Sunday, April 03, 2005

What I'm Watching: Lady Terminator

You can’t accuse this typically wacky Indonesian laughfest of false advertising, that’s for sure. (Well, except for the word ‘lady,’ anyway.) A merging of an apparently venerable Javanese legend featuring the sexually voracious South Sea Queen and The Terminator, this is the film for all those who found Jim Cameron’s film entirely lacking in naked boobies and male genital damage.

We open with the South Sea Queen attempting to slake her mighty lust. Men who fail to satiate her, however, end up being emasculated in the most direct method. Finally, a particularly manly man shows up and manages to scratch her itch. While the spent Queen lays recumbent, he reaches between her legs and pulls a snake from her heehaw (those wacky Asians) and transforms it into a dagger. Irate, the Queen curses him, in the typical form of “I’ll get your great granddaughter a hundred years from now” kind of thing. I never understood why people were supposed to be freaked by curses to people who are, for all intents and purposes, complete strangers to them.

Anyhoo, in the present, a young woman is researching a paper on the Queen, and is given a tome by a wizened gent who warns her of serious consequences to her soul but hands the book over anyway. Can’t these guys ever just say, “You know, I don’t think that’s a very good idea.” The woman, I guess (linier continuity does not exactly reign supreme in Indonesian movies), uses the books to ascertain the location of the Queen’s undersea palace. She swims down there, ends up in the princess’ bedchamber, is spread-eagled by enchanted scarves, and receives a snake up her heehaw.

From there on out the movie basically becomes an often scene to scene remake of The Terminator. Rising from the sea, the New and quite naked Queen approaches some punks and engages in sex/castration with them, and I guess maybe takes some of their clothes, although the ones she wears in the rest of the movie are awful form fitting. It must be magic, I guess.

The MacGuffin is an amulet that the unwitting Granddaughter has. There follows a lot of Terminator/Sarah Connor action, with the Kyle Reese character replaced by a cop who does indeed say at one point, “Come with me if you want to live.” Meanwhile, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that the film’s biggest setpiece involves the Queen massacring about two hundred cops at a police station.

I will never become a huge fan of the sleazier Asian stuff (and this isn’t even close to the worst of it). While I find the occasional such film amusing, ultimately I’m a tad too squeamish to enjoy a run of them, and the lack of interior story logic in these things always gives me a slight headache. Still, I can’t deny that this one delivers exactly what it advertises.

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