Archive for the Wrestlers Category

Bill’s Bizarre Bijou Watches WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY (1964)

Posted in "So Bad They're Good" Movies, 1960s Horror, 2013, B-Movies, Bad Acting, Bill's Bizarre Bijou, Campy Movies, Detectives, Evil Doctors!, Just Plain Fun, Mexican Horror, Mummies, Secret Codes, William Carl Articles, Wrestlers with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2013 by knifefighter

Bill’s Bizarre Bijou

William D. Carl

This week’s feature presentation:

WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY (1964)

bbbwrestlingposter

Welcome to Bill’s Bizarre Bijou, where you’ll discover the strangest films ever made.  If there are alien women with too much eye-shadow and miniskirts, if papier-mâché monsters are involved, if your local drive-in insisted this be the last show in their dusk till dawn extravaganza, or if it’s just plain unclassifiable – then I’ve seen it and probably loved it.   Now, I’m here to share these little gems with you, so you too can stare in disbelief at your television with your mouth dangling open.  Trust me, with these flicks, you won’t believe your eyes.

K. Gordon Murray imported a second Luchadoras (Lady Wrestler) movie directed by Rene Cordona one year after the initial series entry, DOCTOR OF DOOM (1963).  Once again, kiddie matinee audiences were treated to the adventures of a tag team of female wrestlers—Mexican Gloria Venus and the American Golden Rub—against an assortment of hissable villains and monsters.  They are once again played, respectively, by Lorena Velazquez and Elizabeth Campbell, each looking as gorgeous as in the first movie.  Their boyfriends, the pair of bumbling Mexican detectives, are also back as the WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY (aka ROCK ‘N ROLL WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY) flutters across our disbelieving eyeballs.  My goodness, but this one is even weirder and crazier than the first.  And that’s sayin‘ something!  On to the story!

Oh!  According to the credits, the cast includes the Milagros India Ballet!

We start off with a bang, as a bloody man is tossed onto a city street from a speeding car.  The headlines shout (in Spanish) “Black Dragon Gang Kills Archeologist!”  A second body is tossed from a car, this time in the desert.  “Black Dragon Strikes Again!  Dr. Van Dyne Disappears!”  Yet another scientist is tortured by a Fu Manchu/Yellow Menace-type.  Another scientist is chased from his home by a carful of thugs.  He drives to the coliseum where a wrestling match is taking place between two tag-teams, Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi (whose hair has turned brunette since last time!) and two rather butch, um, ladies.  If the wrestling footage looks familiar, it’s because it was lifted from the first movie.  The wrestling gals are cheered on by their detective boyfriends in the audience.  We aren’t even five minutes into the feature, folks.

The girls go to their dressing room and discover a man lurking in the shadows, Dr. Mike Sorba, who wants to talk to Mike the Detective, Gloria Venus’s fiancé.  He informs the detective that the Black Dragon is making threats against him and the detective’s uncle.  The older scientists have discovered something, and the Black Dragon is killing and torturing all the scientists who have a certain codex.  Now, only Dr. Sorba and the uncle remain.  Well, until Sorba is suddenly killed in the locker room by a poison dart.

The mysterious Black Dragon.

The mysterious Black Dragon.

The thugs head back to Fu Man…I mean…the Black Dragon and his evil sisters.  He tells his henchmen to go after the last scientist remaining, Detective Mike’s Uncle, Dr. Tracey (from THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO?).

The group, two detectives and two lady wrestlers, drive to the uncle’s house, where Dr. Tracey tells his nephew about the codex.  The Black Dragon has half and Uncle Tracey decides to give the two wrestlers and his nephew each a third of the half he has.  A pretty blond girl has become Dr. Tracey’s ward, Charlotte.  Within minutes, Charlotte is kidnapped by hoodlums while Dr. Tracey sneaks off to get his half of the codex.

