Monday 30 August 2010

Fellow WORLD-WEIRD blogs that fly under the radar but that you OUGHT to know about!!!

On my other blog I sometimes advertise other blogs that I think my readers ought to know about. Obviously, not all of them are about world-weird cinema but I figured it would be a GRAND idea to introduce the same feature here, just only about cool blogs that deal with the topic of this blog: World-weird films. And what better way to kick off than to begin with a (re-)post about Worldweird, the blog! As mentioned in my previous post I've got zilch to say tonight but what I DO want is to recommend that you check out this fine gentleman's blog. There's far too few sites, blogs, and fanzines that write about world-weird cinema. Jared does exactly that on his Worldweird Cinema blog and YOU should read his stuff. And if you're curious about Turkish cinema it's the place to be tonight as his most recent entry is on the weird hybrid that is THREE SUPEMEN AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES (aka Üc Süpermen Olimpiyatlarda) / THREE SUPERMEN AND A MAD GIRL (Çilgin Kiz Ve ÜÇ Süper Adam).

Friday 27 August 2010

The amazing THE WARRIOR series from Indonesia

Mexican lobbycard for THE WARRIOR

If you have never come across any of the JAKA SEMBUNG films starring Barry Prima you have been missing out on some WILD cinema!! The Jaka Sembung series, or THE WARRIOR as it's known in English, is a series of totally awesome and highly entertaining adventure films from Indonesia. Gory adventure films I might add! In short the series deal with the historical freedom fighter Jaka Sembung who fought the Dutch imperialists when they occupied Indonesia until fairly recently. A rather amusing detail is that one of the markets where the films have been most widely distributed on video is actually Holland. Indonesia's old scurge. :-D

The first film is THE WARRIOR (original title: Jaka Sembung Sang Penakluk) from 1981. It's directed by Sisworo Gautama Putra and stars Barry Prima in the lead role as Jaka Sembung. Also Eva Arnaz and Dana Christina are featured. Just like Barry Prima they starred in tons of genre films in the 80s. Barry Prima stars as the main character thru out the whole series. 

Here's a trailer for THE WARRIOR:

Fortunately, THE WARRIOR is easy to get hold of as it has been released on a spiffy wee disk by those gents from Mondo Macabro, Pete Tombs and Andy Starke's videolabel. The first film is also out on a handful of different video releases, both in Greece, Holland, and the UK. There are also versions dubbed into other languages such as German. Beware of the UK tape as it's cut. It's missing no less than 31 seconds!!!

Unfortunately, the Mondo Macabro release is the only DVD of any of the films in the series. :-( Mondo Macabro were considering to put out the four sequels which would have been amazing not least since the last two films have never been released outside of Indonesia/Malaysia, nor have they ever been dubbed or subtitled into English. However, unfortunately the MM's DVD hardly didn't sell at all! According to Pete Tombs (from his posts on Cinehound message board) many "fans" were happy enough with downloading the film (illegally) from torrent sites. It's terrible to think that because of this we may never see proper DVD releases of these sequels.

Here's my VHS from Holland (English dub / Dutch subtitles)

The second film in the series is THE WARRIOR AGAINST THE BLIND SWORDSMAN (original title: Si Buta Lawan Jaka Sembung). Directed by Dasri Yacob, 1983. The film was released on VHS in Greece, Holland and the UK. The UK tape is cut by 5 seconds. Check out the trailer here:

As the title suggests Jaka Sembung teams up with the blind swordsman character (it's a slightly odd title as they're actually not fighting each other but teaming up against the oppression!). The blind swordsman later returned in the spin-off sequel simply entitled THE BLIND WARRIOR (more on that later).

And here's my Dutch VHS cover for the film (English dub / Dutch subs)

The last English dubbed THE WARRIOR sequel (unless you count the spin-off as a sequel) is THE WARRIOR AND THE NINJA (original title: Bajing Ireng Dan Jaka Sembung). Directed by H. Tjut Djalil (1983) who also directed LADY TERMINATOR, MYSTICS IN BALI, and many more. Some sources claim THE WARRIOR AND THE NINJA is aka The Warrior 2 but my Dutch VHS release clearly labels THE WARRIOR AGAINST THE BLIND SWORDSMAN as films #2. But whether the two films were swapped around in some territories I don't know. But my gut feeling tells me it's merely a fuck-up by fans who didn't spend enough time on their research.

EDIT: After I wrote this article and originally posted it on my other blog it has come to my attention that there's a good chance THE WARRIOR AND THE NINJA is indeed film #2 in the series. It doesn't matter that much though in regard to viewing enjoyment as they're totally unrelated in their plot lines.

