Thursday, April 14, 2011

Titisan Dewi Ular (1990)

1990 - Titisan Dewi Ular (Libra Interdelta Film)

Director Sisworo Gautama Putra Writer Naryono Prayitno Producer Frans Pontoh Music Rezky Ichwan

Cast Suzzanna, Muni Cader, Ade Irawan, Doddy Sukma

Review (from Cinemageddon): Here's a rare Suzzanna horror movie from 1990s. It's one of the last films for this actress and for famous profilic director Sisworo Gautama Putra. If I don't mistake, the title can be translates as "The crown of the Snake goddess". And it tells a story of a woman who has connection with the giant Snake living belowground. And her father who tried to kill her mother in the prologue comes to her house and tried to controll her and that giant snake.

In this movie you'll see:

- Suzzanna as a woman with supernatural powers.

- Bad kung fu.

- A giant paper snake with crown.

- Silly humour.

- A very irritating gay living in the mansion with the lover of Suzzanna.

- Black magic fight at the end.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Deadly Angels Strike Back (1981)

1981 - Cewek Jagoan Beraksi Kembali (P.T. Parkit Films)

[Sequel to Five Deadly Angels, international title “Deadly Angels Strike Back”; released in West Germany as “Tödliche Engel Schlagen Zurück”, and on German VHS under the original film’s title “Tödliche Engel”]

Director Danu Umbara Writers Deddy Armand, Danu Umbara Producer Dhamoo Punjabi Cinematography H. Asmawi Music Gatot Sudarto

Cast Debbie Cinthya Dewi (Rina), Dana Christina (Pinky), Eva Arnaz (Windy), Barry Prima (Herman), George Rudy, Bram Adrianto, Malino Djunaedy, Nanang Durachman, Eddy Hansudi, Yusuf Har, Edy S. Jonathan

Tarsan Pensiunan (1976)

1976 – Tarsan Pensiunan (company unknown)

Director Lilik Sudjio

Cast Benyamin Sueb, Yatni Ardhi, Ratami B.29, S. Bagio, Mimi Cader, S. Diren, S. Darto, Sol Soleh, Awaluddin, Salim

Todd Stadtman’s review from his Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! blog:

While Tarzan Raja Rimba is relatively straight-faced, films like Ismail Yassin’s Tarzan and Tin Tan, el Hombre Lobo have shown us that interpretations of Tarzan from non-English speaking countries are just as likely to be satirical as they are reverent, and furthermore -- as with the Zimbo movies -- there is often a very fine line between the two. It’s hard to imagine that filmmakers of color -- especially those from countries that had seen white colonial rule –- didn’t encounter difficulties in uncritically addressing the idea of this white interloper, god-like in his physical perfection, who proves himself capable of outdoing indigenous people even at their own indigenousness. (I mean, really, what are Dances With Wolves and Avatar, at their core, other than simply the Tarzan fantasy in different drag?) Given that, one might expect to find at least a little ambivalence in their depictions of our loincloth clad friend.

And, indeed, reverence is about the last thing you can expect from 1976’s Tarsan Pensiunan. Directed by the prolific Lilik Sudjio -- who also gave us Neraka Lembah Tengorak, Darna Ajaib, and the Suzzanna fronted horror classic Queen of Black Magic –- the film is a vehicle for popular Indonesian comedian and singer Benyamin Sueb. Sueb, a member of Jakarta’s Betawi ethnic group, made close to fifty low budget films in the brief period between 1970 and 1978, many of them spoofing Western archetypes from the distinct cultural perspective of the Betawis.

Now, I’d love to tell you what Tarsan Pensiunan is about, but I’m afraid it resisted my entry as vigorously as Tarzan Raja Rimba, with all of its familiar tropes, welcomed it. And given that there is little likelihood that it might ever make the transition beyond unsubtitled Southeast Asian market VCDs, I imagine that it will stay that way. Sadly, the film’s humor is overwhelmingly dialog-based, and its attitude toward pacing and narrative so relaxed that I had to wonder how big a role pot plays in Betawi culture. I couldn’t even tell you for sure whether Benyamin Sueb was meant to be playing Tarzan or simply someone who thought he was Tarzan.

