Selasa, 08 Februari 2011

PEMBALASAN RATU LAUT SELATAN (Lady Terminator) / 1988

PEMBALASAN RATU LAUT SELATAN
(Lady Terminator)


Film ini cukup menghebohkan, karena eksploitasi seks. Setelah banyak protes masyarakat, film itu ditarik dari peredaran oleh Badan Sensor Film (BSF). Ketika disensor ulang pada tahun 1994, masa tayangnya jadi 80 menit.

Film ini dalam judul bahasa Indonesianya adalah Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan, entah kenapa di kasih judul dalam Inggrisnya Lady Terminator, mungkin maksudnya untuk menarik perhatian umum akan film Terminator. Dan apa maksud dari Ratu Laut Selatan yang
sering dibuat dengan settingan Jawa dan bintang Suzzana?, tidak ada yang tahu. Seakan film ini perpaduan Ratu Pantai selatan dan action dari Terminator.

Ceritanya sendiri Untuk membalas dendam karena dipermalukan lelaki sakti, Nyi Roro Kidul menggunakan jasad Wanda (Yurike Prastica). Lelaki yang menyetubuhi Wanda akan mati, karena ada keris keluar dari kemaluannya. Keris itu pula yang akhirnya menaklukkan Wanda, hingga Nyi Roro Kidul kembali ke dunia siluman.

 

YOU CAN WATCHING FULL MOVIE CLICK HERE:



Lady Terminator Trailer
Lady Terminator Part 1
 

Lady Terminator Part 2 
Lady Terminator Part 3
Lady Terminator Part 4 
Lady Terminator Part 5  
Lady Terminator Part 6
 Lady Terminator Part 7
Lady Terminator Part 8




NEWS


15 Juli 1989 

Film 
KENAPA film seperti Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan harus dikecam? Banyak yang telah menontonnya dan merasa sebal dan sepakat: bukan hanya karena adegan seks, tapi karena inilah film yang mahabodoh. Jalan ceritanya, kata para penonton itu, asal terabas seperti bis pasar dengan sopir yang mabuk. Aktingnya blegak-bleguk mirip gerak boneka Si Unyil. Kegemarannya mengumbar yang sadistis dan yang jorok naudzubillah. Jika benar begitu, penyelesaiannya bukanlah mengasah gunting sensor lebih tajam. Sensor adalah sebuah institusi yang sebenarnya tak punya hak untuk mengatakan bahwa dialah yang paling berkompeten memutuskan apa yang baik dilihat dan tak baik dilihat orang banyak di Indonesia. Sensor terdiri dari orang-orang lumrah. Mereka selalu bisa salah. Badan sensor ini pula yang pernah menahan film seperti Max Havelaar beredar di Indonesia, tapi sementara membiarkan film seperti Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan lepas begitu saja. Paling sedikit, sensor sama bingungnya dengan orang lain. Hanya dia punya kekuasaan. Saya tak mencemooh. Hampir 20 tahun yang lalu saya pernah jadi salah seorang anggota badan sensor film, dan saya mengalami bagaimana bisa tak selalu masuk akal argumentasi buat menggunting atau tak menggunting. Dengan kata lain, badan sensor memang bisa disalahkan bila film macam Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan beredar begitu aja. Tapi mendesak agar sensor lebih galak bisa menyebabkan makin banyak kesalahan terjadi dalam menilai. Demam prohibisionisme yang di Indonesia ini sering meradang telah membuat pelbagai macam larangan begitu gampang didekritkan. Kita pernah dengar lagu The Beatles dilarang seakan-akan dengan itu Indonesia besok akan dijajah kembali. Kita juga perah dengar sebuah film dilarang menggunakan judul Arjuna Mencari Cinta -- seakan-akan dengan itu seni wayang akan cemar atau hina atau ambruk. Jika orang tak bisa mencari penyelesaian di badan sensor, lalu di mana gerangan letak salahnya? Ada yang mengatakan bahwa film kini sudah jadi barang dagangan semata, yang diatur para broker dan para penguasa bioskop. Tapi ini pun hanya sebagian dari penjelasan. Memang, dunia film Indonesia akhirnya seperti tak memungkinkan dibuatnya film yang bermutu-tapi-tak-laku.

 
Orang film bahkan cenderung mencemooh film macam ini. Kita telah kehilangan dana dan prasarana untuk membuat film yang berseni -- yang menyebabkan dan Indonesia hampir tak ada film seperti yang dibuat oleh para cineast India, Turki, Yugoslavia, Polandia, dan lain-lain negara yang industri filmnya tak selalu mengikuti semangat komersial Hong Kong ataupun Hollywood, tapi hasil sinematografinya terpandang di dunia. Namun, harus ditambahkan di sini: toh dengan segala arus deras dagang yang ada kini, kita masih bisa melihat film macam Ibunda, Ponirah, dan Tjoet Nya' Dhien, yang seperti hendak menyatakan diri tak mau tenggelam dalam komersialisasi. Kita masih punya sejumlah penulis skenario dan sutradara dan aktor dan aktris yang tetap hermimpi bagus bahwa mereka bukan bagian dari dunia kue-kue. Lagi pula, para broker dan pemilik bioskop tak sepenuhnya bisa disalahkan. Film sebagai barang dagangan bukan benda najis. Film tak selamanya harus membuat kening berkerut hingga penonton enggan datang. Apa salahnya film seperti A Fish Called Wanda yang membuat kita ketawa bahkan setelah adegan terakhir selesai? Apa salahnya film seperti Kejarlah Daku Kau Kutangkap? Apa salahnya film seperti yang dibuat dengan humor dan keterampilan oleh Nyak Abbas Acub? Di dunia film Indonesia orang sering keliru: film yang "bagus" selalu mereka artikan sebagai film yang "tidak laku" dan film yang laku sebab itu harus vulgar, harus dengan lelucon yan memekik-mekik, dan harus dengan digarami seks yang cukup atau dicat darah yang menyembur-nyembur. Dengan kata lain, teknik bercerita dianggap tak perlu. Padahal, itulah intinya: kekurangan film Indonesia selama ini, yang menyebabkannya kurang laku, adalah kekurangan dalam kepandaian menyusun cerita -- yang mampu membawa kita terlibat dari awal sampai akhir tanpa rasa sebal. Usmar Ismail sebenarnya telah meletakkan dasar kepandaian itu, tapi hanya sedikit yang mampu mengikutinya. Selebihnya yang terdengar hanya suara keluh dan gerutu yang menyalahkan pasar, kritikus, pemilik bioskop, pemerintah, dan segala setan alas dari luar yang asli ataupun palsu. Pada saat yang sama kita, para penonton, diminta mencintai film nasional dan melindunginya dari selesma -- sementara kita disuguhi film yang kadang-kadang terasa seperti telur busuk. Nampknya Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan bisa ditarik dari peredaran, tapi banyak soal mendasar yang tetap dan berlingkar-lingkar. Goenawan Mohamad