Here's the trailer for THE WARRIOR AND THE NINJA:

And here's my Greek VHS release which is the one to go for as it's letterboxed. There's also a letterboxed tape from Australia but finding that one is probably more rare than getting laid at a dike slumber party (to coin an old Damon Foster joke). Unfortunately, all the video versions I've seen are too dark during the night scenes. The best version (during the night scenes) is actually the Malay VCD where you can see what the bloody hell is going on, LOL. Unfortunately, it's in Indonesian, it's fullscreen, and pixelates all over the place. There are als Dutch and UK releases. Amazingly enough, the UK tape is uncut according to the BBFC. :-O

The last two sequels are BERGOLA IJO , dir: Arizal (1983) and JAKA SEMBUNG DAN DEWI SAMUDRA, dir: Atok Sugiarto (1990). None of them have English titles and I haven't been able to find any trailers for them, nor do I have any scans of the VCD covers. But anyway, regardless of how rare these films are (apart from #1) or that two of them aren't in English, if you enjoy wild and crazy movies then you really ought to check out the JAKA SEMBUNG / THE WARRIOR series.

And finally, the bastard 6th film in the series; the spin-off sequel THE BLIND WARRIOR (original title: Neraka perut bumi) in which the blind warrior character from THE WARRIOR AND THE BLIND SWORDSMAN makes a return. Directed by Ratno Timoer in 1987. Timoer also did THE DEVIL'S SWORD (also released by Mondo Macabro, and highly recommended!) and many more. 

In contradiction to the "real" THE WARRIOR sequels this was actually released on DVD - twice even!! In the UK and Germany (both DVD's carry English and German dubs). Unfortunately both DVD's are long out of print but at least you have to chance of getting a copy from a friend. There was also a German dubbed VHS. And an English dubbed VHS was released in Hong Kong (with Chinese subs). If you can find a copy of that video you're one lucky fellar cos it's very rare.

The German VHS which basically uses the same cover as for the German and UK DVD releases.
[click scan for full size]

There's no trailer for THE BLIND WARRIOR on YouTube (EDIT: there is now! See below) so here's a clip from the film instead. It's... over the top - as is the entire series!!! You should try and find them.

UPDATE 24.102023: I've just discovered that somebody has uploaded a trailer for THE BLIND WARRIOR (actually, they did it three years ago!!). Thanks to "Dirty Kunst Video" on YouTube!

THE WARRIOR AGAINST THE BLIND SWORDSMAN and THE WARRIOR AND THE NINJA are available from Far East Flix (yes, they are boots off Dutch video tapes). The picture quality equals VHS quality.

Friday 13 August 2010

BRUKA, QUEEN OF EVIL - lost film, rare trailer

Go ahead and watch the above rare trailer for what seems to be a WILD Filipino snake queen movie!! There's dwarfs, flying batmen, brick monster-men, killer snakes left and right, a creepy decapitated talking head, nudity, and the lovely Maria Gil with a head full of snakes!!!

There has been some confusion between BRUKA, QUEEN OF EVIL and another film entitled DEVIL WOMAN. Both films star the same actress (Rosemarie Gil) in the lead role, and in both films she plays a similar "snake woman" character.

This has led some fans to believe they are alternative titles for the same film. This is not correct; They are two different movies. DEVIL WOMAN was released on VHS by Something Weird Video in the States and is fairly easy to get on bootleg.

Unfortunately, it seems BRUKA, QUEEN OF EVIL is a lost film! Nobody has it!! So watch the trailer and boil your eyes out cos as of now that is all you're gonna get. :-(

At one point, I got in contact with someone who said they had a friend who had a copy of the film but I was unable to get a copy from him. Did he have a copy? Does a copy exist? Does anybody have a copy? I have no idea. If anybody out there has a copy or knows of one please get in tough. Cheers.

UPDATE: Check Andrew Leavold's comment in the comments section: He has found a copy of BRUKA!!! And it is now available thru download sites (and bootleggers are creaming themselves over it, obviously).

[Mexican lobby card for DEVIL WOMAN]

I don't know if Maria Gil became typecast in snake woman roles but the fact is she starred in several other snake films as well, altho she doesn't quite play a snake queen with a head-full of writing snakes for hair. In NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN she plays the servant of a snake woman. I haven't seen BLACK MAMBA. These films were all made in the Philippines and are from the early 1970s. Maria Gil is still active and I believe she is currently working in television.

Apart from the Mexican lobby card (which I'm happy to report I'm the proud owner of) all scans are from Fred Adelman, thanks mate, except for the MANDA/DEVIL WOMAN poster which came from Mads Jensen.

ZIMATAR - rare film, rare trailer!