What I did manage to figure out –- I think –- was that Sueb’s character, who repeatedly refers to himself in the third person as “Tarzan”, was having trouble adjusting to the civilized life back in Jakarta. The film’s title apparently translates as “Retired Tarzan”, and I had to wonder, based on the way it’s pronounced in the film, if the word “Pensiunan” was simply an Indo-friendly phonetic spelling of the word “pension”. In any case, what we have for a good part of the film is Sueb –- who wears the same outfit of tee-shirt and striped boxers throughout –- puttering around aimlessly and driving the two (I think) relatives he’s living with crazy.

Eventually, he makes his way back to the wild, where he shows himself to be not very apt at swinging on vines, then has a run in with a couple of hunters/poachers and the female estate owner who employs them. Eventually the film ambles back to Jakarta, where it spends a lot of time on Sueb himself ambling about with a friend of his who has taken to wearing an ape costume. They do a fake trick monkey act to defraud spectators, and then go to a public park and scare passers-by. Occasionally Sueb sings one of his songs, which tend to be rather unremarkable but inoffensive fusion-y rock numbers. The film is over two hours long.

Eventually it occurred to me that, just as Tarzan Raja Rimba is more of a Barry Prima film than a Tarzan film, Tarsan Pensiunan is really just all about Benyamin Sueb. Not that I can say for sure, mind you, but the movie appears to be mining absurdity from the spectacle of the low key Sueb basically going around being himself while half-heartedly pretending to be Tarzan. In other words, if this movie could be said to be about Tarzan at all, there’s such a yawning ironic distance between him and any of the characters we see on screen that his presence is vestigial at best.

Both of the above described movies point once again to the astonishing elasticity of the whole Tarzan concept. And I think the only conclusions you can draw from that are either that that concept is so sturdily anchored within popular culture that it can stand up to any punishment thrown at it, or that, instead, Tarzan is as semiotically naked as he is naked naked, and can mean whatever whose wearing his skin at the moment wants him to. If I found Tarzan more interesting than the things that Indonesian, Egyptian, Indian and Mexican filmmakers did with him, I might devote more thought to that. But, to be honest, if it weren’t for films like these, I’d never give the dumb brute a second thought. Back to civilization!

The Terrorists (1986)

1986 - Menumpas Teroris/“Menumpas Terrorists” (Kanda Indah Film PT)

[International title “The Terrorists”; released in West Germany as “Das Auge Des Adlers”]

Director Imam Tantowi Cinematography Berti R. Mottoh Music Embie C. Noer Miniature Effects El Badrun

Cast Deddy Mizwar, Barry Prima, El Manik, Advent Bangun, Elizabeth Yvonne, Belqiez Rahman, Anton Indracahya, Anneke Putri, Yoseano Waas, El Badrun, Tizar Purbaya, Torro Margens, Grace Suwandi, Yoseano Waas

Fred Anderson’s review from his Ninja Dixon blog:

The Terrorists is hardly the glory of Indonesian filmmaking, but it's still a nice trashy mix of not more than three different genres!

First it starts as a lowbudget version of a big budget Hollywood-film. Terrorist attacks plagues the world (which means a lot of cheap miniatures getting blown up) and a local gang of bad guys uses this fear to create their own attacks and steal some money (or whatever) at the same time... which means a little bit martial arts and a car-chase...

... that ends inside a hospital! And here the movie continue like a pre-Die Hard, pre-Hard-Boiled, action movie where the terrorists takes hostages in the hospital. But of course there's two men who can stop them, one of them is Barry Prima! So he goes in, shoots a lot and one of the bombs goes of...

... and suddenly we have a cheap version of Towering Inferno! People trapped in the fire, on the roof, people falling to their death and the firemen tries hard to rescue everybody! And at the same time the last terrorist goes around like Al Pacino, screaming and wawing with a gun! Until he get's shot down and the movie is over.

Barry Prima has more of a cameo, and the movie barely hangs together. The stars are more the bad guys actually! It's a cheap knock-off on big budget action with cartoonish backprojections and an idiot storyline. But it works quite fine anyway, and is never boring - except during the end where some of the fire-stuff goes on way to long.

Classic obscure trash for a trash-generation! Long Live Barry Prima!