Tentang DVD Film Lady Terminator ini yang beredar di luar negeri. DVD ini tidak ada sensor jadi adegan panasnya masih ada di dalam film, bahkan wanita dengan telanjang dada.


Indonesia pernah mengalami era dimana permintaan masyarakat terhadap film lokal melampaui permintaan terhadap film Hollywood. Produser-produser film telah menemukan resep yang tepat untuk membuat sebuah film dengan budget sedikit mungkin namun memiliki daya jual tinggi. Tak disangka film-film tersebuat kelak akan disebut sebagai film exploitation dan melanglang buana sebagai film cult favorit.'
Salah satu film exploitation Indonesia paling tersohor adalah Lady Terminator/Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan. Film yang sesungguhnya dibuat oleh produsen Indonesia untuk dipasarkan diluar ini memiliki segala unsur yang diinginkan penonton, ketelanjangan, seks, kekerasan dan beberapa spesial efek bodoh.
Untuk menarik penonton luar negeri, beberapa pemain bule pun dicasting menjadi pemeran utama. Diantaranya adalah Barbara Ann Constable yang bermain panas dan memikat sebagai titisan Ratu Laut Selatan. Dengan paras yang cantik dan tubuh yang seksi, amat disayangkan ia tidak pernah menampakkan dirinya lagi di film lain.
Kisahnya dimulai ketika Ratu Laut Selatan yang diperankan mantan bomseks Indonesia, Yurike Prastika yang masih berbulu ketek sedang bercinta dengan seorang bule. Tidak tahu apa maksudnya, si bule menarik seekor ular dari kemaluan Ratu Laut Selatan. Ular ini lalu berubah menjadi keris. Hal ini rupanya membuat Ratu Laut Selatan marah besar. Di tengah efek suara petir ia mengancam bahwa dia akan membalas dendam kepada keturunan si Bule.

Lalu cerita berpindah, seorang antropologis muda dan cantik (dan bule, diperankan Barbara Ann Constable) bernama Tanya sedang menyusun tesis mengenai mitos Ratu Laut Selatan. Dengan bimbingan seorang pria tua misterius, Tanya mengadakan perjalanan dengan kapal sambil berbikini ria. Namun di tengah laut, sebuah ombak besar menerjang Tanya yang langsung berpindah ke dimensi lain. Tanya tiba-tiba jatuh ke sebuah ranjang besar dan seekor ular datang menghampiri dan masuk ke dalam alat kelamin Tanya.
Rupanya ini merupakan sebuah ritual yang menjadikan Tanya sebagai titisan Ratu Laut Selatan yang diberi misi untuk membunuh cucu si Bule tadi. Tanya lalu keluar dari pantai tanpa sehelai benangpun dan mulai mencari korban. Ia membunuh dengan cara… Berhubungan seks dengan korbannya. Dan juga dengan senjata otomatis yang ditembakkannya dengan brutal dan sesuka hati. Lengkap dengan jaket kulit layaknya Arnold Schwarzeneger dalam The Terminator.
Setelah mendapat hotel den bersemedi topless, Tanya berhasil menemukan keberadaan cucu si Bule yang kini telah menjadi bintang Pop terkenal. Dimulailah aksi kejar-kejaran, Sang Lady Terminator dan sang bintang Pop yang dilindungi oleh polisi Bule, Ikang Fawzi, dan seorang pertapa yang diperankan oleh HIM Damsyik. Sang Lady Terminator tidak akan gentar mamburu sasarannya meski harus menyerbu markas polisi sekalipun.











