Friday, July 24, 2009
Review: Lady Terminator
Synopsis: The spirit of an ancient evil queen possesses the body of a young anthropological student, who then goes on a murderous rampage in the name of revenge.
Review: This Indonesian cult film takes the over-the-top action, that is a staple of American action films of the 80's, adds in a dose of mysticism, lifts several key scenes from it's title namesake and blends it all up into a schlocky treat for the viewer. This isn't high art, nor does it pretend to be. It is a blatant riff on one of the most classic action films of the decade and never apologizes once for it.
Some of the scenes are direct copies of James Cameron's classic original, such as the attack on the police headquarters, the removal of the eye, even the first kill being done to obtain clothing for her naked form. You will get a deja vu feeling more than once, while watching this film. The added angle of a mystical plot device, rather than a technological one, as well as making the lead antagonist female, made for some interesting changes in this film, which the original "Terminator" could never have had.
Still, despite copious amounts of violence, some very nice nude scenes with our sexy lead, and some slightly interesting special effects, the film is far from what you would call "good." Some of the dubbed in voices are very poorly done. Plus, speaking as a guy, the way she kills men while mating with them is... well... let's just say it's probably every guy's worst nightmare and leave it at that. Plus, they never really gave much explanation on why the Queen of the South Sea's revenge against the great-granddaughter of her betraying lover will give her what she wants. I guess giving emphasis to the plot had to take a back seat to the action and nudity. Not an uncommon thing in films of this nature.
Barbara Anne Constable, who plays the lead role of the anthropologist turned unstoppable tool of destruction, is really the linchpin of the film. None of the other actors turn in anything beyond competent performances, at best, but Barbara's deadpan expressions throughout the film, even as she uses sex to kill her victims, is just as fun to watch as that of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original "Terminator" film.
If you are looking for a seriously dramatic story, with stunning personal performances, well, you'll be sadly disappointed. But if it is wild bouts of action and violence, coupled with a sexual-themed tale of revenge you desire, this film gives you all you could ever want. It is easily one of the best selections from the Mondo Macabro catalog and would be a great party film. It's a watchable movie and entertaining in that "so bad it's good" way. Just don't give a lot of thought to what you are watching. You definitely need to check your brain at the door for this one.
Rating: 2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)