Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pembalasan ratu pantai selatan (1989)

... aka: Lady Terminator
... aka: Nasty Hunter
... aka: Revenge of the South Seas Queen, The
... aka: Shooting Star
... aka: Snake Terminator
... aka: Terminator Woman

Directed by:
"Jalil Jackson" (H. Tjut Djalil)

Sometimes I regret having a ratings system on this blog because movies like Lady Terminator, and the strange enjoyment they provide, really transcend all that. On one hand, this whole thing is completely laughable. The acting is mostly terrible, the dialogue is terrible, the dubbing makes both even more terrible and the whole thing is a blatant rip-off of the previous year's big hit The Terminator (1984). On the other hand, it's so over-the-top, so sleazy, so loaded down with sex and violence and so utterly ridiculous that you can't help but be thoroughly entertained. The fact the filmmakers went into this with serious intentions makes it all the more enjoyable. During the pre-credits sequence we're shown what the legendary South Sea Queen was up to 100 years ago, i.e. fucking a man to death, having her handmaidens drag away the body and then sighing "Is there any man who can satisfy me?" A man named Elias shows up to her castle home and seems to be doing a pretty good job at it until he steals an eel that comes out of her vagina (!) The eel then turns into a sword, lightning strikes and the Queen tells the guy that in a century she'll be back to get her revenge on his great granddaughter. She then vanishes and walks out into the sea.






A century later, American anthropology student Tania Wilson (Barbara Anne Constable) shows up in Indonesia working on her thesis. The subject? The South Sea Queen, of course! She goes to get a book and is warned by the librarian not to mess with this stuff. She then charters a boat and is warned by the captain not to mess with this stuff. And then she messes with this stuff, goes snorkeling by the the now-underwater castle the queen used to live in and ends up tied to a bed where a poorly animated eel enters her between the legs. Now possessed by the evil queen, Tanya emerges from the ocean buck naked and encounters two drunk punks on the beach; both of whom she proceeds to fuck to death. She goes to a hotel, destroys the room with lightning bolts that shoot out of her eyes and then kills a security guard by, you guessed it, fucking him to death. When castrated bodies start filling up the morgue ("I've heard of the ultimate blow job but this is too much!"), widowed detective Max McNeil (Christopher J. Hart) and a few of his officer buddies are on the case.






Erika (Claudia Angelique Rademaker) is a fast-rising pop star who also happens to be the descendant the Queen wants to snuff out. The possessed Tanya (now dressed in leather pants, boots, studded jacket and a spandex sports bra) starts following Erika around everywhere armed with a machine gun. She shoots up a mall, shoots up a nightclub and shoots up a police station in bloody, action-packed scenes. Erika's white-haired great uncle Masabu (played by the director) shows up long enough to give her a special dagger; the only thing that can stop the Queen, before taking a round of ammo directly to the crotch. There are two car chases, lots of car crashes and explosions and plenty of blood-letting; including an eyeball getting pulled out and at least a hundred people getting gunned down. A few of Max's gung-ho American army buddies fly in for the big finale, which is set at an airport and features a helicopter firing missiles at Tanya's car and her getting blown up with a rocket launcher, only to emerge as a burned-up zombie shooting pink lasers out of her eyes. Amazing stuff!






Despite being surrounded by awful actors, Constable is actually pretty memorable in the central role and has the emotionless evil scowl down pat. She's also super sexy and looks great naked, so that doesn't hurt matters either. Born in London, prior to making this film she was a model and dancer who'd also appeared as a featured 'Pet' in Australian Penthouse. Here, she impressively does most of her own difficult-looking stunts and she even suffered several injuries during the 3-month shoot. This was sadly her only major role and she also gets a credit for doing the make-up. Oh, and I'd be amiss if I didn't even mention Max's pal Snake (Adam Stardust); a mullet-sporting, pot-smoking dude who speaks in a hilarious surfer dude accent.






The DVD is from Mondo Macabro, who also released the director's flying witch head oddity MYSTICS IN BALI (1981). Don't miss it.

