Lady Terminator

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“She came from the past, to destroy your future. Or something like that.”

Watching the unstoppable female killing machine in this 1988 Indonesian film might make Terminator 3 seem less original – except most of the concept here, as well as entire scenes and exact lines of dialogue, come directly from the original Terminator. There are admittedly twists, such as the incorporation of local folklore figure, the Queen of the South Seas. She gets miffed at her lover, and vows vengeance on his descendants. A century later, a scuba-diving anthropologist (who reminds us with lines like, “I’m not a lady, I’m an anthropologist”), gets possessed, and goes after a great-granddaughter (Rademaker).

However, it’s amazing how close 80% of this is, as said unstoppable female killing machine (Constable) runs amok, with no concern for collateral damage and apparently infinite ammo. Heroine defended by macho human (Hart)? Check. Assault on a cop station? Check? Impromptu eyeball surgery and “Come with me if you want to live”? Check x 2. Admittedly, Arnie never bit anyone’s dick off with his vagina, and most of the special effects here are primitive, to say the least. Hence, the rating above is a composite: fans of wacky, weird cinema will love it, those expecting sophistication or polish will hate it, and there’s not likely to be much middle ground.

Mondo Macabro’s DVD does full justice to the film, with a good-quality print, an amazing trailer (under its alternate title, Nasty Hunter) and background info including a fine 25-minute documentary on the region’s exploitation films. Having reviewed Indo-“classic”, Special Silencers in 1991, it’s nice to see the rest of the world catching up, and appreciating the delights – take that how you want – of Indonesian cinema. Though given recent events, the footage of huge waves crashing on the shore is perhaps the most horrific thing in the whole endeavour.

Dir: Jalil Jackson
Star: Barbara Anne Constable, Claudia Rademaker, Christopher J. Hart

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