DALAM acara dengar pendapat Ko misi I dengan Menteri Penerangan Harmoko Kamis pekan lalu, sejumlah wakil rakyat yang terhormat secara keras mempertanyakan lolosnya film Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan -- PRLS. Kabarnya, film Ketika Musim Semi Tiba (KMST) -- dibintangi Meriam Bellina dan dijegal dari peredaran Juli 1987 lantaran dianggap terlalu porno masih kalah berani dibanding PRLS dalam mempertontonkan tubuh manusia. PRLS tak semata menawarkan kecabulan, tetapi juga sadisme yang meramu muntahan pelor plus darah-darah nyinyir yang berhamburan. Lebih dari itu, PRLS juga membawa pada kepercayaan nan jauh surut ke masa lalu, yakni dinamisme. Bahwa kekuatan utama bukan terletak di tangan Tuhan, tetapi pada keagungan sebilah keris yang keluar dari alat kelamin Ratu Pantai Selatan. Ram Soraya, Direktur PT Soraya Intercine Films, mengatakan bahwa PRLS menelan dana lebih dari Rp 1 milyar. Dari jumlah itu, 70%-nya berasal dari pihak luar negeri. Karena film itu merupakan hasil kerja sama dan juga dipasarkan di luar negeri, maka ide-idenya juga datang dari pihak luar, agar cocok dengan konsumen di luar negeri. "Saya tak mendengar ada orang mengatakan film itu porno," kata Ram Soraya kepada TEMPO lewat telepon. Yang jelas, kata Ram, dia sebagai produser telah melewati jalur hukum yang benar. "Saya sebagai produser telah menempuh prosedur secara benar," kata Ram, selebihnya orang bisa saja mempunyai penilaian macam-macam. Menteri Harmoko berjanji akan meneliti PRLS. Ia yakin, BSF tak bakalan meloloskan film-film porno. "Kalau berbugil-bugilan, sebaiknya di kamar saja, bukannya dipertontonkan khalayak umum," tutur Harmoko. Departemen Penerangan, kata Harmoko, berkepentingan meneliti PRLS. Jangan sampai terulang kasus yang terjadi di Surabaya beberapa waktu lalu. Sebuah film yang sudah disensor BSF, guntingannya disambung lagi dan kemudian dipertontonkan di gedung bioskop. "Kalau memang menjurus ke pornografi, PRLS akan ditarik dari peredaran," kata Harmoko kepada TEMPO. Apalagi kalau di balik lolosnya PRLS ada "apa-apanya". Direktur BSF Thomas Sugito, yang dicegat TEMPO di DPR, berkesan enggan membicarakan PRLS. Yang jelas, menurut Thomas, PRLS sudah terkena gunting sensor. Mungkinkah guntingan itu disambung lagi? "Wah, saya nggak tahu. Tapi potongan film PRLS itu disimpan di BSF," ujar Thomas. Sementara itu, tokoh-tokoh agama pun cukup resah dengan film model PRLS. "Ibarat menyiram api dengan bensin," tutur K.H. Hasan Basri, Ketua Umum Majelis Ulama Indonesia. Hasan Basri menyarankan agar BSF tak perlu sungkan menggunting. Jangan hanya menguntungkan kaum yang condong melihat film semata barang dagangan. "Kata Pak Harmoko, film bukan sekadar tontonan, tetapi juga tuntunan," ujar Hasan Basri lebih lanjut. Pada akhirnya, "Orang lebih suka nonton film ketimbang ikut pengajian," ujar Lukman Harun, tokoh Muhammadiyah, pada kesempatan lain. Bahwa sekarang Badan Sensor Film (BSF) banyak meloloskan film yang mempertontonkan bagian-bagian tubuh, bagi Raam Punjabi, bos Parkit Film, hal itu masih belum memenuhi keinginan produser. "Kalau dibandingkan dengan dunia internasional, itu masih terlalu minim," ujarnya. "Coba lihat, apakah dalam satu film ada adegan bercinta yang lebih dari lima menit? Kan tidak ada," katanya serius. Raam menginginkan lebih jauh dari itu. Apakah itu, Ram? "Kelonggaran bebas," katanya tegas. "Untuk mencapai kelonggaran bebas, mental masyarakat harus kita siapkan. Itu tak mungkin tercapai dalam waktu yang singkat. Tapi kalau tidak mulai sekarang, kapan lagi." Gope T. Samtani, bos Rapi Films, berkata lain kepada TEMPO. "Film-film seks dan kekerasan belum tentu laku dipasarkan," ujarnya. Satu contoh, Birahi Dalam Kehidupan produksi Rapi pada 1986. Kata Gope, film yang blak-blakan bertemakan seks ini malah merugi -- sayang, tanpa didukung angka. Tapi bukan berarti unsur seks dan kekerasan bisa digolongkan tidak penting. "Untuk daya tarik, seks menjadi penting sebagai bumbu," ujarnya. Oleh karena itu, kendati secuil -- kira-kira 10% -- kata Gope, unsur seks perlu juga. "Porsi seks sekecil itu paling tidak untuk iklan masih bisa diterima," ujarnya. Dalam FFI 1984, sebagian besar film peserta FFI cenderung menampilkan pornografi dan sadisme. Maka, tak ada film terbaik. Dewan juri pun lantas dikritik habis-habisan. "Seminggu kemudian," kata Ki Suratman, Ketua Majelis Luhur Taman Siswa Yogyakarta yang menjadi Ketua Dewan Juri FFI 1984 itu, kepada Slamet Subagyo dari TEMPO, "Presiden Soeharto mengeluarkan komitmen yang menyatakan perang terhadap pornografi dan sadisme." Komitmen itu, menurut Ki Suratman, harusnya tetap berlaku sampai sekarang. Namun, kenyataan justru mengherankan, film porno dan sadisme yang kian berlebihan. "Selama ini BSF itu kerjanya apa, sih?" kata bekas juri FFI itu. Budiono Darsono, Tri Budianto Soekarno, Sri Pudyastuti, Moebanoe Moera

Barbara Anne Constable
Interview
By Andrew Leavold
[originally published in Rave Magazine 03/08/10]

“First she mates…then she terminates!” the posters screamed outside New York City’s fleapit cinemas back in 1988, and for once it wasn’t just some Z film producer’s huckster hyperbole. One can only imagine the 42nd Street crowd’s reaction to bizarre Indonesian splatter-sci-fi Lady Terminator, with the plot of Arnie’s first Terminator grafted onto a supernatural horror tale of a South Seas Queen possessing an ‘American’ anthropologist.


Gorgeous, big-haired Barbara Anne Constable plays both Tania and the Queen’s unstoppable killing machine, mowing down hundreds of innocent bystanders with her AK-47, while - in an unexpected riff on the original Terminator - fornicating like a banshee. Breathtakingly surreal, hyper-sleazy and violent in equal doses, and crammed with one over-the-top action setpiece after another, the film is about as loopy as Asian exploitation gets.