Dr. Tracey digs the codex from between bricks in an abandoned house and splits it into thirds as planned.  He disburses them in the girls’ lockers and a post office box.  Meanwhile, The Black Dragon uses a flashy machine and injections to brainwash Charlotte to hate the ones she once loved, and she’ll do exactly as he orders.  His sisters are impressed (although one speaks with a Natasha Badinov Russian accent; who knows why?).  Under the Black Dragon’s influence, Charlotte returns to the scientist’s house.  First, the foursome split up, following clues to find the thirds of the codex.

So far, no one has explained the what or why of the codex.  Everyone just wants it badly.  And the Black Dragon has bugged the house, so he has sent his thugs to intercept the heroes before they find the hiding places.  Golden Rubi and her boyfriend are captured. Luckily, Gloria Venus and her detective follow and everybody brawls.  The thugs get away with that part of the codex.  The Black Dragon decides to set his judo-expert sisters against the two wrestling broads.

All sorts of shenanigans occur until our heroes have one part of the codex and the Black Dragon has all the rest.  Black Dragon bets all his parts against the one in a tag-team match between his sisters and our gal wrasslers, and it’ll be held in public in the coliseum.  Seems a lot easier than just calling the police and arresting the gang.  Yeah, right…

They must have waited a few days and advertised, because the place is packed for the judo vs. wrestling match.  I swear, during the crowd noises, I heard someone shout, “Andelay!  Andelay!”  And we get the pleasure of watching four women in tight clothing beat the crap out of each other for a good eight minutes.  Hey, there are certainly worse ways to spend eight minutes.

Of course, Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi win the match.  The Black Dragon gives away the codex (well, he’s a bad guy with honor, don’t ya’ know), and just as he was going to be arrested, his sisters judo chop their way through the cops and break him loose.  The Dragon hatches a plan to follow the good guys to wherever the codex leads them and get…whatever the hell is the goal.  Coherency isn’t given a second glance in this flick.

Our heroines snap into action.

Our heroines snap into action.

The codex leads the group (and The Black Dragon and his henchmen) to Tezomoc’s Burial Ground, a witch doctor who can change his shape, just like the moldy mummy in DEATH CURSE OF TARTU (1966).  As the professor reads the translated codex, we get to watch a flashback to Aztec times that shows a maiden who was to be sacrificed to the gods and the witch doctor who saved her by carrying her away.  The lovers were found and returned to the temple where the man, Tezomoc, was buried alive and required to maintain a vigil over his lover’s burial ground and the gold breastplate placed over her chest.  And, yeah, the tomb is cursed if the breastplate leaves the grounds.

The tomb is easy to find (did no one ever spot the ninety foot pyramid above it?), and the group fumbles around in the dark for what seems like three and a half hours.  Finally, they find the temple.  As they are about to read the breastplate, a tomb opens and Tezomoc pops out like a dusty Kate Moss.  It’s extremely skinny, bony, and hideous.  Bullets can’t stop it, and it moans, stretching its mouth open so wide it looks like its cheeks could split.  It also turns into a bat, which is really hard to wrestle.  “Look, Loretta, he’s a vampire now!”  Who’s Loretta?

Will our heroes translate the breastplate and send the mummy back to the land of the dead?  Or will the Black Dragon and his minions find it first and get the treasure?  Is there ever any doubt?

K. Gordon Murray’s dubbing techniques for his Mexican imports lend a tone of the surreal to the proceedings.  Being one of the first to dub movies into English from another language, he hired a sound technician from Disney, Manny Fernandez and a bilingual writer, Ruby Guberman, to change the words coming out of the characters mouths.  Instead of trying to make a literal translation, the team attempted to match the lip movements as closely as possible, which resulted in pretty good synchronization, but truly bizarre phrasings.  An example from tonight’s film: “Now, just as the Dragon heard this, and what motives he has have yet to be explained, he hunted down all the others and he tortured them without pity to get them to reveal who had been designated to guard the records.”  Whew!  What a mouthful.

WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY isn’t as much fun as its predecessor, DOCTOR OF DOOM.  We don’t even get to the Aztec Mummy until the seventy minute mark, and then, despite the title, the mummy is on the side of good.  The pacing is all over the place, too.  Sometimes, this movie flies by at a lightning pace, and at other times the characters get so bored they stop all forward plot motion and play cards.  I am not kidding.  And where in the world was the Milagros India Ballet?

Beware Tezomoc, the AZTEC MUMMY!

Beware Tezomoc, the AZTEC MUMMY!

Still, we get lots of wrestling, beautiful women, fun gadgets, the Yellow Menace, judo-chopping twin sisters with different accents, crummy dubbing, and a creepy mummy.  It’s still worth a gander, even if it doesn’t rise to the heights of silliness of the first movie.

I give WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY two and a half breastplates out of four.

© Copyright 2013 by William D. Carl

Advertisements

Bill’s Bizarre Bijou Has An Appointment with the DOCTOR OF DOOM (1963)

Posted in "So Bad They're Good" Movies, 1960s Horror, 2013, Action Movies, Apes!, Bill's Bizarre Bijou, Bizarro Movies, Campy Movies, Mad Doctors!, Mexican Wrestlers, Wrestlers with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2013 by knifefighter

Bill’s Bizarre Bijou

William D. Carl

This week’s feature presentation:

DOCTOR OF DOOM (1963)

bbbdrposter

Welcome to Bill’s Bizarre Bijou, where you’ll discover the strangest films ever made.  If there are alien women with too much eye-shadow and miniskirts, if papier-mâché monsters are involved, if your local drive-in insisted this be the last show in their dusk till dawn extravaganza, or if it’s just plain unclassifiable – then I’ve seen it and probably loved it.   Now, I’m here to share these little gems with you, so you too can stare in disbelief at your television with your mouth dangling open.  Trust me, with these flicks, you won’t believe your eyes.

K. Gordon Murray strikes again!  The infamous importer of Mexican kiddie matinees has delivered another badly dubbed (at Soundlab!  In Coral Gables, Florida!) arrow to my heart with a film I love beyond any reasonable credulity.  It’s truly awful, but in all the right ways.  I should turn away in horror at this vivisection of artistic film, this shadow of celluloid, but I can’t take my eyes off the terrible thing.  It goes beyond bad cinema to become one of the most entertaining stinkers of all time.  Yes, I’m talking about that “gorgeous ladies of wrestling versus the mad scientist south of the border” opus, DOCTOR OF DOOM (1963), aka ROCK ‘N ROLL WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC APE, aka THE SEX MONSTER!

The amazing movie begins with a pre-credits attack on a woman by what looks like Captain Caveman, followed by two rather burly gals wrestling in a ring and stock footage of an enthralled, applauding audience.  Gloria Venus, the winner, has a moment with her sister, Alice.  Then we’re suddenly in a mad scientist’s laboratory, where an obviously mad scientist tries to perform a brain transplant on the girl who was kidnapped by the hirsute horror, whose name is Gomar.  The operation is a failure, because the brain they transplanted wasn’t strong enough.  The doc believes this is because they’ve only used women with low IQs, and they need to find an intellectual woman with a stronger brain.  The mad doctor keeps Gomar locked in a basement.  Gomar is a man with a transplanted gorilla’s brain, a perfect half man / half beast, his animal instincts dominating the human in their the symbiotic relationship.  Yes, one day, Gomar will turn into a real gorilla.

How lady wrestlers train.

How lady wrestlers train.

The next morning, the papers proclaim “Mad Scientist Strikes Again!”  Alice works in a scientific laboratory, with a Professor Ruiz who really, really likes her.  Two detectives are on the case of the Mad Scientist Murders, discovering the fourth female with her brain scooped out of her skull.  The short one  is intended to provide the dubious comic relief.  Really, the flick is funny enough without his shenanigans.

Next, we are in a room where two men wear strange white masks that resemble KKK hoods.  One of them, the mad scientist, instructs a room full of crooks to go with Gomar and his nifty new bullet-proof mask and shirt, and kidnap a smart woman….and it’s ALICE!  Sure enough, she’s easily hijacked, shoved in a cab, and Gomar has a long fight with patrolling officers before escaping.

