LADY TERMINATOR ~ 1989, H. Tjut Djalil, Indonesia
The psychotronic landscape is littered with examples of bizarre and shoddy, foreign rip offs of popular Western properties. Often, these are done with cunning exploitation of loopholes and/or blatant disregard for copyright laws (Turkey is king in this arena). Many of these bizarro world doppelgangers are often great for a chuckle, but almost none of these movies can ever hold a candle to the film they imitate … Indonesia’s Lady Terminator is one shinning exception. Wow. This movie out-Terminators The Terminator over and over.
Glorious though it may be, though, underneath all the righteous splendor and gunfire, Lady Terminator IS a cheap knock off, albeit with a bit of local Indonesian flavor to spice things up and smooth things out. Let’s have a fun little look at how these two films are similar, and how they differ:
- Our Terminator is a lady: First, most obvious difference, there’s no Indonesian Arnold in this flick. For our menacing murder delivery system, Lady Terminator has traded a teetering Austrian muscle man for an attractive white girl sporting regrettable 80’s frizz hair. This may have been done for the sole purpose of guaranteeing female nude scenes, but ever changing Indonesian censorship laws would force distributors to draw cartoon lightning over her grown up parts off and on as years went by, leaving the Lady Terminator with Laser boobs on some prints of the movie. The DVD release of this film by Mondo Macabro has an interesting feature on the film which explains this phenomena. Behold; Laser Bra: The laser versions of the movie are automatically pretty funny for this reason, and I wish that there existed a version of The Terminator where Arnold has laser wang. Actually, by now there probably is, thank you Internet.
- No robots, no time travel: The second biggest deviation from James Cameron’s 1984 film is that all the time travel and robots from the future are completely left out altogether, for reasons I am not privy to. Any attempt to explain this would be based solely on speculation (probably budget). Instead, this film involves magic… from the past! Some dude angers an evil witch, and she in turn curses his lineage, as witches are wont to do, claiming that at some point a descendant of his will become a terminator, or get stalked and terminated by a terminator, or something… Something terminator related will go down, is what the witch says. That’s what basically happens.
- Snake: As everyone knows, the area in which Cameron’s The Terminator was most lacking was in it’s failure to feature a weird, weasel looking solider of fortune type guy with a blonde mullet named Snake. Fret not, Lady Terminator has you covered here, and he is spectacular.
Anyway, the film’s basic skeleton unravels pretty closely to the original. Lady Terminator wants to kill some girl, some guy opts to help her survive, there is a disco shoot out, Snake get’s involved, and a lot of people get blown away. A LOT of people. Lady Terminator is VIOLENT…. Cartoonishly, awesomely so. The body count leaves the original Terminator in the dust, and as a matter of fact, SOMEHOW, this movie has a better “person digs out their own eyeball in a bathroom sink” effect than the real Terminator. Explain THAT to me.
Yeah, the move is super crappy, but I remind you that this is an Indonesian rip off of The Terminator that we’re talking about. I love Lady Terminator, and it deserves a lot of praise for managing to match The Terminator where it needs to and smoke it where it wants to.