Saturday, 5 July 2008

Lady Terminator (1988)

Lady Terminator (Pembalasan ratu pantai selatan) has been my first glimpse into the world of Indonesian exploitation cinema, and what a strange world it is. This is an outrageously over-the-top action/horror/sci-fi/sex extravaganza.

An anthropologist is investigating the legends of the South Sea Queen, a kind of witch goddess who lives in her castle beneath the sea, luring young men to her to fulfil her physical needs, although sadly no of them seem able to satisfy her appetites. For those who fail she has a venomous snake concealed about her person in her…well let’s just say she has it concealed about her person. On a scuba dive this young female anthropologist discovers the South Sea Queen’s castle, is possessed by her spirit, and is turned into an unstoppable Terminator-like killing machine. A truly prodigious killing spree ensues, with a bunch of very macho cops trying with very little success to hunt her down.

There’s a good deal of outrageous macho posturing with big guns (not to mention rocket launchers) and enough ammunition is expended to keep several small wars ticking over nicely. There’s also lots of stuff getting blown up. Lots and also lots of stuff getting blown up. This Lady Terminator pauses occasionally to satisfy her lusts, then continues with the mayhem. It’s all good fun.

Barbara Anne Constable as the anthropologist-turned-Terminator can’t act, but she has undeniable presence, and that’s what the role requires. Christopher J. Hart as the cop hero is one of those extremely bad actors who makes bad acting ridiculously entertaining, all testosterone and square-jawed heroism.

As so often with Mondo Macabro releases the accompanying documentary is every bit as entertaining as the movie, giving us a potted history of Indonesia’s extaordinary exploitation film industry. There are three or four other Indonesian movies that are now on my must-see list and scarily enough they’re available on DVD. From Mondo Macabro, of course. I already have Dangerous Seductress, made by the same director as Lady Terminator (the movies came in a wonderful little two-movie set called Action Action Deadly Dolls). I think I may just have to buy every single movie released by Mondo Macabro.

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