London-born Barbara grew up a professional dancer in Australia whose leg injury took her to Hong Kong and into the world of modeling and fashion reporting. After a chance audition for an Indonesian film company, Barbara was offered the lead role in a local Terminator ripoff: no acting experience necessary, but physical endurance was a plus. The film’s cartoon-like Indian producer Ram Soraya “met me at the airport and held up a big wad of cash in US dollars to the customs officials when I arrived. So that set the scene.”


Without warning, Barbara was plunged into the Wild West chaos of Indonesian B-filmmaking. “Everybody were smoking joints on the set, people were off their nuts! I don’t know how they got anything done.” Barbara was expected to perform her own stunts, and as a dancer that didn’t pose a problem. Even so, her pain threshold was pushed to its limits. “I had so many near misses, like half car bodies flying and missing me by two centimetres! I nearly got killed so many times during that film…” After three grueling months of clinging onto car bonnets and being burnt by bullet squibs (“serious, second-degree burns!”), the final shot was Barbara kicking through a glass door. “The glass should have shattered into small pieces. It was a real pane of effing glass!”


Her ankle was skewered by a long shard of glass, just scraping past her Achilles tendon. Production was shut down for a month – with Barbara on full wages – while a military hospital stitched her up and she regained the ability to walk. “Then I shot that last scene, the candy glass broke the way it was supposed to, and we wrapped.


“Ram Soraya called me a couple of years later and said, ‘We want you to do a comedy.’ I said no. ‘I’ll pay you double?’ ‘No, I’m not coming back. I’ll never get out otherwise!’”


Barbara accepted her role –and her fate – as Lady Terminator, on the understanding that the film would never be screened outside Indonesia. Two years later, Ram Soraya sent Barbara a Betamax copy – and a press clipping the New York Times. “I was like, ‘You’re fucking kidding me?’ I was mortified.” Even more disturbing was the ‘possession scene’, in which a brutally primitive CGI snake slithers its way into her – ahem – bikini bottoms.


“They wanted me to fall onto a bed. I was tied up, and they wanted me to look like I was possessed. That was the scene. They didn’t say, ‘Afterwards we’re going to put this friggin’ snake thing that goes up your vagina…’!”


Is Barbara still mortified, I wanted to know. “I’ve seen it since with friends over a few drinks, and just laughed all the way through it. It’s a crack-up! People were like, ‘That’s YOU? That’s weird!’ I know!”

NEWS
Lady Terminator
In 1988, seven years after making Mystics in Bali, H. Tjut Djalil made what is probably the most controversial film of his career: Lady Terminator. He released it under the pseudonym "Jalil Jackson", which gives the unfortunate impression that he's another member of show business's most embarrassing family. Lady Terminator was so completely over-the-top with its depictions of sex and violence that it staggered South Asian audiences: banned in one place, it would pop in in another, doing remarkable business through word-of-mouth until it was shut down yet again.
 
By Western standards its content was routine: lots of gunfire, colorful explosions, great splashes of blood, occasional glimpses of boob. Perhaps its language was a little coarse for the time; thinking back on it, I can't seem to remember at what point the word "blowjob" became acceptable in a non-X-rated movie. In any case, it isn't so much the actual content that seems remarkable, even by today's standards, but rather the sheer misguided enthusiasm with which the film tries to imitate its Hollywood models. Have you ever seen a Japanese businessman in a karaoke bar, singing with feverish intensity in what he thinks is English? A better analogy might be me singing along to Chinese pop tunes, but I know you've never seen or heard that. And you never will. Where was I? Oh, yeah. It's an amazing spectacle, but you get the feeling that on a fundamental level, something has gone awry.










































Here's the first thing I discovered while watching Lady Terminator: there are stretches of the Indonesian coast that are so dramatic that all you need to do to create compelling cinema is point a camera at them. There's little else in the rest of the movie, in spite of all the explosions and special effects, that can match the sheer spectacle of the waves crashing into the rocky shore.

I would have been perfectly happy to watch the ocean for eighty minutes, but unfortunately there's more to the movie. A voiceover (who is never identified) helpfully provides us with the Moral of the Story before we've even started:

"Sometimes the past should be left to memory; to gather dust between the covers of recorded time."




Oh, dear. It's going to be one of those movies, where somebody tampers in God's domain. It's a little odd to bring up the subject of dust when we're seeing the open ocean, though "between the covers" turns out to be an apt expression for much of what happens later on.

Actually, in this case, the domain that's being tampered with isn't God's, but rather that of the South Sea Queen, who lives in a forced-perspective model of a castle on a stretch of desolate coast. When we meet her, the South Sea Queen is busy having, er, sweaty snugglebunnies with her 99th lover. Just as the poor guy is starting to enjoy himself, he starts screaming in agony, as a jet of blood springs up from his groin. The Queen dismounts from the corpse (and we get to see that people apparently have sex in their underpants in Indonesia). "Is there any man who can satisfy me?" she asks rhetorically, as she nuzzles a handful of grapes.

One jump-cut later, we have an answer for her: into the palace steps a dignified man whom we'll later find out is named Ilias. Without a word of introduction, Ilias and the Queen hop into bed. This time, though, the Queen's mate is too smart for her: he reaches down and pulls from between her legs a snake, the secret of her deadly lovin'. With a gesture, Ilias transforms the snake into a curved knife, called a kris. The Queen demands Ilias return her snake, but he insists that she is his wife now, and must stop the killing. Rather than submit to the man who outwitted her, the Queen decides to stalk off to the bottom of the ocean, to live with the Evil Spirits.