Fred Adelman’s review from his Critical Condition Online website:

Here's an Indonesian action film that will have you howling with laughter at the terrible miniature effects and the blatantly obvious rear-screen projection process that's littered throughout. During the mid-80's, a time when terrorist groups are hijacking planes and blowing up buildings around the world, a group of crooks pretend to be terrorists to pull off a bank robbery. Little do the crooks know that a world-renown terrorist named Gozal (El Manik; HELL RAIDERS - 1985) was hired to head the robbery team by a crooked hospital executive named Mr. Santos, who needs the money to save his floundering hospital. Gozal recruits professional crook John (Advent Bangun; THE BLIND WARRIOR - 1987) to help him pull off the robbery and he agrees to do it as long as politics aren't involved, but as he will soon find out, politics is the least of his problems. When the crooks try to enter the bank and the newly installed bomb detector goes off, it leads to a lengthy (and hilariously inept) car chase, where the crooks destroy their car, steal a truck and crash it into the front of a hospital. Guess which hospital it is? Yep, it's Mr. Santos' hospital and soon Gozal uses the time bombs in his possession to hold the hospital and it's occupants' hostage as the police surround the hospital and SWAT helicopters hover overhead. The first thing Gozal does is kill Mr. Santos to keep him from talking and he then plants the bombs around the hospital, setting them to go off at 7:00 PM. The police call in a SWAT team Captain (Barry Prima; THE WARRIOR - 1981) to kill the "terrorists" and he does just that, killing every one of them (including John) except Gozal, who escapes through the stairwell after setting off a bomb, engulfing the hospital in flames (you gotta see it to believe it) and trapping many innocent people, including infirmed patients, inside. Gozal, who has now gone completely bonkers, roams the hospital's smoke-filled corridors firing his weapons aimlessly and shouting "You're all gonna die!" while the fire department and police try to rescue people in the hospital. Gozal grabs a newborn baby, goes to the hospital's roof and demands a helicopter picks him up or he will kill the baby. Instead, the police helicopter-in Gozal's wife and young son to the roof in a rope net (!) to distract Gozal long enough so that the SWAT Captain can shoot him (and an innocent doctor!) dead in front of his family. Un-fucking-believable!

Where do I begin to describe how badly entertaining this no-budget actioner really is? It's a cross between DIE HARD and HARD BOILED, but made years before anyone even heard of those two films. All the explosions are done with miniature model buildings that are so bad, they make the structures stomped on by Godzilla in the 60's look highly detailed. Clearly, 80% of the film was shot using out-of-focus rear-projected backgrounds, most of it so ineptly obvious, especially the car/truck chase, that I nearly peed my pants from laughing so hard. The entire hospital sequence is so chintzy in it's execution, it takes on an otherworldly quality. Director/co-scripter Imam Tantowi, who also directed BLAZING BATTLE (1983) and wrote the screenplays for SATAN'S SLAVE (1982) and THE DEVIL'S SWORD (1984), hasn't got a clue on how to pace a film, as THE TERRORISTS simply jumps from one mind-numbing scene to the next (including a hilarious encounter with a bomb maker who secretly poisons the entire robbery team until they pay him!), culminating in one of the most unbelievable (not to mention unlawful) endings I have ever witnessed. What law agency in their right mind would ever put a terrorist's wife and kid in a rope net and hover them over the roof of a burning hospital so they can try and talk him into giving up? Add to that constant scenes of people getting shot (lots of bloody bullet squibs), running around on fire, jumping off the hospital roof and hitting the ground (more rear projection work that elicits laughs rather than gasps) and a police force more concerned about killing bad guys than saving innocent lives (the cops end up killing more innocents than the bad guys!) and what you end up with is a deliriously illogical actioner that is must-viewing for all fans of Indonesian insanity. Search it out. Also starring Deddy Mizwar, Yos Cano, Janis Badar, Belqiez Rahman, Elyzabeth Tvonne, Yoseano Wasa, Anto Indracahya and Tizar Purbaya. El Badrun, who also has a role here, handled the shoddy miniature effects work. Never legitimately available in the U.S. on home video, the print I viewed was sourced from a Greek-subtitled VHS tape.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Srigala (1981)

1981 – Srigala/“The Fox” (Rapi Films)

Director Sisworo Gautama Putra Cinematography F.E.S. Tarigan Music Gatot Sudarto

Cast Barry Prima, Dorman Borisman, Lydia Kandou, Rudy Salam, Siska Widowati, Mieke Wijaya

Fred Anderson’s review from his Ninja Dixon blog:

From the director of Indonesian classic The Warrior, comes Srigala - which more or less is a copy of the first Friday the 13, but without the backstory of the mongoloid child and with a golden treasure instead! Why not? And it also has Barry Prime, which automatically makes it a cool movie even if it's not that good.