Here it is, finally. The trailer for the very rare Filipino adventure film ZIMATAR


Thanks to bearded man Patrick for uploading this! EDIT (11.02.2022) He took down his channel. "Thanks", dude! Fortunately I had downloaded a copy, so here it is via my own YouTube channel! Great stuff. The trailer comes from the Japanese VHS release of the Filipino horror flick ZUMA (which I've written about before). The other way 'round, the ZIMATAR tape contains a trailer for ZUMA (in English no less, although the film has never been dubbed). Both Japanese tapes are very rare and go for rather huge amounts on eBay. ZUMA only exists on Japanese VHS and Filipino VCD (the first is very rare, the latter is very very rare, LOL). ZIMATAR only exists in English on very very rare Japanese VHS (of which I'm the happy owner of a copy!) and there's a crappy German DVD/VHS release (which is crappy because the picture is overmodulated + needless to say it's dubbed in German and the DVD sadly doesn't offer neither a Filipino or English option).
(you can click both scans for spiffy proper sizes!) [repost from my other blog, Aug. 2009]

Friday 6 August 2010

GOLDEN EAGLE (Thailand, 1970)

Original title: Insee Thong

DVD/Thailand/Thai audio/English subs

by Andrew Leavold

Thai Spies & Ladyboys’ Thighs: *Golden Eagle* (Insee Thong, 1970)

The Seventies and Eighties saw a number of Thai genre films - mainly kung fu movies, as was the flavour du jour - exported on cinema screens in the West, via international co-productions or by deals with Hong Kong distributors. Pre-kung fu era films from Thailand are another beast altogether, from a thriving local cinema that never travelled past its own borders, and from an industry that had no real interest in preserving its own heritage. It's a miracle the film has survived at all, let alone in its current choppy, mutilated, dragged-through-the-paddy-field version. However, there are subtitles, if you can forgive the translator's tenuous grasp on the English language AND basic typing skills.

Red Eagle (or Insee Daeng) was the red-masked vigilante hero of a phenomenally popular series of post-war Thai pulp novels. The first screen adaption in 1963 starred Mitr Chaibancha, without a doubt the most popular Thai screen idol of the Sixties. A former boxer, his athleticism fared well for action roles, and he performed most of his own stunts until his premature end...but more about that later. As a result, it's estimated Chaibancha starred in between a third and half of all Thai films of the period. That's literally hundreds of Thai films, the majority of which are lost to the winds of time, including an entire series of Red Eagle adventures.

Its final instalment, Golden Eagle from 1970, was produced and directed by its star Chaibancha, and it's an ambitious actioner from an all-round auteur clearly at the top of his game. By evening Mitr is Rome, a lovable if messy drunk, fraidy-cat and frequent social embarrassment to his faithful girlfriend Oy (Chaibancha's frequent co-star Petchara Chaowarat); once the mask is donned, he's a crimefighting dynamo, a super-patriot taking on all kung-fu kicking ladyboys, arrogant young communists and wizened fakirs plotting to overthrow peace, freedom and the Thai Way of Life.

In Golden Eagle, the bumbling “lush” discovers an impostor posing as Red Eagle, a member of the dreaded Red Bamboo Gang whose leader, the Fu Manchu-like Bakin, is psychically strangling the life out of extorted businessmen via a collection of red crystal Buddhas. And right under the nose of the police and Rome, too - while having dinner with the doomed Mr Serm, a box containing the deadly Buddha is delivered to their table. Rome warns him not to open it. “Who knows,” he suggests diplomatically. “There might be dog shits inside.” Shits, no, but instant death, leading our newly rechristened, golden-masked saviour through the lair of Red Bamboo associate Jiew Tong, the venomous embrace of his niece Benja, his effeminate army of pink-suited goons (straight from an off-Broadway musical reimagining of the USS Enterprise), to rescuing the pretty if ineffectual Rachanee and her kidnapped uncle Admiral in an admittedly spectacular finale at the hideaway of the hypno-master Bakin.

Straddling Superhero Chic with the Swinging Seventies, Golden Eagle is an impressive low-budget Batman-meets-Bond undermined somewhat with a low-rent humour chortling at the weak, the portly, the ugly and the girlish - you'll lose track of how many references there are to “faggots” (or “aggots”, according to the subtitles) and will either be amused or appalled at the ladyboy antics of Jiew Tong's household cavalry. Then there's the jarring, anachronistic soundtrack taken from the film's VHS release in the Eighties with a brand new soundtrack, as the original simply didn't exist. In fact, the dialogue and sound effects to most Thai films of the period were performed “live” by actors and foley artists hidden just behind the screens.

Despite its numerous technical shortcomings, Golden Eagle will forever be remembered as the crowning glory in Chaibancha's stellar career, and not for the usual reasons. The final shot of Golden Eagle was filmed in one take, with Chaibancha dangling from a helicopter's rope ladder to the strains of Where Eagles Dare's climactic theme. As the helicopter headed towards the sea, however, Chaibancha lost his grip and plummeted several hundred feet to the beach below. Original cinema prints included the shot in full; this version respectfully closes of a freeze-frame of Red Eagle still on the ladder, with Thai text describing the circumstances of their hero's demise. He died as he lived - in one take, and with the cameras rolling almost continuously. In a way, it's a privilege to share an action hero's final moments on this earth as a big-screen spectacle. It's certainly not going to appear in a closing minutes of a Hollywood film, and considering some of our so-called action heroes, you almost wish it would happen more often.