 


"In 100 years," she tells Ilias as she departs, "I will have my revenge on your great-grand-daughter!" That's an oddly specific threat for her to make, but perhaps there's a Union regulation or something: a stolen kris demands one great-grand-daughter in compensation, payable in 100 years. Anyway, the Queen's threat is accompanied by a weird edit, as we suddenly see lightning flashing over water, and a dark shape rising from the sea. We barely have time to make sense of this image when the action jumps back to the Queen's bedchamber, where Ilias is left alone with his kris.

The opening credits roll, and just as we're preparing ourselves for the movie proper to begin, we suddenly find ourselves somewhere in the middle: a heavily-armed woman we've never seen before is shooting up a bar. Other people who are total strangers to us appear to be running away from her, while still others pop up with weapons of their own and are quickly mowed down. It seems the flash-forward overshot the hundred-year mark by a few hours. Perhaps realizing its mistake, the movie halts the action and gives us the title-screen, accompanied by the sound of machine gun fire.

Resuming the narrative, we meet Tania Wilson. It will take us a little while to realize that Tania is not the grand-daughter we've been promised, but is rather an American anthropology student on the trail of the legendary South Sea Queen. Tania shows up at a University library looking for a book on the Queen. The sinister elderly librarian hands her a dusty but otherwise normal-looking trade hardcover. As though to make up for the mundane appearance of the book, the librarian draws it back from her grasp, muttering warnings about screwing around with the unknown.

"C'mon!" says Tania. "In this day and age, you speak of legends? I'm an anthropologist, huh?"
But the librarian continues with his arcane warnings; the scene is punctuated by sudden cuts to a painting of the South Sea Queen that just happens to be hanging on the wall. Tania is if anything made more determined by the librarian's reluctance to give her the book, and in no time she's hired a boat to look for the undersea ruins of the Queen's castle.

Of course, the boat's two-man crew is as unhappy about Tania's goal as the librarian was. "Are you out of your mind, lady?" blusters the captain. "Will you stop calling me 'lady'?" says Tania. "I'm not a lady, I'm an anthropologist!"

"You read too much," the captain replies.
Tania is intent on finding the legendary kris that was stolen from the Queen. The captain tries to discourage her by insisting the story is only a legend. Tanya, who was dismissive of legend only a scene ago, insists that the legend is true and prepares for her dive.

No sooner has the bikini-clad Tania begun her dive when the sky turns orange, and an enormous wave comes down on the boat like a fist. This moment is obviously fake, relying on editing to convince us that a normal wave is really huge, and that the wave and the boat are in the same place at the same time. However, it's one of the very few instances in the movie where the editing actually works: where the frequent cross-cuts not only accomplish the effect the director wanted to create, but also make sense in the narrative.

Meanwhile, Tania has been drawn down mysteriously into the Queen's lair. The same painting of the Queen that was hanging in the library is also on the wall of the chamber. Tania finds herself tied to a petal-strewn bed by bed-trimmings with minds of their own. Quicker than you cans say "Sam Raimi", her legs are pried apart, and even though she's still wearing her bikini, an animated snake forces its way up her naughty bits. Hey — that's what happens to women in horror movies who "read too much". Lightning strikes over the bed, and even though we thought this was happening during the day, clouds spread slowly over the moon.

Oh; wait a minute — the moon is supposed to be a transition, telling us that it's later that night. Lightning strikes again over the water, and a dark shape emerges from the s— wait another
Now dressed in one of the boys' leather jacket, Tania goes back to her apartment. There over the bed is yet another

From here, the action shifts to a bar, where an off-duty policeman saves a pretty young girl from the unwanted attentions of some laughably overacting thugs. After the meet-cute, the cop (whose name is Max) leaves his friends Snake(!) and Tough(!!) and takes the girl back home. As we dissolve to Max's reflection in a glass-framed photograph, we realize this has all been flashback. Max is one of those Cops with a Tragic Past. He's done what these kind of cops always seem to do: he's moved to Indonesia and immersed himself in his work, rather than Learn How to Love Again.


Max is taken out of his reverie by the arrival of two colleagues. They have a nasty set of murders to investigate. I'd probably better let the detectives speak for themselves here; I should probably apologize to impressionable readers about the explicit language and the explicit stupidity in the excerpted dialog:

minute. Now at least we know what the earlier flash-forward was referring to. Anyway: out from the water steps Tania, nude and walking stiffly (like a bad actor pretending to be a cyborg or something). On the beach she runs into two drunken boys, one of whom is merrily pissing on everything like a crazed baby and calling out for women. When the boys see a naked woman walking toward them, they can hardly believe their luck. Tania takes one of them off to his car; the remaining kid mistakes his friend's escalating screams for cries of pleasure. And soon it's his turn... copy of the painting of the Queen. Let me take this opportunity to mention as well that the painting bears little resemblance to the actress who played the Queen in the prologue. As Tania stands under the painting, everything starts to go crazy (especially the editing) — the room begins to shake, lights explode, the television (which is playing some music video featuring a young Indonesian singer) explodes as well; bolts of energy fly out of Tania, as clips of previous scenes flash across the screen. The disturbance is such that the building security guard comes to investigate. Stopping to check his sub-machine gun — security guards take their jobs seriously in Indonesia, I suppose — he goes to knock on Tania's door. Imagine his surprise when the nude girl yanks open the door and pulls the guard through...


Max: "We have three very dead bodies here..."
Detective 1: "...all three of these guys died with their cocks bitten off. Could be a small animal."

(Good grief. What animal?? The notorious Indonesian trouser weasel?)

Detective 2: "The report says an eel. An eel? On dry land? I've heard of the ultimate blowjob, but, uh... this is too much."
Max: "Obviously done by the same person [sic]. But why? What's his or her motive?"
Detective 1: "How can a human being do this?"
Detective 2: "Oh, very easily... first, you take their pants off..."