Back in the lab, the masked surgeons operate on Alice and, even though she’s an intelligent woman, she also dies on the slab.  “Isn’t there any human being who can survive the shock?” the mad doctor asks.  His partner suggests an athlete, a powerful woman . . . like a lady wrestler?

The taller detective goes to the lady wrestler training gym.  He asks Gloria Venus (who is in training) to accompany him.

“It’s your sister,” he says.

“Is she sick?” she asks.

“She’s suffered a very bad accident.”

“Alice is hurt?”

“Would you accompany me?”

“To the doctor’s?”

“To identify her.”

“OH!”

Yes, the dialogue is certainly on par with that of Robert Altman.

Alice’s boss, the scientist (a scientist . . . hmm. . . ) mourns the girl, offering his services if the police need any help.  Gloria Venus is understandably upset, but the detective tells her, “You must trust in the local police.  Although, we haven’t got a single clue.”  Yeah, I’d trust them with that kind of confident revelation.

Back in the training gym, Gloria Venus gets a new partner, Golden Rubi, when a fight breaks out amongst the lady wrestlers.  Both women have that glamorous 1960s look, and they look nothing like any real female wrestlers.  Gloria Venus is a dead ringer for Elizabeth Taylor and Rubi resembles a ponytailed Marie Windsor.  They decide to shack up in an apartment together (now that’s more like the lady wrestler’s I’ve seen in the past) and they win their first tag team match together soon afterwards.  The detectives are in the audience to watch the match, falling for the two women in the process.  This match goes on for a good five minutes, and the choreography is pretty good, actually.  It ends happily, with dinner and dancing between the foursome!

And in this corner..Golden Rubi and Gloria Venus in DOCTOR OF DOOM.

And in this corner..Golden Rubi and Gloria Venus in DOCTOR OF DOOM.

Later that night, the girls awaken to discover several kidnappers climbing in their apartment window, and they proceed to beat the hell out of them!  This disappoints the hooded mad scientist.  The cops recommend they allow themselves to be kidnapped if these men try it again (What?  What?  What?).  The cops will follow them and arrest the bad guys.

Later, after the women work out, Gomar stalks the two girls in his bullet-proof duds, and he easily overcomes them and places them in the crooks’ car.  The detectives follow, but they set off ‘the danger signal’ at the lab.  They are assaulted by the criminals, but they fight back.  Gloria Venus awakens on the slab, and she gets Rubi and they join in the fighting.  They unmask one of the white hooded scientists and discover it is Boris, the assistant to Alice’s boss, the professor.  Boris demands police protection.  They want to know who the main mad doctor is.  He stand, says, “The mad doctor is… is… argh!”  He has a heart attack! During the autopsy, they find a needle in his skin covered in poison.  It was murder, and it was the killer was someone in the policeman’s office at the time!

The chief mad doctor (still at large and still disguised under a hood) orders his number one crook to find three or four other bad guys and kill those two detectives.  The guys give the wrestling gals watches that have transmitters and locators in them.  Within twenty four hours, the two detectives are kidnapped, and the girls are going to have to locate and rescue them!  Feminism thrives in low-budget Mexican horror films!

The boys are taken “to the death chamber,” locked in a room near Gomar.  Suddenly, the walls grow spikes and start contracting towards each other.  Soon, they’ll be speared and squished, but they turn on their transmitters, and the gals drive the streets of Mexico City until they find them at the same warehouse/laboratory where they were nearly brain-transplanted.  They break in and are immediately attacked by teams of bad guys in black, wearing black hoods.  Let the brawling begin!  They save the day just in time.

The detectives chase after the mad doctor while the girls attack his new assistant, splashing acid all over his hooded face and setting the place on fire.  They leave the mad doctor to burn to death (not very sportsmanlike, but, hey, he tried to take out their brains), but Gomar breaks loose and saves his creator from the inferno.

