Let's quickly mention the countries most noted for filmmaking. The United States leads the way, of course, with a whole city devoted to churning out cinematic marvels. France has a long tradition of releasing thought provoking films in nearly every conceivable genre, and has recently added amazingly grim horror films to the mix. Britain occasionally throws out something interesting, as do Germany and Spain. Italy, it should go without saying, knows how to make films even though they've lost a lot of steam in the past few years. Who else? Oh, Asian cinema is really making waves here now with what seems like hundreds upon hundreds of horror titles that are completely restructuring the terror genre. Japan, Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong--from these places artful nightmares spring. Finally, we cannot discount the contributions from Indonesia. INDONESIA? Yep, 'tis true. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the Indonesian film biz received a boatload of government money to make a bunch of movies for export to the States and beyond. Thanks to a DVD company called Mondo Macabro, we can finally sit in our homes and enjoy the fruits of Indonesia's cinematic excursions. God help us all. Unfortunately, God is nowhere to be found.
Cue "Lady Terminator," an amazing amalgamation of action movie, Indonesian folklore, and a mountain of artery clogging cheese. Others below have performed an excellent post-mortem on this unholy terror, but I'll go ahead and throw out another summary. The film begins by introducing us to the legend of the Queen of the South Sea, a rather vituperative old biddy who spends her days lounging around the undersea palace luring young men to her bed. No mortal can satisfy her cravings, not with a snake located in a sensitive area that puts an end to these poor chaps. But one day a man arrives who does the impossible, and the Queen is furious. She curses the guy's granddaughter. The end. No, not really. We then flash forward to, well, the day when archeologist wannabe Tania Wilson (Barbara Anne Constable) is poking around a musty old library looking to finish her thesis on the Queen of the South Sea. Off she goes on a boat in search of the underwater palace, and before you can say "presto-chango," she's in a bed in the palace. The Queen possesses her body and embarks on a killing spree the likes of which would make Ahnuld blanche with horror. The massacre begins when Tania emerges from the sea and murders two young toughs, one of whom resembles in no small way Adrian Zmed.
Tania/the Queen then checks into a hotel (!), undergoes some sort of weird shaking tremor replete with flashing lights metamorphosis, and then goes out to kill even more people. Frankly, I'm at a loss to lay out a coherent narrative. The movie simply doesn't have one. We do meet an American cop by the name of Max McNeil (Christopher J. Hart) who quickly becomes wrapped up in protecting Indonesian pop star Erica (Claudia Rademaker), the granddaughter mentioned in the curse, from the wrath of the Lady Terminator. What follows is breathtaking in its audacity. Whole scenes from Cameron's "The Terminator" appear in this film, including a bar shootout, a car chase with guns blazing, the infamous eyeball scene, and the police station shootout. The latter is particularly amusing considering the poorly choreographed gunplay. Tania blows away billions of cops without reloading and, even though McNeil stands a few feet away returning fire, can't seem to hit the man with a single round. Erica's wise old granddad shows up to fire off some magical hocus pocus at the witch, but quickly dies as a result. Nothing can stop this lady, not even McNeil's hilariously pathetic American friends, one of whom sports a mullet that would kill mere mortals. I won't spoil the conclusion for you--although it's likely you won't make it that far.
"Lady Terminator" is the grand mal seizure of bad filmmaking. This is it, folks. Right here. Every aspect of this film is dumb on a metaphysical scale. Dialogue (yeah, right) assails the ears like rocks dropped from the Empire State Building. The pacing lumbers like a crippled dinosaur on tranquilizers. The dubbing is the worst I've ever heard, and the acting is stroke inducing. As for the special effects, well, a nine year old working with a tin of playdoh and some pipe cleaners could do a better job than this movie. God, I cringe just thinking about this turkey. But for some reason, I simply can't give this anything less than five stars. Why? Because it's so stupendously horrible that every other bad movie looks like an Oscar contender by comparison, and the temerity to blatantly ripoff "The Terminator" lock, stock, and barrel deserves some praise--or a swift kick to director Jalil Jackson's shins. I'm issuing a warning to you, however. DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM IF YOU DESPISE BAD MOVIES! If you're one of those people who think "Gigli" is the end all be all of wretched moviemaking, don't give this one a second thought. "Lady Terminator" is strictly for the "so bad it'll make me sterile" crowd.
Star ratings don't really apply to a film like this one anyway. "Lady Terminator" is far outside the bounds of some arbitrary ratings system. I don't really know whether I ought to thank Mondo Macabro for this DVD or place a pox upon their house. They, Mondo Macabro that is, acquit themselves from unleashing this nightmare upon the western world in part by including some interesting extras, the most important of which is a lengthy documentary about Indonesian filmmaking. This supplement explains the legend of the Queen of the South Seas; the government's attempts to finance the movie business; and includes clips from other atrocities that look worse than "Lady Terminator." Also included are trailers, alternate scenes, a director's filmography, and a gallery of stills. Step carefully here, folks.