Meanwhile, it's time for us to be introduced to Ilias's great-grand-daughter. Her name is Erika, and she's the girl who was featured in the music video that was playing in Tania's apartment the night before. Erika's on the verge of stardom, thanks to her TV music show... though we're told it won't begin airing until that very night (in that case, what was Tania watching last night?). As Erika and her friend leave their exercise class, we overhear a telling comment:


"Arnold Schwartzeneggar you're not."

Erika's friend admires the necklace she's wearing, an antique she inherited from Ilias. It just happens that she's found a copy in a cheap jewelry shop, and the shop attendant's remark is again unintentionally appropriate:


"That's an authentic reproduction..."

Erika's friend buys the imitation necklace, and the two part company. Unbeknownst to them, Tania has tracked them down. Seeing two girls wearing Ilias's necklace, she chooses to follow Erika's friend. Cornering her in a restroom, Tania pulls out her machine gun and turns her into tomato soup. Next, Tania does the same for an innocent bystander; however, she's furious when she discovers the necklace is a fake.

Max and his detective friend Jack decide to unwind after investigating the castration-murders by going to a bar, where (as fate would have it) Erika is taping her Big Show. Max is not too busy admiring Erika and her performance to notice that a woman in the audience is pulling out some heavy weaponry. Max dives across the stage to save Erika from the barrage of bullets that come flying across the stage. Immediately the bouncers and the bartenders start whipping out their guns — everybody in this town is packing assault weapons — and a bar-room free-for-all starts which is likely to remind you of a certain other movie.

"Come with me if you want to live," cries Max — I think I've heard that somewhere before, too. Jack is killed trying to help them escape, but Max manages to get to his car. Max pulls his handy machine gun out of the back seat (so tell me: where do you keep yours?); he blows up a nearby vehicle just as Tania walks by it. I guess they're as unconcerned about property damage in Indonesia as they are with casual firearms-use. Tania's unfazed by the fireball, though, and soon Max and Erika are fleeing Tania in a highway car-chase/firefight. Both Max and Tania manage to shoot the living crap out of each other's cars without hurting each other or anyone else.

Max and Erika seek shelter at the police station while a small army of cops go looking for the unstoppable psychopath who's leaving such a horrendous swath of carnage in her wake. Max takes the opportunity to call his friends Snake and Tough back in the United States. He tells them about Tania's rampage, and begs them to call their friend Joe. "Tell him: I... need... help!", he shatners; we my hope that Joe's his acting coach, but somehow I doubt that's the case.

Strangely enough, Erika has a visitor waiting for her in the station: her mystical Uncle Rabu, who has foreseen the danger and come to do what little he can. He explains to her and the incredulous policemen the story of the South Sea Queen, and her reasons for coming after Erika. He also takes from her the necklace, giving her in exchange Ilias's kris.

All at once the lights in the building go out, and the emergency horns start blaring. Tania's driven a car straight into the building, and is working her way from room to room, floor to floor, killing everybody (haven't we seen this before somewhere, too?). She has a habit of shooting her victims in the groin. Much to Max's amazement, Uncle Rabu walks calmly in front of Tania's blazing gun. Holding up the necklace, he blows on it; and it sails across the room and embeds itself in Tania's eye. Tania is thrown back and lands on the ground, inert.

But then, of course, she sits back up again. As she shoots Uncle Rabu in the crotch, Max runs to rescue Erika and get the hell out of there.

After they've put a comfortable distance between themselves and Tania, the car they've "borrowed" gives up on them. Huddling together for warmth in the cold, wet night, they start to get all mawkish with each other. Max tells Erika the story of his wife, who was raped and murdered by a reently-released criminal. Erika tells Max her own sad story of abandonment and bad luck. "It'll look better in the morning," says the man who's just seen most of his friends and co-workers turned to a fine red mist by a killer who's still on their trail. Erika reacts to his comment more or less the way we would, and for a moment it looks like she's going to gain our wholehearted sympathy by tearing Max's face off... but naturally, three and a half seconds later she's locking lips with him, and they're shedding their clothing.

In the meantime, Tania's gone to cheap hotel to do some impromptu eyeball surgery. Popping out her eye, she fishes the necklace out of her skull; then she pops the eyeball back in. Good as new! A pudgy waiter from Room Service shows up with a tray, but when he sees the nude girl beckoning him from the bed, he can't tear off his clothes fast enough. Exit one waiter.

Several relentlessly brutal chase sequences later, Tania and the fugitives end up on the site of an abandoned airport. Suddenly, who should show up but... Snake! Tough! Joe! And they've manages to bring with them onto Indonesian soil a whole array of tanks and helicopters and rocket launchers and more heavy artillery (and all this without a trace of jet-lag). Hey, if it's one thing we've learned from the A-Team, it's that wacky American mercenaries are always welcome in other countries, especially if they come prepared to make the designated Bad Guys go Boom in colorful ways.



So the South Sea Queen faces twentieth century military technology, and we discover that not only is she immune to heavy weaponry, but so is the car she's driving. I suppose it's similar to the situation with Dracula's evening dress, or the Hulk's trousers: if it's attached to the monster, it has certain magical attributes it inherits.

Several really expensive explosions later, after the SSQ has defeated armored vehicles and even taken down a helicopter (which curiously enough remains suspended in the air after it blows up), she is finally pinned in a wreck by Snake. Sanke escapes just as the whole mass of metal and ammunition goes up in a spectacular fireball. The survivors clap each other on the backs, the way the heros always do before the Bad Guy comes stalking out of the flaming wreck to kick some more ass. Which she does.

This time, though, Tania Terminator has a new attribute: she can kill people just by looking at them. She demonstrates by offing the mullet-headed Snake. She mows down all the other mercenaries with her eyeball-rays, leaving her face-to-face with Max and Erika. Needless to say, when confronting the hero, she completely forgets the powers that have enabled her to melt tanks and kill people from a distance. Instead, she picks up Max and tosses him aside, where he lands stunned but essentially unhurt. The situation gets even sillier with Erika, her arch-rival: rather than complete her mission the easy way, she chases the helpless girl up the abandoned air traffic control tower so she can kill her with her bare hands.

