his beloved object of desire. A girl he doesn’t really know, thanks to her overbearing mother. We also get to see this kung fu physician work his way through dozens of professionally trained martial artists. It could happen.
I’ll admit it – I really enjoyed this film by the time the credits rolled. The god-awful martial arts scenes were laughable and the gunfights much worse. In fact, all of the action sequences were terribly choreographed, and at first, un-enjoyable. As the picture progressed, it seemed to grow on me. I mean how often do you come across a film that contains beautiful stewardesses that know kung fu and get naked frequently during a film? Not very often. I basically turned my brain off and just enjoyed the silliness for what it was – a mindless 70s exploitation drive-in classic.
FLY ME is a New World Pictures production directed by low budget exploitation maestro Cirio Santiago. Roger Corman did not want the film to appear that it was made in the Philippines, so he had an opening sequence shot in Los Angeles where Toby (Pat Anderson) jumped into a taxi driven by low budget pictures’ everyman actor Dick Miller. Director Jonathan Demme contributed a few action sequences to pad out the film and Joe Dante, early in his career, contributed to the final effort as a dialogue director.
FLY ME is a fun goofy exploitation film at its core. There are plenty of deaths throughout the film to satisfy the average action fan and plenty of boobs to satisfy the average pervert. It’s a film I recommend as long as you turn your brain off before sitting down to watch it.
Contributed by: Mike Murphy