Later, the girls find out one of their fellow lady wrestlers has been missing for several days, taken by the professor, Alice’s boss, who is the remaining mad doctor.  Well, duh, who else could it have been?.  Sure enough, she’s been kidnapped by the crazed quack, and he has transplanted Gomar’s brain into the woman’s head.  “She’s alive!  She made it!”  He names her Vendetta, and he commands her to destroy Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi in the wrestling ring in front of thousands of spectators, wearing a nifty cape, Spandex leotards, and a cool lightning mask. Hahahahahahahahaha!

Who will win the match?  Will Alice’s death be avenged?  Well, this is a family film.  What do you think?

The movie is capably directed by that Mexican auteur Rene Cardona, who supplied the world with Taco-Trash flicks for decades.  He made such inspired exploitation films as SANTA CLAUS (1959), NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES (1969), the soccer players-turned-cannibal epic SURVIVE! (1976), and numerous Santo masked wrestler flicks.  Interestingly, his son Rene Cardona Jr. has continued the exploitation tradition, upholding his family name with such hits as GUYANA, CULT OF THE DAMNED (1979), TINTORERA: KILLER SHARK (1977), BEAKS:THE MOVIE (as opposed to BEAKS: THE STAGE MUSICAL? 1987), and the ultra-trashy CYCLONE (1978).  Ah, the grindhouse family tradition continues.  It almost brings a tear to one’s eyes.

Apeman Gomar models his new bullet-proof duds.

Apeman Gomar models his new bullet-proof duds.

The wrestling women are quite beautiful.  Gloria Venus is played by Lorena Velazquez, who is still working today in Mexican soap operas.  She’s much better than the material here, although the dubbing makes nearly everything she says amusing.  She can also be seen in PLANET OF THE FEMALE INVADERS (1967), SANTO VS. THE ZOMBIES (1962), and the great SHIP OF MONSTERS (1960).   Golden Rubi is played by American Elizabeth Campbell, who co-starred with Velazquez in several Luchadoras (female wrestler) movies in Mexico before dropping out of sight and returning to America.

DOCTOR OF DOOM is an insane movie, full of campy dialogue and wrestling women thrashing the crap out of each other.  It has bumbling cops and robbers, brain transplants, pretty women in short nightgowns, great jazzy bongo-filled music, tacky comic relief, a finale atop a water tower with police shooting at Vendetta, and Gomar the ape-man.  Honestly, what else do you need in a cheap movie? A lot happens in only 80 minutes, so there’s never a boring second.

Plus, there’s a sequel, THE WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY (1964)!

I give DOCTOR OF DOOM three half-nelsons out of four.

© Copyright 2013 by William D. Carl

Bill’s Bizarre Bijou: FANTASY MISSION FORCE (1982)

Posted in "So Bad They're Good" Movies, 2012, 80s Movies, Action Movies, Bill's Bizarre Bijou, Campy Movies, Just Plain Fun, Just Plain Weird, Martial Arts, Nazis, William Carl Articles, Wrestlers with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by knifefighter

Bill’s Bizarre Bijou

William D. Carl

This Week’s Feature Presentation:

FANTASY MISSION FORCE (1982)

Fantasy Mission Force

Welcome to Bill’s Bizarre Bijou, where you’ll discover the strangest films ever made.  If there are alien women with too much eye-shadow and miniskirts, if papier-mâché monsters are involved, if your local drive-in insisted this be the last show in their dusk till dawn extravaganza, or if it’s just plain unclassifiable—then I’ve seen it and probably loved it.   Now, I’m here to share these little gems with you, so you too can stare in disbelief at your television with your mouth dangling open.  Trust me, with these flicks, you won’t believe your eyes.

Every once in a great while, a film comes along that is so weird, so twisted, so indescribable that you can only sit back and marvel at it. . . hopefully while inebriated.  I caught this week’s offering, FANTASY MISSION FORCE (1982) or Mi Ni Te Gong Dui, at a double feature chop-sockey martial arts festival with a group of disbelieving friends.  Now, as I re-watch it, all I can think is “What.  The.  Hell?”  This is no typical martial arts film.  This is no typical film at all.  What it is could best be described as a whirlwind homage to every genre known to man.  If every past and future Quentin Tarantino film were placed in a blender along with several Tex Avery cartoons and a Three Stooges short, you might just get something like FANTASY MISSION FORCE.

