Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Ratu Buaya (1983)

... aka: Alligator Queen

Directed by:
M. Sharieffudin A.

Martial arts instructor Begawan Brata (Rukman Herma[n]), who has exploding mini-skulls on his shoulders, proves to be no match for three of his evil students, who promptly kick him to the ground and then crush his chest with their fists. The pupils - muscular ringleader Santara (Dadang Iskandar), the big bald Sandala (Hendry A.H.) and the long-haired, almost-mute Anay (Yacod Essad) - have their sights set on learning some magical kung fu called White Tiger Skull to help them gain dominance over their village. However, the secrets are kept by another man named Resi Tunggal Manik (Deddy Sutomo) who's living an otherwise ordinary life working as an innkeeper alongside his beautiful wife. When the thugs show up at the inn and cause problems, Resi uses his skills, which include being able to throw a punch from a distance away and having a white whirlwind sweep in and transform him into a peerless younger fighter (played by "guest star" Teddy Purba), to drive them away. The bad guys are then defeated a second time by Resi's magic fu whenever they decide to ambush him and his wife while they're on a raft ride. Having had enough of getting their asses kicked and Resi refusing to divulge his magical secrets, the men then decide to get even nastier.

Meanwhile, Ratu Buaya (Enny Beatrice), or The Alligator / Crocodile Queen to us English speakers, tries to keep to herself for the most part and is usually content cruising down the river standing atop two alligators. However, if she's hassled, she's got a can of whoop ass ready for whoever deserves it. For starters, her alligators can transform into alligator women who look human but have scaly legs, arms and claws. Second, she and her girls are all skilled in karate. Well, that's what we're to believe but watching them in action seriously puts that into question! Third, she can shoot blue lasers from her fingertips to freeze her opponents. The martial arts school dropouts who come after her are no match.

Ratu Buaya lives in an underwater kingdom and sits upon a two-headed alligator throne. There's a bubbling, foggy pool of water that looks like a giant hot tub that the Queen and her maidens occasionally jump into naked and sensuously splash around in. However, most of the prints of this, including the VCD that I watched, optically fog out most of the T&A. It's a rather weird censor job since you can still occasionally see asses and nipples every now and then so why they even bothered is anyone's guess. The Queen also frequently makes love to one of the lucky, hand-selected alligators from her pool. Seeing an alligator crawl on top of a woman and have her caressing it and putting its claw between her legs is a bizarre sight if there ever was one!

Santara and his men end up raping and killing Desi's wife while he's away and then tear down their house. When Desi returns, he gets into another fight with them but is defeated, forced to reveal his secret and then gets kicked into the water. During the struggle, his newborn baby accidentally got tossed into the river, where she was snatched up by a gator and taken to the underwater kingdom of the Alligator Queen. Resi, too, ends up being rescued by the gators.

Now armed with the knowledge they need, Santara, Sandala, Anay and another man who's basically a Star Trek "red shirt" and spontaneously combusts before the trip is completed. ascend a smoldering volcano, meditate, chant, start sweating blood and then release some kind of spirit from within the volcano. Santara's eyes glow green. Anay transforms into a cackling old witch (Dhalia) who then turns into a younger female kung fu fighter in pink (!) who fights Sandala, hits him with a pink laser, turns him silver and then rips his head off (!!!) After speaking with his disembodied head, she reattaches it and then blows up his entire body with another laser (!?) Anay transforms back into himself but then must fight Santara, which ends with Santara thrusting his hands into Anay's stomach and pulling out his guts. I reckon Santara now has all of the power. He even gets to consummate his relationship in a skull-lined cave with the witch, who is at least kind enough to transform back into the younger version of herself beforehand.

Many years pass. Desi's baby girl Dewi (Siska Widowati) is all grown up and has been trained in magic and martial arts by both her father and Ratu Buaya. A young man named Linggar (Harry Capri), who was conceived during the Santara / witch coupling, is also all grown up and he too has been trained in magic and martial arts by the witch. Linggar is sent out on a quest by his mum. After stopping by a village to beat up some thugs, he goes to the beach where a castle rises from the ocean, glows and (literally!) rolls out a red carpet for him. He enters and is met with a bunch of hostile, spear-chucking alligator women trying to kill him. Dewi pleads with the Queen to spare his life so he's thrown into a cell instead. He's soon let out to fraternize with Desi and his daughter, whom he quickly falls in love with. Family secrets are eventually revealed and end up being the undoing of several characters.

There's lots of floating, flying, flipping, spinning, levitating, laser battles, gore, meditating, prayer, prayer inside of stomachs, sloppy wire work, cheap sets, voice-overs, terrible wigs and terrible special effects. At one point, the lead just randomly pulls off his own arm for no reason. This is that kind of movie. The numerous fight scenes, featuring all kinds of reverse film leaps, rapid fire jump cuts and continuity errors, are some of the most ineptly staged and edited you'll see. Take that as a recommendation if you want. While there's plenty of assorted weirdness and what-the-fuck moments sprinkled throughout, it all becomes rather numbing in its incoherence after awhile and the ending, featuring many of the main characters brawling around a waterfall, is even messier than the rest of the film.

This rare title is currently not even listed on IMDb and it's never been released in English. Not to be confused with Buaya Putih (1982; aka The White Crocodile) starring Yati Octavia or the Suzzanna vehicle Ratu buaya putih (1988; aka: The White Alligator or White Crocodile Queen).

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