And it's just at this point that Erika remembers the kris she's been carrying all this time.
Why is it that every time someone hands a horror/action movie heroine a weapon which is the one and only way to kill the monster, the heroine always forgets about it until half the cast has died trying to save her? I'm not even going to tell you what happens next. If you haven't figured it out by now... then you must be Erika herself; so get back into the movie and leave me the hell alone.


I suppose somebody had to do it: make a film that demonstrates exactly how movies should not
By comparison to Mystics in Bali, Lady Terminator resembles a Western-style action movie more closely, and is all the worse for it. Mystics was lean — if anything, a little too lean in its pared-down presentation of only the information it thought we needed to see. Lady Terminator

Rather than gain strength from its idiosyncratic structure, Lady Terminator just seems like a palimpsest, a bad copy of the junk cinema that filled up the video stores in the 1980s (movies which were themselves poor imitations of the big-budget action potboilers of the Reagan era). The energy of Mystics in Bali is still there through most of the movie, but the imagination and the sense of conviction that made the earlier film memorable are almost completely absent. The only specifically Indonesian aspect of Lady Terminator, the revenge of the South Sea Queen, is pure pretext: she could as well have been an alien invader, or a time-travelling cyborg. In fact, I suspect it might have been better if they'd avoided the Indonesian folklore altogether: it may not have been the best idea to have a beautiful spirit with a man-eating snake up her quim turn into an unstoppable robot killer shooting up shopping malls. These legendary supernatural figures don't need modern weapons: Count Dracula may be scary, but Count Dracula with a chainsaw or a machine gun is just plain stupid.

Still, the movie does manage to out-do its American models in at least one respect: immaturity. With its emphasis on castrating sex-goddesses, and bonding between guys who curse a lot and carry phallic heavy weaponry, Lady Terminator may be the perfect movie for the fourteen-year-old boy in every man.

However, if you're a guy, and you're not comfortable with that particularly unlovely side of yourself, you may not want to watch the film after all... because you're likely to enjoy it much more than you'd care to admit. The movie is stupid, derivative and unimagineably callous in its disregard for human life, but for a movie with such a high body count it's surprisingly good-natured. Even when he's working with such hackneyed material, Djalil still knows how to make a fun movie; though it may be jaw-droppingly tasteless for most of its running time, it's much too goofy and entertaining to be offensive.

Still, it's strange to think that this juvenile fantasy, with its ubiquitous firearms and free-wheeling violence, was made in Suharto's Indonesia. I am forced to think of the imprisonment of the Indonesian writer Pramoediya Ananta Toer, and the subsequent decades-long ban on all his writing until the dictator Suharto was deposed only a few years ago. Read anything by Pramoediya Ananta Toer, and you'll be struck by the sheer humanity of his writing... and yet his ideas were considered too dangerous to be read. Lady Terminator is diametrically opposed to such art; yet there is a place even for crap cinema like this in the struggle against censorship. Though the authorities did try to suppress the film after its release, its enormous popularity made it difficult to get rid of. In its own way, it may have helped break down a few walls and force open a few doors in the Indonesian conscience... though to be frank, I'm probably kidding myself here, hallucinating some value into a piece of total claptrap. be edited. takes the opposite approach, bombarding us with images in a way that seems to look forward to the irritating music-video/videogame-style transitions that are now so fashionable.

"But she's a Queen, and such are queens..." Notes on Lady Terminator (1988)





A big topic in contemporary scholarship is "acculturation": the ways that cultural aspects are exchanged when different groups come into contact with one another. The idea of a "pure" culture is fairly quioxotic in this day and age when there are Japanese hip hop bands and American university students listen to Parisian house music. I'm not sure if the theorists of acculturation had Lady Terminator in mind, but they certainly could; it's a fairly strange mix of direct rip off of James Cameron's Terminator, exploitation films in general, and South Sea mythology. In other words, this would have been The Terminator if Arnold Schwartenegger was an Indonesian woman with a magical snake living in her vagina.

Admittedly, this is a terrible movie. However, unlike many exploitation films, it lives up to its promise- it's got a terribly stupid plot and a jaw-dropping amount of sex and violence. That's about it; you can't ask for much more from these movies.
The 70s and 80s exploitation films that played in 42nd Street grindhouses have been much romanticized as of late. I think people forget how many of them were actually imports; if they really wanted to go for authenticity, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez should have shot their "grindhouse" films in Italian and badly dubbed them into English. These movies were a sort of cultural exchange program and many grindhouses were also "art houses", showing foreign exploitation films and art films alike. A surprising amount were actually shot in Canada. Visiting Toronto is like walking through the lousy exploitation films that I watched on VHS as a boy, but lacking the slashers and monster demon children.

Lady Terminator
was part of a boom-time for Indonesian low-budget cinema that mirrored the Canadian boom in the 70s for the same reason- government financing. The downside of government arts funding is official censorship, which existed both in Indonesia and Canada. Indonesian films from this era are fairly startling because they combine the tropes of kung-fu, action, and horror films with local legends in order to appeal to the working-class Indonesian audience. The effect is rather strange: sort of like watching a Kung-fu film featuring the Infant of Prague!

Lady Terminator largely follows this blueprint.


Here's the story: Years ago, the South Seas Queen, a figure from Javanese folklore, was perfectly happy killing men by letting the snake in her vagina bite off their dingly-danglies during intercourse. Unfortunately, some jerk yanks the snake out of her cootch and turns it into a dagger. She's pissed (who wouldn't be?) and vows revenge on his great-grandaughter. His thought, no doubt, at this point is, "Okay, Crazy, good luck with that grandaughter thing!"

