APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 16: Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan (1988)

Lady Terminator (the actual title translates as Revenge of the South Sea Queen) and is one of the most incredible movies I’ve ever seen. It takes its structure from Terminator (which is in itself ripped off from two Harlan Ellison stories, “Demon With a Glass Hand” and “Soldier”) and infuses the mythology of Indonesia. While this may not have been the first film in which mankind battled Nyi Roro Kidul, the Queen of the South Sea, it is definitely the only time that she repeatedly shoots men in the penis with an M16.

Director Jalil Jackson is actually H. Tjut Djalil, the same artist who made Mystics In Bali. Thanks to Ed Glaser’s How the World Remade Hollywood, I also discovered that his Batas Impian Ranjan Seytan (Satan’s Bed) takes a cue from Elm Street, so why wouldn’t he bring the magic of his home country into the world of machines versus men without the machines?

Barbara Anne Constable plays Tania Wilson, an anthropologist whose investigation into the tomb of the queen leads to being impregnated by a snake and then possessed by Nyi Roro Kidul herself, who we’ve already met via an opening that shows her repeatedly making love to men and killing them when they can’t satisfy her needs until one man is able to pull the snake from her womb, transform it into a dagger and make her cycle of death end for a hundred years.

The queen has a target, pop singer Erica (Claudia Angelique Rademaker), who she chases for the entire film before she’s saved by NY cop Max McNeil (Christopher J. Hart), who gets to yell, “Come with me if you want to live.”

Constable was told that this movie would be for Indonesia only, but it’s played all over the world. A dancer whose leg injury led to her arriving in Hong Kong for a career in modeling and fashion reporting — she was also a Pet of the Month for the Australian Penthouse — she performed her own stunts in this film. At one point, her ankle was skewered by a large shard of glass and the filmmakers paid her for an entire month while she relearned how to walk.

There’s a morgue scene in this where numerous men are under sheets with blood all over where their privates are and they discuss if a serial killer is cutting off their wangs. It’s amazing and so much more memorable than any movie I’ll see for the next year. This is the kind of movie I make people watch when they come to my house, a mindblowing assault on the senses, a film where instead of a robot eye the Lady Terminator simply takes out her own, but every other scene is nearly shot for shot taken from the American film but mystic instead of technological, which I can more than get behind.

I want ten sequels to this.

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