[Golden Eagle is available on English subtitled DVD from as "In-Sree Tong" and from as "Insee thong". Thaicdexpress also has another Red Eagle film entitled "Aowasaan In See Dang"]

Originally, Andrew sent me the the above review plus "Eye of the Condor" to post on my Filipino blog, "When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines". However, that blog is basically devoted to trashy Filipino Vietnam War movies so it's with much pleasure I can finally post them here where they belong; on a website entirely devoted to world-weird films! :D

Fred Anderson's (Ninja Dixon) short Swedish language documentary film about Mitr Chaibancha.

EYE OF THE CONDOR (Thailand, 1984/87)

aka Eyes of the Condor (Greek VHS)

VHS/Greece/fullscreen/English dubbed/Greek subs
[click scan for proper size]

by Andrew Leavold
Most Filipino B-film exports would never have made it past Manila Customs if it weren't for the efforts of Davian International Ltd, a distribution and later production company formed by Hong Kong-born David Hung and his Philippines partner Vivian Andico (hence the “Dav-“ and “-ian” the company name) in 1986. Like Bobby A. Suarez before him, Hung had already muddied his boots in the low-budget distribution trenches as one of Joseph Lai's General Managers for Intercontinental Film Distribution Ltd, and was keen to source saleable action films for his fledgling company, primarily from his own back yard. Davian purchased the international rights to Tagalog-language films, recut them from their customary two hour running times to a more serviceable 90 minutes, and supervised the dubbing into English, more often than not in Quezon City. Hung would then set up a booth at Cannes and the American Film Market and peddle his wares directly to overseas distributors. In this way, even the most generic Tagalog action film for other local producers – such as the Dante Varona vehicle Commander Lawin (1981) and The Day They Robbed America (1985) - could be given a Davian makeover and raffled off to one of their less discerning customers.

Davian also procured a pair of Thai action films, the Sorapong Chatree-starrer Cobra Thunderbolt (dir. Tanong Srichua, 1984) and Eye Of The Condor, presumably from the same period, although Davian's version bears a 1987 copyright in its closing credit. And kudos to their impeccable taste, I should add: it's an ambitious and utterly charming crime-caper featuring a jewel thief, two cops, a bald Indian, two Caucasian baddies and a squadron of dwarves, all looking for the legendary Eye of the Condor, a precious diamond (the eighth largest in the world, we're constantly reminded, and the most beautiful). The gem disappears from its owner's exhibition on his yacht in the opening sequence: pandemonium breaks out as suave shyster Kenny Hemmings swims with the Eye to a waiting speedboat and his dwarf driver takes off, allowing Kenny to escape via the hang-glider conveniently located in the boat, thus living up to his moniker The Sky Robber! His slimy American boss tries to double-cross Kenny and his stubby sidekick, but they escape once again with the diamond, and hide out with the cherubic sidekick's miniature mates and their normal-sized sister Nancy, an odd household in which Nancy plays Snow White to their Five Dwarves. That is, if Snow White was Asian. And related to the Seven Dwarves. And if there were five... They're more like hyperactive children, running around "Uncle" Kenny's ankles and causing mayhem and structural damage while he suavely woos the suitably impressed Nancy.

A pair of cops are assigned to the case of the missing Eye. the glamorous yet humorless Lieutenant Phyllis (no-one's sure if it's her first or last name) and the more laissez-faire Captain Ben Daniel, and they manage to snare Kenny, only to befriend him (awww!) use him as bait to flush out the REAL Mr Big of the Syndicate, a silver-haired slimeball who looks and sounds like a Greek shipping magnate. The diamond goes missing several more times - once at an ice factory, once in an iced coffee, and once in one of the Five Dwarves' stomach - and the film becomes an endless cat-and-mouse game winding up on the Greek Tycoon's island lair, in a protracted, gloriously over-the-top action finale worthy of a Bobby A. Suarez film. It's here our director "Chalong" (S.T.A.B. [1976]) pulls out every trick from his Boys' Own Book of Action Theatrics. There's an invading army on jet skis, a commando squad of Indian Thuggees looking for their temple's sacred stone, and another hang-glider causing explosions galore. There are stunts on top of other stunts, and that's on top of the rest of the film's kung fu, tuk-tuk chase, mid-air knife fight, and the cheapest, ugliest furniture and sets, unfashionable EVEN for the Eighties.

Eye Of The Condor sounds like the rest of Davian's pickups, courtesy of their Quezon City dubbing team. It's not just your regular kung fu voiceovers; Davian's team use a plethora of silly and inappropriate voices, squeaks, panting and squarks, not least the penguin sounds uttered by the five munchkins. Luckily the film plays the dwarves' antics for cheap yucks, an essential ingredient in these Thai masala movies. Whether on the receiving end of a Three Stooges-style ladder gag or trotting out the old "one dwarf on the other's shoulders under a long coat pretending to be a tall person" routine, these little guys emote their hearts out and provide an added element to what's already a preposterous crime caper. I'm not sure if it's an absurdist element or the film's missing heart, but it lifts Eye Of The Condor far above most of South East Asia's relatively one-dimensional action movies into a completely new realm. And that's a tall order (f'nar, f'nar!).