Fast-forward to the 80s, when Tania, an anthropologist, is investigating the South Seas Queen. We know she's an anthropologist because of the immortal line: "I'm not a lady! I'm an anthropologist!" Anyway, Tania is scuba diving in the general vicinity of the old South Sea Queen place when her boat is capsized by a tsunami and she is dragged to the bottom of the sea and onto a bed in a perfectly dry room (No, I can't really explain that) where that sea serpent enters her vag (via really bad animation) and possesses her.


Tania emerges from the surf possessed and naked and the film proceeds to blatantly rip off entire sequences from Terminator as she hunts the grandaughter, who is an Indonesian pop singer, and get hunted by a cop with the worst mullet this side of country music. Countless people get shot, numerous scenes get lifted, clothes get shed with abandon. What's amazing to me about Lady Terminator is how it adapts James Cameron's movie for the Indonesian working-class audience by incorporating so much local mythology. It looks like the film we know until it gets into sea serpents and witchy queens who live at the bottom of the ocean. It's all fairly strange.


Lady Terminator Sings the Blues



I saw five of the six films that the Alamo Drafthouse screened last weekend as part of their Cinemapocalypse Tour. I skipped Escape From New York because I’ve seen it many times before. Jesse Hawthorne Ficks mentioned it was a new 35 mm print but that was not enough to entice me to stay.

Of the five films I watched, four were new for me. I had previously seen Chained HeatLady Terminator. This Indonesian/Filipino production was a blatant knock-off of Terminator. Some scenes were laughable because of the lack of imagination shown in plagiarizing the original film. Among the scenes taken from the Schwarzenegger classic include the shootout in the dance club with the line “Come with me if you want to live,” the shootout in the police station and the eyeball in the sink. I’m surprised Lady Terminator didn’t say “I’ll be back.”



South Sea Queen from Lady TerminatorHowever, Lady Terminator had a misandrist and anti-Asian theme that was reflective of the period (mid 1980’s). The movie opens with the South Sea Queen having sex with an Asian man. The South Sea Queen looks like a Filipino drag queen to me. I don’t think she would be hired at AsiaSF. Appearances aside, the South Sea Queen has a snake or eel living in her vagina. If sufficiently satisfied by the sex, the snake harmlessly slithers out of her vagina. However, if her partner cannot meet her orgasmic standards, the snake bites off his penis.

although I forgot most of it. Without a doubt the gem of the weekend was In the first scene there is a money shot but instead of ejaculate in the woman’s face, it is blood (from his severed penis) in the man’s face! This squirting is repeated 3 more times in the movie. Here’s the kicker. Only one man can satisfy the South Sea Queen. It is her husband who just happens to be a white guy. Laying content after a satisfying coupling, the snake emerges from its cave where the man quickly grabs it. All this has eyebrow raising homoerotic imagery but before that can be explored the South Sea Queen demands her snake back (which has magically transformed into a dagger in a scabbard). The man refuses; he is her husband after all. The Queen casts a curse on his great-great-granddaughter and disappears into the sea.

Barbara Anne Constable in Lady TerminatorThat might sound like an appropriate setup for a film of this caliber but consider that there were six sex scenes in the film. Four resulted in castrations and all four were Asian men. The only scenes where the man kept his penis was when the white man satisfied the Asian woman. If not viewed symbolically as a metaphor for European and American colonization of Asia or latent white supremacy, it can be interpreted literally for the white guy/Asian girl phenomenon that inspires fetishists and standup comics to this day.


100 years later, the descendant of the snake charmer (a lithe brunette) is an anthropologist studying...you guessed it – the legend of the South Sea Queen. She goes scuba diving (in a skimpy bikini) for relics and has the snake of death implanted in her vagina. She walks ashore butt naked and starts her penis dismembering rampage.

 
That would be a fine story in its own right but for some reason that is lost on me, Lady Terminator is after a jade pendant that a pop singer wears. It’s implied that the singer is the last descendant of the South Sea Queen but that doesn’t really make sense. Lady Terminator goes gunning for the girl and her pendant. The girl falls for a police officer (the only white guy in the police department) and he serves as her protector. Of course, Lady Terminator is impervious to bullets, flames, blows to the head, car crashes, bazookas, tanks and pretty much everything except the ancient magic an old Chinese guy can summon before he is dispatched by Lady Terminator (although not by her typically serpentine method). Did I mention Lady Terminator can shoot laser beams out of her eyes? She doesn’t display that talent until the last 10 minutes which made me wonder why she needed to have so many automatic rifles throughout the movie.



It’s only been a few days since I saw the film but I cannot remember how Lady Terminator is defeated. I think Pop Singer does something with the jade pendant and Lady Terminator implodes into a ball of energy and rockets to the sky. Let’s count up the more offensive elements of the film. There is a lot of nudity. Barbara Ann Constable played Lady Terminator (her first and last credit on IMDB). Apparently, she wasn’t comfortable with full frontal nudity. I guess she had her artistic boundaries. It makes me wonder why they chose her for the role. You would think that the willingness to appear fully nude would be high on the list of skills casting agents would want for the actress that played Lady Terminator. Maybe there were censorship issues. It was filmed in Indonesia after all.

Nudity, four castrations, countless deaths by gunshot, Exacto knife to the eyeball, Lady Terminator gets her skin burned off her, mystical snake penetration and two white guy/Asian girl couplings. The only romantic interludes that did not end with death and emasculation were the two white guy/Asian girl scenes. The director used the nom de plume of Jalil Jackson but his real name was H. Tjut Djalil. You would think that an Asian director would be mindful of the stereotypes he is perpetuating but I guess he was too busy ripping off James Cameron or positioning this film for a US distribution that he didn’t notice. Even more cynical would be that he purposely inserted those storylines to appeal to American audiences in the 80’s.

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