The spirit of an ancient evil queen posesses the body of a young anthropological student, who then goes on a murderous rampage.The spirit of an ancient evil queen posesses the body of a young anthropological student, who then goes on a murderous rampage.The spirit of an ancient evil queen posesses the body of a young anthropological student, who then goes on a murderous rampage.
The story is a rehash of the South Sea Queen mythos, where a demon (or God) of the sea cannot quench her physical satisfaction, so she kills all her potential lovers. One man is able to satisfy, and she instantly places a curse on his great-great granddaughter. Jump to the future, and an anthropologist is on the hunt for the South Sea Queen's castle under the sea and ironically transforms into a Terminator creature determined to kill, kill, and finally kill the person who carries what the great-great grandfather stole from her many years ago. It is part sci-fi (though I couldn't tell you which part), it is part fantasy, and it pure uncut hilarious. "Lady Terminator" is one of those great films that you find, sit down with a group of friends, have some beers, and laugh endlessly. Then, the film carries – it goes from one friend to another until cult status is reached. Despite perhaps not knowing anything about it, upon watching you will see the cult ability all over it. The "Terminator" references, the fantastic final battle, and everything in between. Made in 1988, "Lady Terminator" again carries nothing for the average film snob to discover. There is bad acting from the beginning. The lack of continuity between the shots is disruptive at first, but as the film continues to escalate from one battle to the next, it seems to make sense. This is an ultra-low budget film that was created out of Indonesia to help a booming film market. There is an interesting documentary within this film that discusses how and why films of this nature were created. Sure, there is no budget, no great actors, and sloppy editing (the list could go on), but this film has heart. It tries and it succeeds as a film like "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter" did. It is one of those undiscovered cult films that needs to be pulled out of the dark.
Unlike most US Hollywood films, there is little to say about this film. The structure was faulty and the concept was riddled with holes, but unlike American films, it pushes through. It continues to add onto itself by creating one skewed iconic references after another. Mando Macabro has done a fabulous job of releasing this DVD. While the transfer suffers (only because it is probably the only transfer available), what it makes up in are special features and previews of upcoming releases. If "Lady Terminator" doesn't inspire you to watch more from the Indonesian catalogue – well, one should reconsider themselves a worldwide cinephile.
Overall, I loved this film. It isn't a film for anyone, if you loved "LA Confidential" or can't get enough "Gladiator", than I don't suggest putting this film in your player – but if you are a fan of explosions and nudity, random Panzer tanks, and cheap James Cameron – than watch this film. There is a thought I had; perhaps this redefine of the "Terminator" film is trying to show us what the core of the original "Terminator" was all about. Was it a sad story about the future, or merely a gun friendly film? The world may never know. Watch this movie. Try to find it or pay the $20+ to get it. You will not be disappointed. Better than any "Transformers 2" could ever wish to be!
Grade: **** 1/2 out of *****
- Nov 1, 2009