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Mondo Macabro presents
Lady Terminator (Nasty Hunter) (1988)

"I'm not a lady. I'm an anthropologist."
- Tania Wilson (Barbara Anne Constable)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: June 17, 2005

Stars: Barbara Anne Constable, Christopher S. Hart, Claudia Angelyne Rademaker
Other Stars: Joseph P. McGlynn, Adam Stardust, Ikang Fawzi
Director: Jalil Jackson

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, sexuality, violence, gore, language)
Run Time: 01h:20m:37s
Release Date: September 28, 2004
UPC: 843276010898
Genre: cult

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

So Bob and Joel came over for our periodic High Body Count Night, and we needed a second feature. A quick check of the keepcase for Lady Terminator indicated that it seemed to fill the bill: "sexually rapacious Asian goddess..." "Asian black magic and western-style shoot 'em up..." and best of all, "armed with an AK47 and an endless supply of bullets." This Indonesian-filmed grindhouse favorite doesn't disappoint in the smut or body count aspect, despite being hilariously goofy and deathly dull at times.

In 1888, the sexually insatiable South Sea Goddess meets her match in her 100th husband, who converts some of her life force into a kris, a wavy-bladed dagger. The angry goddess declares that she will return in a century to take her revenge on his great-granddaughter. Moving to 1988, anthropology student Tania Wilson (Barbara Anne Constable) is doing a thesis on the legend of the South Sea Goddess, and scuba dives down to the reputed site of the Goddess' island. Possessed by the spirit of the South Sea Goddess, Tania returns as an unstoppable killing machine, determined to kill that great-granddaughter, a rock singer named Erica (Claudia Angelyne Rademaker). Only cop Max McNeil (Christopher S. Hart) and a small army of red-shirt police stand in Tania's way of vengeance.

The film is a weird exploitation amalgam of a loose adaptation of an actual Indonesian legend and a complete ripoff of The Terminator. Director Jalil Jackson (H. Tjun Djalil) takes great pains to include all of the iconic sequences of the Schwarzenegger original, from a nightclub shootout to a police station massacre to the grisly eye gouging, but all with a distinctly sick and demented twist. Freud would have a field day with this picture, since not only does Tania gain strength from sexual congress, but she's equipped with the dreaded vagina dentata that makes for numerous painfully gory sequences. And that's without going into the snake that travels in and out of her various orifices.

The whole production is fairly crude, with a particularly atrocious dub that makes all the characters, American or not, sound as if they come from Iowa (with the exception of a couple of stock rednecks). The onscreen actors aren't any more competent than the voice actors, and are never credible or in the least sympathetic. The dialogue is littered with howlers such as the quote above and a reference to "authentic reproductions" of the Goddess' necklace. The kineticism of the action scenes is offset by numerous episodes of excruciating dullness, such as endless scenes of water on a shore and teeth-grindingly bad disco-pop sung by Erica while a large crowd pretends (badly) that they're enjoying themselves. Sometimes the settings seem completely arbitrary, such as big romantic scene between Erica and Max, which takes place next to a river of what seems to be toxic sludge. The characters uniformly seem to be completely dense; even though shooting Tania at most knocks her over, the heroes just keep shooting, and shooting, and shooting. We were pretty glad to see most of them bite the big one as punishment for their idiocy.

The action sequences are actually decently staged, though numerous characters appear just a moment before taking a fatal bullet. The finale shows signs of a decent-sized budget, with rocket launchers and exploding aircraft, but that's not enough to save the picture. It's alternately lurid, ridiculous, and boring; nearly every scene provokes howls of laughter, groans of revulsion or an impatient, "come on." Just keep the remote handy.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The film is presented in enhanced 16:9 ratio; that may or may not be the intended aspect ratio but it never felt cramped. Color is quite good, and black levels are satisfactory. Artifacting and ringing were minimal, and the source print is in beautiful condition, especially considering its heritage.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The audio is a particularly atrocious 2.0 English dub. It's clean enough, but the voice actors are utterly terrible, in the worst possible tradition. There's reasonably good directionality and a solid soundstage. Sound effects have good depth and range. Dialogue tends to have a rattling sibilance but I expect that's a problem with the original film rather than the transfer.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Production Notes
1 Documentaries
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo gallery
  2. Alternate clothed versions of selected scenes
Extras Review: Mondo Macabro again attempts to make a silk purse out of a complete turkey, offering some interesting background materials. The film also had alternate clothed versions of scenes (sometimes including different actors) for particular markets, and about three minutes of such scenes are included here. There's a substantial (24m:54s) documentary about Indonesian horror films of the 1970s and '80s, mentioning their comic-book influences and ripoffs of American films, as well as the quota productions such as this feature. There's some light discussion of the horror film as an indirect form of protest against the Suharto dictatorship, but that segment really needed more fleshing out in order to make an impression. Much of the same ground is also addressed in the text essays, which also include the actual legend of the South Seas queen. There's a gallery of posters, video sleeves, and pressbooks, as well as an enticing anamorphic widescreen trailer under the alternate title of Nasty Hunter and a filmography for the director.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

An alternately laughable and bloody Terminator ripoff, given a decent transfer and some good extras. For a High Body Count Night, it's a tough act to beat. And for those who care, the body count worked out to 50, putting it into respectable HBCN company.


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