Friday, March 26, 2010

LADY TERMINATOR



Original Title: Pembalasan ratu pantai selatan
Year: 1988
Director: H. Tjut Djalil
Writer: Karr Kruinowz
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095483/
Genre: Action


Synopsis: The spirit of an ancient evil queen posesses the body of a young anthropological student, who then goes on a murderous rampage.


When I started watching Lady Terminator, I was concerned that I somehow had obtained the wrong movie. I had heard that it was a ripoff of James Cameron's The Terminator, but what I was watching was set hundreds of years in the past. There was some sort of sorceress that fucks dudes to death and a hero that pulls a DEADLY EEL OF DOOM out of her vag and turns it into wiggly little knife as she curses his family upon escaping.


WTF, right? (And what a douchebag that guy looks like) While this honestly did not feel out of place for an Indonesian horror film, it just was not what I expected. And herein lies my biggest gripe with the film. I suppose I have been spoiled by other Indonesian films from this era that forwent much of the plot and character development for the sake of cramming as much shit blowing up as possible, but this film took quite awhile to get going for me.

Not that it was bad, really... it was fine, especially when this little 80s hottie comes on the scene digging around the South Sea Queen history because she's an "anthropologist" or something. Barbara Anne Constable is not all that great as Tania Wilson, athro-extraordinaire. And I am guessing Djalil realized this as well because 2 minutes after her intro, she's in a bikini smuggling diamonds, out at sea to find the Queen or something.

OK, OK, let's get on with it. There's no real reason given here why Tania is looking for this information, or how the Queen will have her revenge, or


Finally our 80s lady is tied up getting an eel of her own when she finds the Sea Queen's lair under the water or something, and we really get the ball rolling. When Constable is topless and/or mowing down losers with an M16, she's much more entertaining. She comes plodding out of the surf, sexing up two guys to death, then goes on a sour-pussed rampage looking for the historical douchebag's ancestor.

You're not gonna forget Lady Terminator's hilarious looking scowl anytime soon.

Or I guess the vaginal eel either.


Now that the background for this unstoppable monster has been set as well as it can be, the Terminator scenes start pouring in. For the last 2/3 of the film, we get the Indo-action staples with loads of bystanders mowed down, car chases in beat up sedans that scream crash me the moment they appear on screen, squibs exploding by the bucketload. Sure most scenes at this point are essentially stolen straight from Terminator, but they are a lot of fun and over the top, so it still works. There's the rampage in the police station. There's the nightclub shootout (although this time it is very neon and roller-rink hilarious). There's a shopping mall. There's even a car driving into the front of a building, although we unfortunately do not get our Lady Terminator saying "I'll be back."

There's even the eyeball scene, although this time she just appears to be washing off a gooey ping pong ball... and her face hardly even had a mark on it!

There's a cast of side characters that really only run away from/stand up to the Terminator. The ancestor of the douchebag is a bag of sawdust at best, and her savior is equally bad. They have a painfully awkward lovemaking scene where she opens up to him (LITERALLY HAHAHA) and he to her. Of course his wife was killed and blah blah blah. Although they are obviously supposed to be the Kyle and Sarah of this story, you really at this point could care less. Where's the fuckin explosions, man??

Oh yeah, they're back on the tarmac with fakeKyle's redneck buddies Snake and um... Tub? We're introduced to this dynamic duo in a flashback where fakeKyle met his now dead wife and Snake and Tub kick some guys' asses who are harrassing her. Oh, they are fucking terrible but oh so satisfying.

Snake has a mullet that would make Billy Ray Cyrus jealous and an awesome short-cut jean jacket to round off his traditional Canadian tuxedo. Tub?, while lacking the glorious mullet, makes up for it with a gut that surely came from too many Milwaukee's Best binges, some nice curls slicked back on the side, a lovely pedophile stache, and a stonewashed Canadian tuxedo that puts Snake's to shame.

Having these two buddies in there next to the cardboard cutout fakeKyle is a godsend of epic proportions. They have next to a zero role, but just look so ridiculous and have rocket launchers and tanks at their disposal that you can't help but be overjoyed at their brief appearance.


I mean, seriously folks. The only things missing here are boobs and perhaps a grenade launcher.

The film ends up being an interesting combination of a strange Indonesian folklore style tale mixed with the science fiction based Terminator story. She isn't a robot, but rather a possessed demon-type thing. I thought it was a cool twist on the story. Imagine if we had some flying demon heads like you'd see in Queen of Black Magic or something like that. That might be too much terrific for one 80 minute film to contain.

Actually, the Queen of the South Sea, or Nyai Roro Kidul, is a real and popular Indonesian folklore goddess. I'm not sure she had the sex aspect to her story, but she apparently could shapeshift and could make vicious waves in the Indian Ocean. A painting of Nyai Roro Kidul that Lady Terminator draws energy from before banging another poor uzi-toting hotel security guard in the film seems to be a common representation of the goddess.

There's a lot of detail left out as to why Lady Terminator does the sex death thing, or what even happens to the poor bastards she kills this way as blood comes spraying up from their crotch as she is riding them. I did think one chubby guy she kills looked like he was taking a facial in a porn. Awesomely awkward. He really did not want that blood in his mouth and eye!

For some reason I don't feel like my discussing the film here does it justice. I've focused a lot on some downfalls of the overall film, but believe me when I say that it is still very enjoyable. Despite throwing more story and exposition in there than many Indonesian genre films from this same time, it still manages to have the over the top action and be full of trashy fun.

Mondo Macabre has a great dvd of this film out there with special features and a nice restoration.

I'd certainly recommend Lady Terminator to any cult cinema fan.

Score: 7.75 / 10

7 comments:

The Mike said...

Fantastic write up, and I completely agree. One of the most amazing uniquely bad/good cult flicks out there.

raculfright_13 said...

going to watch this soon with Robo Vampire, this review is making me more excited than I was before!

The Gentlemens Guide To Midnite Cinema said...

*this is Will*I was so worried when you first started your review, that you didn't dig it as much as I did. Thank God, it ended strong for you! By the way, another awesome thing about the Mondo Macabro disc, is that the case is lipstick red! awesome!

pickleloaf said...

the intro just threw me off, as we've discussed. it wasn't what i was expecting at all

plus, they spend 25 minutes on it before the fun begins. (that's me being selfish haha)

pickleloaf said...

thank you for the comments all

and i will have to see about Robo Vampire... WOW
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0121694/

Matt-suzaka said...

I've been sitting on this one for a while now, but will have to get to it soon after reading your mostly positive (and beautiful) review. I'm glad that I have some sort of warning about the slow start, as I would expect crazy action from frame one. Also, I should mention that I have spent my entire life trying to be the person that Snake is. One day, I hope to get there.

pickleloaf said...

with a little will and lots of denim, you too can be Snake!