It Came from Outer Space (1953)

... aka: Atomic Monster
... aka: Invasion from Mars
... aka: Meteor, The
... aka: Strangers from Outer Space

Directed by:
Jack Arnold


A large, fiery meteor crash lands right outside of the small desert town of Sand Rock, Arizona. Astronomer and writer John Putnam (Richard Carlson), who's just moved to the area from the big city for a more low key kind of life, and his school teacher girlfriend Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush), are having a late date night and happen to spot the crash. They charter a helicopter from Pete and fly out to the huge, smoking crater where the meteor hit. John goes down to further explore things and realizes that it wasn't just a meteor that hit the Earth but a spherical spaceship. John also spots a shiny, glittery substance all over the ground. A sudden avalanche occurs and covers the craft with tons of rock before anyone else can see it. Once the authorities finally show up, John relays what he saw and demands that the area be sealed off until they can determine what exactly is going on. That's not quite what happens. No one takes him seriously. He and Ellen don't even really go into much detail about the large, one-eyed monster they briefly spotted in the middle of the road on their way back home either. What's the point?









The following day, an article mocking John's claims appears in the morning paper and the crater is swarming with military men, news crews and the local authorities. John's colleague Dr. Snell is also there, but even he doesn't believe his friend's claims because the lack of radioactivity and all of the available evidence points to it just being a meteor. Snell refuses to authorize an expensive excavation and other accuse John of just wanting free publicity for a book he's currently writing. Strange things begin to occur. Telephone repairmen Frank (Joe Sawyer) and George (Russell Johnson) keep picking up weird interference on the telephone lines. On their way back into town, both men cross paths with one of the alien visitors, who demonstrates its ability to duplicate and impersonate humans.









The aliens, now using the appearance of George and Frank but speaking in an emotionless monotone, head into town to look around and gather up things they need. Others - including a trio of prospectors, Dr. Snell and eventually Ellen - all vanish. When John finally gets to have a conversation with the aliens, he's informed that they mean humans no harm, but they can and will do terrible things if they're forced to. They are on Earth by sheer accident and now simply want to repair their ship and leave. They know we will do stupid things if we see them because we humans fear and then try to destroy things we don't understand. The people who have turned up missing haven't been killed; they are simply being held for collateral until the aliens can make a safe getaway. John decides to heed their warnings and lay low. Sheriff Matt Warren (Charles Drake), a childhood friend of Ellen's who from all indications is in love with her, isn't sure if they can be trusted and unwisely decides to organize a posse to destroy them.







This classic, influential Universal sci-fi flick (adapted from Ray Bradbury's short story by Harry Essex; rumor has it that Essex's script is almost identical to Bradbury's original treatment) has some heavy-handed dialogue and stilted acting (though the leads are alright), but it's entertaining, well-shot and has proved to be quite influential over the years. The very attractive Rush actually won a Golden Globe in the now-defunct "Most Promising Newcomer - Female" category for this performance. Originally released to theaters in 3D (Universal's first release to take advantage of the technology), where it became a hit. Roger Duchowny's made-for-TV "sequel" It Came from Outer Space 2 debuted on TV in 1996.

Climax of Blue Power, A (1975)

... aka: Deviate in Blue
... aka: Impersonator, The
... aka: Passion of Blue Power, The
... aka: Taste of Blue Power, The

Directed by:
"F.C. Perl" (Lee Frost)

Veteran exploitation director Lee Frost (using the name "F.C. Perl" here), who'd worked on such varied films as the haunted house nudie House on Bare Mountain (1962), the influential pre-Ilsa Nazisploitation flick (and video nasty) Love Camp 7 (1969), the biker flick Chrome and Hot Leather (1971) and the drive-in favorite The Thing with Two Heads (1972), decided to crank it up a few notches with this mean-spirited "roughie." Clearly, this was originally a soft X film and had hardcore inserts added to the mix later. I'm not sure if Frost filmed the more explicit stuff or not, but it was obviously shot at a different time because the lighting is completely different and the actresses in the original 'soft' film are not the same actresses pretending to be them in the hardcore shots. The lead actor, "Jason Carns" (I. William Quinn) however was brought back to help with the continuity (i.e. shoot some of the hard stuff). Quinn, who'd only appeared in R-rated films, was both better looking and a (slightly) better actor than your typical male X star. He'd previously had a memorable role as a gay hustler who got picked up by a necro mortician in the bizarre LOVE ME DEADLY (1973), and this was his sole venture into porn territory.