Originally, Andrew sent me the the above review plus "Golden Eagle" to post on my Filipino blog, "When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines". However, that blog is basically devoted to trashy Filipino Vietnam War movies so it's with much pleasure I can finally post them here where they belong; on a website entirely devoted to world-weird films! :D

The lost Mondo Macabro chapter finally in print (well, download print anyway!)


On Cinehound forum Pete Tombs once made the mistake of mentioning that due to a lack of space there was a full chapter that didn't make it to the Mondo Macabro book! A chapter on Lollywood cinema (i.e. Pakistani cinema) written by none other than Omar Khan who directed HELL'S GROUND (aka Zibahkhana). It was a mistake (haha) cos it meant I've kept bugging him on Cinehound ever since to put it out on their blog or website! Unfortunately, for some reason MM hasn't wanted to do so. The chapter was actually included in the Spanish language edition of the MM book. However, ... lo and behold... Omar Khan has just put out what I believe is that chapter as an eBook (or eMag, whatever) for download! Go here. I can't comment on how good it is as I haven't read it yet (and thanks to Jared for the tip).

EDIT (Sep, 2012): Unfortunately, it seems OMAR KHAN is no longer selling his chapter on Lollywood via I haven't been able to find any other outlets that stock it (or is that "e-stock"?). Maybe he's given up on selling it entirely. Too bad.

BARBARA ANNE CONSTABLE Interview by Andrew Leavold

Barbara Anne Constable (aka Lady Terminator) in August 2010 with her kids, husband and Andrew Leavold

by Andrew Leavold
[originally published in Rave Magazine 03/08/10]

“First she mates…then she terminates!” the posters screamed outside New York City’s fleapit cinemas back in 1988, and for once it wasn’t just some Z film producer’s huckster hyperbole. One can only imagine the 42nd Street crowd’s reaction to bizarre Indonesian splatter-sci-fi Lady Terminator, with the plot of Arnie’s first Terminator grafted onto a supernatural horror tale of a South Seas Queen possessing an ‘American’ anthropologist.

Gorgeous, big-haired Barbara Anne Constable plays both Tania and the Queen’s unstoppable killing machine, mowing down hundreds of innocent bystanders with her AK-47, while - in an unexpected riff on the original Terminator - fornicating like a banshee. Breathtakingly surreal, hyper-sleazy and violent in equal doses, and crammed with one over-the-top action setpiece after another, the film is about as loopy as Asian exploitation gets.

London-born Barbara grew up a professional dancer in Australia whose leg injury took her to Hong Kong and into the world of modeling and fashion reporting. After a chance audition for an Indonesian film company, Barbara was offered the lead role in a local Terminator ripoff: no acting experience necessary, but physical endurance was a plus. The film’s cartoon-like Indian producer Ram Soraya “met me at the airport and held up a big wad of cash in US dollars to the customs officials when I arrived. So that set the scene.”

Without warning, Barbara was plunged into the Wild West chaos of Indonesian B-filmmaking. “Everybody were smoking joints on the set, people were off their nuts! I don’t know how they got anything done.” Barbara was expected to perform her own stunts, and as a dancer that didn’t pose a problem. Even so, her pain threshold was pushed to its limits. “I had so many near misses, like half car bodies flying and missing me by two centimetres! I nearly got killed so many times during that film…” After three grueling months of clinging onto car bonnets and being burnt by bullet squibs (“serious, second-degree burns!”), the final shot was Barbara kicking through a glass door. “The glass should have shattered into small pieces. It was a real pane of effing glass!”

Her ankle was skewered by a long shard of glass, just scraping past her Achilles tendon. Production was shut down for a month – with Barbara on full wages – while a military hospital stitched her up and she regained the ability to walk. “Then I shot that last scene, the candy glass broke the way it was supposed to, and we wrapped.

“Ram Soraya called me a couple of years later and said, ‘We want you to do a comedy.’ I said no. ‘I’ll pay you double?’ ‘No, I’m not coming back. I’ll never get out otherwise!’”

Barbara accepted her role –and her fate – as Lady Terminator, on the understanding that the film would never be screened outside Indonesia. Two years later, Ram Soraya sent Barbara a Betamax copy – and a press clipping the New York Times. “I was like, ‘You’re fucking kidding me?’ I was mortified.” Even more disturbing was the ‘possession scene’, in which a brutally primitive CGI snake slithers its way into her – ahem – bikini bottoms.

“They wanted me to fall onto a bed. I was tied up, and they wanted me to look like I was possessed. That was the scene. They didn’t say, ‘Afterwards we’re going to put this friggin’ snake thing that goes up your vagina…’!”

Is Barbara still mortified, I wanted to know. “I’ve seen it since with friends over a few drinks, and just laughed all the way through it. It’s a crack-up! People were like, ‘That’s YOU? That’s weird!’ I know!”

Barbara Anne Constable introduces Lady Terminator at Tribal Theatre on Friday 6th August, followed by a Q&A with Trash Video’s Andrew Leavold

Thanks to Andrew for letting me post this interview (and also BIG thanks for the super cool news he brought me today. News about a certain VHS. More on that later!).