In some unknown time period (in various parts the movie looks like it could take place in the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s, or the 1980s), the Chinese and the Japanese are at war.  A Jeep with the brave Lieutenant Don in it gets through several booby traps, machine gun wielding Japanese in blackface, some bombs, and arrives at the tent of two other Chinese generals, General Johnson and General Thompson (!).  A group of Western generals, including Abraham Lincoln (again, what?), have been captured by the Japanese and are being taken from Luxemburg back to Tokyo to use in propaganda films for WW2.  According to the generals, Snake Plissken’s been dead for years.  Rocky isn’t suitable for action, and James Bond has gone missing.  It’s up to Lieutenant Don to recruit a rag-tag ‘Dirty Dozen type’ of group of commandos to set the generals free before the Japanese convince the world they have won World War 2.

Then, the titles start over “la-la-la…wooo wooo…lalala….wooo wooo” Chinese pop music from the 1960s that I swear I heard in BEACH BLANKET BINGO (1963).  A group of singing and dancing waiters, led by a Chinese man dressed like a Mexican Bandito (I ain’t makin’ this up folks), all drink tons of beer during an insane musical number (“What a way to treat a wife…la-la-la ha-ha-ha!”)  A black man in a tuxedo and a red headband tells the bandito to call him Pappa then gives him a gun, which he uses to rob the restaurant.  The Frito Bandito is actually a friend of (now) Captain Don, and he joins the force.

The Frito Bandito as an action hero?

Next, we find a group of prisoners working on the chain gang, and after a brief martial arts fight, a gun battle, and a pick-axe fight, one prisoner named Greased Lightning escapes.  He discovers an elegant candle-lit banquet table full of food in the woods.  While he eats, he is recruited by Captain Don and the bandito.

Next, we have a wrestling match between “the killer from Japan” and, from New York City, “the China Doll Sammy,” played by none other than Jackie Chan (RUMBLE IN THE BRONX– 1995, RUSH HOUR – 1998).  Rumor has it Chan owed the director a favor for saving him from a Triad, so he played a small part for star power in the flick, but his boxing match is a great scene and a fun highlight.  His beautiful consort (and partner in crime) Emily wears all black with huge plastic boots up to her knees.  During the entire scene, I kept thinking of the Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes cartoon where Bugs fight The Crusher.  There’s even giant cigars that explode and sumo jokes, and it’s genuinely hilarious!  As they run off with the money, Sammy and Lily are stopped by corrupt military police, bribe them, and escape.

Jackie Chan wrestles under the name “China Doll Sammy.”

Next, in a RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) type of drinking contest, in which a beautiful woman and a man take turns drinking shots then shooting away a tied-up woman’s clothes, the woman wins with her terrific knife-throwing skills.  Turns out it was a sting operation, and her partner, the man, and the half naked girl, all have to fight their way out of the bar.  A Wayne Newton look-alike comes for her, and they slap the crap out of each other while confessing their love, despite the fact that he can’t remember her name…Lily.  She is played by the terrific Brigitte Lin (POLICE STORY1985, THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR1993, and CHUNKING EXPESSone of my all time favorite filmsfrom 1994).  After a tender love scene between Wayne and Lily, Captain Dan offers the guy a job, and Wayne Newton leaves Lily tied up and gagged as he takes up the Captain’s offer.  She, of course, doesn’t take kindly to this, so she does what any woman would do.  She grabs every weapon known to man, armors herself up, and uses a bazooka to take out their house and all his possessions!

The lovely Brigitte Lin.

Suddenly, we’re in a Benny Hill skit with Chinese men dressed as Scots doing maneuvers in fast motion in kilts to bagpipe music.  (Still not making any of this up.)