As Climax opens, NYC police officer Eddie (Quinn) busts Linda ("Linda Harris" / Starlyn Simone) for prostitution. On the drive to the station, he tries to scare her about a large court fine and all the "mean dykes" awaiting her in prison, then offers her an opportunity to get out of it. If she'll give him a blowjob, he'll let her off the hook: "For thirty minutes I'll save you thirty days." She reluctantly agrees, he drives off into the country, makes her strip in the backseat and then starts having his way with her. But this isn't sex for pleasure, it's sex for power. Eddie doesn't even finish. He suddenly stops, slaps her around, pulls a gun on her, forces her to get out of the car during the middle of a rain storm and "lay down in the mud and jerk off" while he watches and finishes himself off. After he's through, he informs her "You can get back to town on your own. I don't want to get my car dirty" and takes off, leaving the poor, terrified, naked girl out in the middle of nowhere. This sequence brings to mind real-life stories you'll see crop up in the news from time to time; ones of cops picking up prostitutes and beating / raping them, and also stories of men pretending to be cops to lure women into traps so they can rape them. In the case of Eddie, it's the latter.






Law enforcement is a profession that happens to quite fascinate me. There seem to be two specific and diametrically opposed types of people drawn to this line of dangerous work. The first are those selfless individuals who genuinely want to be of service to and help other people. On the flip side, there are those who secretly get their jollies being in a position of authority and power (and are just as apt to abuse that privilege). You can probably guess which camp Eddie falls into. Disappointed by his failures in life, he's stuck working as a lowly security guard who constantly gets hounded and belittled by his boss. Feeling otherwise powerless about his life, he vents by taking his frustrations out on women. And he has a particular predilection for women who are breaking the law and help indulge his desire to exert force over them.

Word from the streets about what he's been up to gets back to some real cops (played by Frost film regulars Wes Bishop and Marland Proctor), who promptly begin looking into things. A lonely, reclusive type, Eddie is out walking the beach one day when he hears a commotion coming from a beach house. When he peers inside the window, he sees a couple involved in a violent fight. The man has just discovered his wife Mildred (Angela Carnon) has been having an affair and comes at her with a gun. Mildred manages to get it away from him and shoots him dead. Eddie, who constantly listens in to the police dispatch on his CB radio, starts getting angry that the woman hasn't yet been arrested ("She's got to be punished!") But first, a trip to a massage parlor to, uh, relieve some tension.






At the massage parlor, the obese owner (Bob Cresee) offers Eddie the option of one or two girls who specialize in French and Japanese techniques. He walks off with Uschi Digard and ends up in a room with two completely different women. What follows is a long sex scene utilizing both Quinn and a completely different actor who keeps his head turned from the camera the entire time to conceal his identity! And it's too bad Uschi just disappeared, because the two girls who do this scene aren't very attractive and one has what appears to be a hemorrhoid on her ass. This scene also doesn't fit all that well with the frustrated psycho theme since Eddie completes his task and nods off afterward, where he has sepia-toned visions of what went down at Mildred's as well as fantasies of apprehending the murderess while spooky music plays.

Unable to get the woman out of his mind, Eddie returns to the beach house and spies on her having sex with her lover on the couch not even 24 hours after she'd killed her husband; a crime she has successfully managed to pass off as a suicide. After watching a subtitled sex loop, he has a dream that he handcuffs Mildred to a police car, rapes her and then whips her with his belt, then has another dream of her giving him a massage, their doubles having sex and some cat o' nine tails crotch whipping. Eddie eventually shows up at Mildred's house. He pulls a gun on her, tries to get her to confess to the crime, slaps her around, ties her up and locks her in a bedroom until she's willing to spill the beans. And then, something really odd happens. Eddie barges in on her wearing a blonde wig, make-up and a backless dress, strips her, feels her up, bathes her, violates her with his finger, tosses her on the bed and rapes her and then whips her with a belt. Everything leads up to a police car chase that ends in a bizarre and very unsatisfying fashion.






While the hardcore inserts do give this film a nastier edge than it otherwise would have had, it also does the film some harm. The fair-skinned, dark-haired Carnon refused to participate in the graphic sex, so who did these guys get to stand in for her? A sun-baked blonde with bad tan lines! If one can ignore all that, this is fairly well-acted and effectively sick and twisted if you like that kind of thing.

1/2
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