For the original posting of this interview go HERE.

Trash Video’s GRINDHOUSE 101 presents WENG WENG vs LADY TERMINATOR! 8pm Friday 6th August at Tribal Theatre, 346 George St Brisbane

LADY TERMINATOR (1988) PLUS Q&A! "First she mates...then she terminates!" Ultra-bizarre Indonesian ripoff of Arnie's original Terminator with more sleaze, buckets more gore, and some of the most eye-popping action scenes to come out of South East Asian exploitation!

PLUS as a special treat, meet Lady Terminator herself, Barbara Anne Constable, as she introduces the movie and goes one-on-one with Trash Video's Andrew Leavold after the film!

PLUS... THE IMPOSSIBLE KID (1982) The return of Weng Weng (Agent OO), the two foot nine James Bond of the Philippines, in the sequel to Grindhouse 101 favourite For Y'ur Height Only! Ticket only $8.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

DEATH BOND (Philippines, 1988)

Nick Nicholson as a double-crossing sleaze-bag in DEATH BOND

Nick: "You know, I can't get over it".

Other guy: "What?"

Nick: "The striking resemblance between you and horse-shit!"

[review to come]

Puzon Film Enterprises, Inc. presents
A Conrad Puzon and Pierre C. Lee Production

Glass: Jeff Weston
Lt. Lane: Eves Hudson
Donahue: Darwyn Swalve
Stroh: Henry Strzalkowski
Lido: Nick Nicholson
Petey: Jeff Griffith
Sam: Eli Marder
Camille: Casey Staub
Admiral Smith: Francis Nerone
Frank: Marvin Bund
Sylvie: Chantal Manz
Ex-Wife: Melissa Dozier
Boyfriend: Guel Romero
John Lawrence: Warren Mclean
Bodyguard 1: Allan Klem
Bodyguard 2: Gregory Walsh
Young Lady: April Schutz
Young Kid: Aaron Staub
Bartender: Tony O'Donne
Bar Waiter: Dave Harrison
Rebel Leader 1: Joe Fisher
Rebel Leader 2: Albert Bronski
Helicopter Gunner: Philip Gordon
Helicopter Pilot: George Soeth
Car Driver: Robert Allen
Hotel Receptionist: Judy Smith
Assistant Director: Joe Towers
Production Manager: Glenn Parian
Casting Director: Vic Saad
Fight Stunt Director: Rey Sagum
Car Stunt Director: Baldo Marro
Costume Designer: Merlito Santos
Set Designer: Melchor Defensor
Special Effects: Jun Marbella
Script Continuity: Juliet Chentes
Production Assistant: Jerry Asuncion
Field Soundman: Donald Santos
Camera Operator 1: Pablo Bautista
Camera Operator 2: Bernardo Gavino
Electrician: George Rosales
Set Director: Tanny Perez
Wardrobe Master: Ron Henry Tan
Make-Up Artist: Teresa Mercader
Stunt Coordinator: Jolly Jogueta
Post Production Manager: Johnny Leoncio
Sound Mixer: Vic Macamay
Sound Effects Editor: Tony Gosalvez
Asst. Sound Effects Editor: Greg Torres
Assistant Editor 1: Willie Asuncion
Assistant Editor 2: Rene Dugtong
Property Master: Jerson Arididon
Location Manager: Dories Gallardo
Transport Manager: Lito Roranes
Schedule Master: Renato Mendoza
Wardrobe Assistant: Jude Quinito
Property Assistant: Angelito Estacio
Set Carpenters: Isko Ginoo, Romy Tarin
Set Artist: Jun Peregrino
Setman: Max Pangilinan
Property Custodian: Fe Herrera
Field Cashier: Meddy Tajonera
Production Accountant: Rita Pontanares
Production Secretary: Jossie Almazan
Best Boy 1: Jon-Jon Salazar
Best Boy 2: Alejandro Mendoza
Best Boy 3: Joey Lotivio
Props & Armory: Multi-Props, Inc.
Shooting Equipment: X'Or Production
Laboratory: P.I.A.
Sound Facilities: Magna Tech Omni
Title: Amang Buencamino

[all credits are from the print, not the bloody IMDb!!!]

[All screen grabs in this post are from my own ultra rare Greek video tape]

LADY TERMINATOR (Indonesia, 1988)

Original title: Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan
aka Revenge of the South Seas Queen / The Nasty Hunter

PS: Not to be confused with neither the Indonesian movie Lady Exterminator nor the Hong Kong Shaw Brothers film also called Lady Exterminator.

This is a review that I wrote for my zine Banned in Britain #2 in 2004 [if you saw this when I first made the post you would've seen I mistakenly wrote "1994" which isn't correct. My first issue came out in '94 but the review wasn't printed till 2004]. You can download the entire issue from my other blog HERE. We also have a thread entirely devoted to the film over on Cinehound. Go HERE.