Back to Lilyour heroine takes out almost the whole Scottish army base while doing fabulous gymnastics all the while.  She captures Wayne Newton at gunpoint, but she is also recruited along with two inept Chinese “Scots” (the Laurel and Hardy of the East), the Mexican Bandito, Greased Lightning, and Wayne Newton.  This is the group that’s going to rescue Abe Lincoln?

Off they go in jeeps to Luxemburg (from China?).  Along the way, Jackie Chan and his girlfriend attack the group of misfits.  They are defeated and leave again.  High jinks and shenanigans ensue.  The two Scotsman seem to be developing a love affair.  The group spends a night in a haunted house, complete with floating ghost heads, the soundtrack of Walt Disney’s “Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House” on the soundtrack, hopping vampires, ghosts playing mah-jongg, a beautiful female seductress who turns into a living skeleton, a monstrous toilet,  a Midnight Mass, and demons!  Turns out, ghosts and monsters blow up real good when hit with a bazooka shell!   A group of sex-starved Amazon Ninja women who use brightly colored bolts of cloth to capture everyone, takes the group hostage.  They’re led by a tuxedo clad cad who is an artist who destroys everything imperfect around him.  Luckily, just as a new musical number starts with all the Amazons in leopard skin mini-dresses, Jackie Chan shows up and leads a bloody revolution with our heroes blowing up everything in sight.

Scotsmen from China??

They finally arrive at the Nazi headquarters in Luxemburg (which is in a desert?  The things you learn. . .), where huge swastikas fly, one on an orange banner and one on a lime green banner.  They find all the Japanese dead, and the generals are missing.  However, Jackie Chan and his girl Friday show up!  Out of the night drive the Nazis in weird Mad Max cars, rigged out with all kinds of crazy weapons and swastikas spray painted on the sides.  And the Nazis are all tricked out like they’re about to enter Thunderdome! And they’re all Chinese!   Once again, I just can’t make this stuff up, folks.  It’s all there on the screen to see.  If you dare.

The group discovers a hidden stash of money in the Nazi headquarters.  It’s going to be a fight to the finish.  Whoever lives through the battle gets a share of the money.  The following eight minute battle scene is an insane mélange of explosives, machine guns, sword fights, car chases, tanks, bulldozers, and more.  Even though the music is the silly song from the beginning, it looks an awful lot like THE WILD BUNCH (1969).  Most of our heroes don’t make it to the end, the death scenes accompanied by a slow, sad harmonica version of Camptown Races!  Doo-dah!   Doo-dah!  Then, there’s a surprise twist ending!

Evil Nazis are the bad guys in FANTASY MISSION FORCE.

FANTASY MISSION FORCE moves so fast, it’s quicker than the speed of thought, because if you think about any of it for more than a second, it makes no sense, but if you just let it flow over you, the gags are pretty funny, the girls are just pretty (even with weird 80s hair and Pocahontas headbands), the action is deftly handled, and the Nazi muscle cars are pretty bad-ass.  It’s all a lark, just as if someone gave the director a whole lot of drugs and money and said “You only get to make one movie; so you’d better put everything you like into 80 minutes!”  And so was born the world’s only martial arts, World War Two action, romance, adventure, prison escape drama, ghost story musical!

Speaking of the director, it happens to be Yen-ping Chu, who has directed more than forty films and is still at it.  I haven’t seen any of the others he has done, but their titles (such as ANGEL HEARTS1995, SEVEN FOXES1985, and ISLAND OF FIRE1990) make me suspect he moved on to more mainstream fare.

Our heroes, humiliated by Amazons.

Adding to the fun is the dreadful dubbing of the movie.  Whoever rewrote the script (originally by Hsin Wei), knew how silly the whole thing truly was, and they had great fun with reworking the dialogue.

Some favorite lines:

“Wow.  You’re pretty when you kill.”

“The nice people are always the first to die.  Do I look nice?”

“Is THIS what you call horniness?”

