Thunder in Paradise

Thunder in Paradise (1993)

Thunder offers beaches, babes, biceps and boats

It’s almost spring break time – are you ready to par-tay?!?! Are you ready to travel to some far off hot spot? Are you ready to have a fling with the bartender at the resort you are staying at? Are you ready for an STD? Are you ready to go further into debt, rather than investing that vacation money in an RRSP mutual fund, which not only pay high interest rates, but also can be used as a tax shelter? I said are you ready?!?!

Well, if you absolutely sure you want to head out somewhere during the break, instead of burying your nose in some textbooks, might I suggest the Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. For you see, that is the filming location of this week’s selection, Thunder in Paradise.

Thunder in Paradise“Thunder in Paradise” was a long-running television program that ran from 1994 to 1994, starring pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan and Chris Lemmon, son of Jack Lemmon. That is actually quite a coincidence, as many have referred to Jack Lemmon as “the Hulk Hogan of actors,” a title that Hogan himself has always strived to take.

Now you may be asking, why are you reviewing a TV show? After all, you are supposed to be a cinema connoisseur. Well first off, don’t you dare question me. Secondly, a year before the series aired, a two hour version was released on VHS. So I think that qualifies it to be described as a movie. It’s certainly more of a movie than Babel, Letters From Iwo Jima or The Queen – did none of the Oscar voters even see Snakes on a Plane? Anyways, that’s another topic for another column. Back to what I was writing about, which was talking boats.

Randolph J. “Hurricane” Spencer (Hogan) and Martin “Bru” Brubaker (Lemon) are two ex-Navy SEALs who are now working as independent contractors, helping out those who are being harassed by criminals. They are kind of like the A-Team, except better. I would refer to them as the “A+ Team.” Aiding them in their adventures is Thunder, a futuristic boat that can talk, and can become invisible.

In the first part of this film, they help a woman and her son defect from Cuba to Florida. As a result, after receiving the recently released three-disc Thunder in Paradise Collection, George W. Bush had Hulk Hogan placed on the FBI’s most wanted list.

After Hurricane has sunk most of his savings into the development of Thunder, he is counting on landing a big contract from the Navy to build similar boats. When that falls through, Hurricane is in dire financial need – perhaps he too should have invested in some of those RRSPs. There is one thing that can save him, however – marriage.

You see a woman by the name of Megan Whitaker has recently inherited a hotel from her deceased father. Unfortunately, her greedy uncle Edward is threatening to take over control of the hotel by invoking a clause in his brother’s will that stated Megan must be married in order to run the hotel. After consulting with her best friend Kelly (model Carol Alt) and her aunt Lola (Charlotte Rae, best known as Mrs. Garrett from “The Facts of Life”), Megan decides to enter into a mutually beneficial marriage arrangement with Hurricane.

Before the newlyweds get to pretend to enjoy their sham marriage, Hurricane, Bru, Megan and Thunder must embark on another adventure – saving Megan’s daughter. She was kidnapped after Hurricane gave her a necklace, which he found in the belly of a shark. Some dastardly villains covet the necklace, which they believe holds the secret to unlocking a buried treasure. Are Hurricane and company successful in rescuing the little girl? You’ll have to watch it to find out!

Thunder in Paradise is a wonderful combination of “Knight Rider” (talking boat instead of a talking car), and “Baywatch,” with plenty of beaches and bikini-clad babes. It has everything a fan of David Hasselhoff could ever want, except for maybe an appearance by David Hasselhoff.

Thunder in Paradise truly delivers what it promises – paradise. What other word would you use to describe a film that features a talking boat, cameos by wrestling legends Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and Giant Gonzales, Mrs. Garrett in a hot tub and Hulk Hogan in a speedo. Oh Thunder in Paradise, you had me at a talking boat.

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