VHS/Japan/letterbox/English audio/Japanese subs/this is the fully uncut print which contains bits and pieces that are missing from the Mondo Macabro DVD.
[click scan for full size]

Dir: Jalil Jackson aka H. Tjut Djalil (Indonesia 1988)
Cast: Barbara Anne Constable, Claudia Angelique Rademaker, Christopher J Hart, Joseph P McGlyn, Yurike Prastica, Anna Sylviana, Nurwita, Ikang Fawzi, Harun Syarief, H. I. M. Damsjik, Jack Maland, Yuni Arso, Eddy Gunawan, Johan Saimima.

Uuhhh... this is a wet dream come true!!!
A perfect DVD release of the Indonesian gore & exploitation fest Lady Terminator!!!
All I can say to the good people at Mondo Macabro in England is thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I’ve been hoping for a proper release of Lady Terminator ever since I rented a PAL copy off an American NTSC bootleg video tape a couple of years ago at a video rental in a seedy part of downtown Copenhagen. Obviously I made a copy off the rental tape and I reckon the version I was left with is a fuzzy 4th or 5th generation copy (on top of being a transfer from NTSC) - in other words not a brilliant copy, ha, ha.

Actually it was so unbelievably bad that I never even bothered to pull it out to watch again. I loved the film but thought it deserved to be watched in a better quality. And a version with a mucho better quality is exactly what I’ve got in my greasy paws now: The amazing brand new DVD from Mondo Macabro in the UK (although they chose to put it out on their US branch).

‘But what exactly IS an Indonesian film’ (well, apart from it being from Indonesia obviously) I hear you utter. ‘Is it like a Hong Kong movie or what?’ Well, I’ll tell you what, I haven’t got all day so why dontcha just rush out and get hold of Pete Tombs’ great book ‘Mondo Macabro’ and let him tell ya all about it, hah! (I’m so funny I kill myself). No, seriously, I’ve only got two pages left (pages that were actually earmarked for an incredibly cheesy BRMC interview but as soon as I got hold of THIS new release THAT interview went into the toilet!) so I’ll try and give you a crash course in Indo flicks but it’ll be brief and since everything I know about Indo flix I got from the Pete Tombs’ book anyway I still urge you to go get his book!

The Indonesian government was apparently mucho corrupto in the 1970s and what do you do if yer a corrupt government? Well, you slack off in the moral dep. and thus film censorshit regulations loosened up and the sleazy film exploiters that we all know (and whose products we fester on) from other parts of the world soon popped up everywhere in Indonesia too. Films with gore, action and (to a lesser degree) sex came out by the bucket load.

Well apparently cos I haven’t actually watched very many of these flicks myself, just a handful - but what a handful! And according to Pete Tombs’ book, the Indo flicks became more and more outrageous as the 70s switched to the 80s. But in 1988 a film came out that apparently was so crude it made the Indo film regulators choke and, sadly, introduce new censorship rules. That film was Lady Terminator! Actually, when the authorities found out how over-the-top Lady T is they banned it right away. But although it only ran for nine days at the cinemas more that 100,000 people saw it!

As I said before, I haven’s watched very many Indo flicks (as of yet but after having watched cool stuff like Lady T, Devil’s Sword, Mystics in Bali, Queen of Black Magic and a few other ones you can bet yer ass I’ll be tracking more down!) but so far it seems to me that some Indo flicks are very much like the early 80s HK horror flicks, just without the slapstick! And also, it may be hard to imagine but they’re done even more cheap!

If you’ve seen stuff like Black Magic With Buddha (which I reviewed in #1 ten years ago!), Blood Of The Black Dog or The Rape After then you know what I’m talking about. Well, some of the Indo flicks are like this while others are... different... ehh, well, mebbe this isn’t such a grand explanation - as I said, go get hold of Pete Tombs’ book (they have it at Amazon). By the way, there’s also a quite good documentary (from the Mondo Macabro tv series from UK tv) on the disc. Needles to say it’s compulsory viewing!!

The first time I encountered a bit of exciting Indo celluloid was when Discovery Channel showed a docu (sorry, don’t remember the title) on horror movies for Halloween some time back in the 90s. A short segment from a film showed a guy who suddenly pulled off his own head in gory detail in the middle of a crowd! The film was Queen of Black Magic (which, in some markets, is released as part 3 of the Hong Kong Black Magic series although it’s got nothing to do with those [totally awesome] movies) and it’s got gore, black magic and flying heads galore. See it if you can!

Anyway, enough of this babble, lets habla a bit about the damn movie itself then we can always come back to this pointless drivel later, shall we!
As you can probably figure out yourself Lady Terminator has something in common with the ol’ Arnie favourite, however, we’re not talking some mere inspiration here, we’re talking a fucken remake... a remake done Indo style - incl. a babetious 80s chick in Arnie’s role! And she isn’t even an android!!