FANTASY MISSION FORCE is very poorly edited.  It’s as if an axe was taken to the film and it was all scotch-taped back together.  I’m not sure if it was this way to start, or if the foreign distributors have hacked away at it over the years, but the poor movie looks terrible.  This in no way diminishes the fun to be had with such a crazy flick.  This is the exact movie you want at hand when your buddies come over for a night of drinking and movies.  You are guaranteed to have a good time.

I give FANTASY MISSION FORCE three and a half Frito Bandito musical numbers out of four.  And that’s saying something!

© Copyright 2012 by William D. Carl

THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO!

Posted in 2009, Animated Films, LL Soares Reviews, Wrestlers with tags , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2010 by knifefighter

DVD REVIEW: THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO (2009)
by L.L. Soares

THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO (2009) had a long journey to DVD, reminding me a bit of the troubles Rob Zombie had with his first live-action movie, HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES (2003). That movie was rejected by its original studio, and almost did not make it to theaters. But eventually things worked out and the movie launched his directing career.

EL SUPERBEASTO, Rob Zombie’s first full-length cartoon, is another project that has been getting buzz for years, but seemed like it was never going to get released.  It’s available on DVD now. Where I am, it got one midnight showing in a small theater before the DVD came out. Similar one-night showings happened in other cities. That was the extent of its theatrical run.

So, after years of anticipation, I finally had a chance to see the finished product. Does it live up to the hype? Not really.

EL SUPERBEASTO isn’t completely horrible. It is what it is. A silly, “adult” cartoon (i.e. lots of boobs and butts)  in the spirit of movies like Ralph Baski’s FRITZ THE CAT (1972). It’s entertaining enough, but nothing all that special, and definitely not the ground-breaking cartoon that a lot of people were hoping for.

Based on the comic book of the same name, EL SUPERBEASTO is the story of a world famous masked wrestler named El Superbeasto (voice by comedian Tom Papa), who has become a kind of multi-media mogul all by himself. He makes porno films, he does commercials, he’s supposedly loved by millions. He’s also a crime fighter, with his sidekick, the sexy Suzie X (Sherie Moon Zombie, who has the sex kitten persona down pat). The joke is that Suzie does all of the actual fighting, and El Superbeasto finds ways to avoid getting his hands dirty. Suzie also has a sidekick of her own – her robot Murray (Brian Poesin), who is kind of a “transformer,” since he can turn into a car, a rocket, etc. He also has a mad crush on his creator.

The villain of the piece is the bitter Dr. Satan (Paul Giamatti), who grew up a nerd who had a crush on Suzie back when she was a high school cheerleader and El Superbeasto was her jock/bully stepbrother. Of course, El Superbeasto was the kid who gave Dr. Satan wedgies, so he became a supervillain to get revenge. Dr. Satan has a gorilla sidekick, Max, who has a “smart screw” screwed into his head and gives him the vocabulary and manner of a high-class butler.

The plot, as it is, involves the mark of the beast (for those of you who forgot, that’s “666”) which, as a birthmark on the backside of one lucky lady, marks her as the future bride of Satan. Dr. Satan that is. If he finds this girl and marries her at the stroke of midnight on the day when all of the planets are aligned, he will become a gigantic demonic monster capable of destroying the world.

The mark happens to be on the butt of stripper Velvet Von Black, a trashy beeyotch who is nothing but trouble. Dr. Satan has Max kidnap her, and his plan goes into action. El Superbeasto and Suzie X have to stop him. There are also zombie Nazis complicating things (when we first see Suzie, she’s stealing the disembodied head of Der Fuhrer and the zombies want it back).

There are some laugh-out loud moments, but for the most part, the jokes are just so-so. The characters are interesting enough, but this is by no means a great movie. If you’re a diehard Rob Zombie, it’s worth seeing, but it’s definitely a rental.

Comedian Tom Papa (who actually had a great, short-lived network sitcom a few years back that wasn’t given a proper chance) is a really funny guy, and does a good job as El Superbeasto. In fact, all of the voice actors are terrific. It’s the script that’s rather weak. I just wish it was more wild and wooly than it is.

© Copyright 2009 by  L.L. Soares