VHS/Argentina/fullscreen/English audio/Spanish subs

The story goes a bit like this: 100 years ago there was a queen called ‘Queen of the South Sea’ who would lure scores of men to bed but none of them could live up to her expectations and they would all get killed ‘in the act’. Well, until man no. 1000 figured out the trick: when she would ‘ride’ her man a snake would slip outta her pussy and kill the unfortunate guy (ouch!).

However, man #1000 just grabbed the snake and pulled it out after which it turned into a kris (i.e. a dagger). After this, the horny queen was cursed to go the bottom of the sea for 100 yrs but, of course, just before departure she swore to come back after 100 yrs to take revenge on the guy’s great granddaughter.

Jump to the present (well, mid 80s!). A young, sexy American chick with big, curly 80s hair (actually she looks like a girl I knew once who, as it turned out, was trouble too, ahh) is in Indonesia to study the legend of the ‘Queen of the South Sea’. The legend says that soon after the Queen’s demise her castle went into the sea, and although the young, sexy American chick with curly 80s hair doesn’t believe the part about the Queen she oddly enough believes the part about the sunken castle (no, it doesn’t make sense - just don’t think too much about it and enjoy the film!).

The young, sexy... etc. soon finds some old geezer who owns a book about the whereabouts of the old sunken castle and to make a long story short she rents a boat with a crew, dives down and is possessed by the old South Sea Queen! This is when the fun begins!

The sexy chick returns from the sea, her own mind is now gone and she has fully become the incarnation of the ‘Queen of... etc.’ She puts on a leather jacket, a bra and an AK47 - and then she goes to work, i.e. looking for the doomed great granddaughter. The rest is a tour de force in over-the-top gory exciting exploitation action!!

The film is a remake of The Terminator - and it’s not! The plot is kinda the same, but most of the details are explained differently: No one comes back from the future, there is a terminator but it’s not a cyborg. The terminator pulls out it’s own eye but it’s not a mechanical one. The person behind the terminator doesn’t wanna change the future... she’s just royally pissed off because she couldn’t kill her fuck no. 1000!! And so on. The story-line is very much the same, the details are just very different.

Also, what is totally over-the-top fun are the scenes that are carbon copies of the original: The scene when the great granddaughter is attacked the first time in a bar and saved by a guy - in this version an American cop working in Indonesia (!!!) (for fuck’s sake, he even says the legendary line: ‘If you wanna live come with me’!!). And there is the police station scene where the terminator basically destroys the whole station and kills everyone except her main target.

On top of all this, Lady Terminator is both quite gory and there’s quite a few scenes where the sexy terminator takes her top off (uh, since this IS an Indonesian movie I guess I should point out that I don’t mean she takes her head off and it flies away - but that she takes her shirt off! Ahm...).

About the gore; there’s one totally rad scene at the police station in which Lady T guns down a cop, but hey, although he’s dead she’s not satisfied, so she shoots him again, in fact she blows him into a bloody pulp... but she’s still not happy, so she puts a last touch on killing him by kicking him in the balls!! I guess you’ll have to be a gorehound to enjoy films like this! (but hey, why else would you be reading this here mag?).

What else can you say about this awesome piece of gory exploitica. Well, heaps probably but unfortunately we’re out of space this time ‘round, but I URGE you to get hold of this flick. It is totally o.t.t. amazing and VERY enjoyable. But before I finish off I just want to comment on a review in Oriental Cinema vol. 2, #9. Some fuck-face reviewer (not the overly cool editor Damon Foster, mind you!!) bitched about Lady Terminator being without any creativity and stealing ideas from an American film!

Firstly, I think it’s funny that this criticism comes from an American of all nationalities!! I mean, it’s not like we have NEVER seen or heard of an American film that bluntly stole everything from a foreign film, is it?! Like, it’s only happened a billion times!! At the moment, the Yanks are about to remake every motherfucken horror film ever made in Japan!! And how about Nikita!? How about Godzilla!? How about The Vanishing!? How about a zillian-trillian other Asian and European films!? They even remade Faulty Towers for fuck’s sake!!! Besides, this ass-wipe reviewer seems to forget that stealing from big blockbusters and remaking them for peanuts, adding tons of gore and sex THAT IS WHAT EXPLOITATION CINEMA IS ALL ABOUT YOU FUCKING MORON!!!

Anyway, enough of this (besides, the bloody wanker wrote that review eight yrs ago and has probably forgotten all about it by now, ha ha). Just don’t sit on yer arse and complain about my review being about a film from an uncool place like Indonesia or that it’s a remake. It doesn’t matter where a film comes from or whatever. What matters is whether a film is entertaining or not. I’ve watched Lady T five times and I’m gonna watch it again!
I’m off, see you next time. [new note: this was the last review in that issue, hence the farewell]

Version reviewed: Mondo Macabro (US) [DVD, ntsc, reg. 0] letterbox, dubbed in English, uncut, 82 min. Extras: Docu from UK tv on Indo films, trailer, alternate scenes + quite a bit of reading material and previews of other Mondo Macabro releases.

DVD/USA/Mondo Macabro/letterbox/English audio/no subs

Ad-mat/USA/from Fred Adelman's collection