A bunch of teenagers (or something) goes to a lake to camp, swim and have fun. But they're not alone there. Three treasure hunters, one of them is the manliest of man - Barry Prima - are seeking after a golden treasure on the bottom of the lake! But someone is watching them, a person dressed in black and with an urge to kill, kill, kill! He (or she) takes them down one by one... until there's one final girl left. Will she survive? Will Barry Prime show off his muscles? I'm sure you can guess!

First of all, this is not a bad movie. Sure, it completely lacks originality, but still looks fine - especially in the night-scenes. Lots of atmosphere and beautiful jungle locations. I saw it with out subtitles, and had no problems following the story and character developments. It's not much of a horror movie from the beginning (the first victim, before the credits, it's a very silly looking man with moustach and small, small swimming trunks - but after that we have more of an ordinarly thriller for an hour or so, with a cool and stunt-filled boat-chase and a couple of nice explosions.

It's first in the last half hour that it actually becomes a 100 % copy of Friday the 13th. Scene for scene is ripped off, but I'm sad to say that most of the killings are very offscreen and not bloody at all. But this version (downloaded, ripped from a VCD) might be cut too, because the editing during the murder scenes was a bit strange. But if you can live with that, you'll see how the final girl takes shelter in a house, someone throws her boyfriend through the window, she escapes, runs into a woman that tells the backstory and then is the killer herself! Another nice cat fight here (mixed with some martial arts), our heroine kills the murdered and wakes up in a boat where someone is dragging her into the water. All this is looks good and is well made, but of course never reaches the tension like in the original movie. In a weird sequence they also seem to imitate slow-motion! Which looks completely silly, but a fun touch to the cat fight.

Another bonus is a lengthy dream sequence where the main girl is dreaming about four underwater zombies coming up from the lake to get her! Genius!

Srigala is of course crap, trash, whatever. But as many of these Indonesian movies it's also very charming and hard to dislike. Barry Prima (I can understand that he set a lot of hearts on fire, because he looks quite good here) is cool, and the rest of the cast is not bad at all. I also like the stolen Mike Oldfield-track that accompanies the last scene, not a bad choice at all.

It's not out on DVD and is probably very hard to get on VCD, but if you want something silly and fun, go for Srigala next time you want to download some entertaining Asian film that you never seen before.

Fred Adelman’s review from his Critical Condition Online website:

Here it is, folks: An Indonesian version of FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980). Since this film isn't dubbed or subtitled in English and my Indonesian is a little rusty, here's what I can make out: Three treasure hunters go to an abandoned camp in the woods (the sign reads "Siru Angsana") and use scuba gear to dive for submerged treasure in the adjoining lake. Their hunt is put in jeopardy when two women, Nina and Kristy, and their male friend, Bonno, decide to use the lake as a vacation getaway. When Nina nearly drowns while swimming in the lake, one of the treasure hunters (Berry "Barry" Prima) saves her and it's not long before a romance develops between them, which pisses off his stern boss. When Kristy hooks up with Johan, the othe young treasure hunter, their boss gets even more pissed off. What the six people really have to worry about, though, is the mysterious killer dressed in black (complete with black gloves and ski mask) who is watching their every move. The mystery killer disrupts the treasure hunters' next outing on the lake by trying to run them over in a power boat, even throwing dynamite into the water! Prima (his character's name in unpronouncable, so I'm just gonna call him "Prima") gives chase in his boat, which results in the mystery killer crashing the power boat into the jagged rocks on shore, the boat exploding into a fireball. The three treasure hunters recover a huge wooden crate from the lake and when they open it, all they find is a rotting human body, which they intend to turn over to the police the next day (Nina has a nightmare that night that three corpses rise from the lake, carry her to the crate, then throw her in it and close the lid). A bad thunderstorm blows in which forces Nina, Kristy and Bonno to abandon their tent and stay with the treasure hunters in the cabin. It's at this time that the shit hits the fan. When Kristy goes to take a shower, the killer splits her head open with an axe. The killer then slams Bonno's head under the hood of a Land Rover and then uses the Land Rover to run over the Boss. Johan gets speargunned and Prima gets impaled with a pitchfork. All that is left is Nina, who gets a visit from another female friend, who turns out to be the killer (she's the Mrs. Vorhees of this film). She relates a story to Nina (told in flashback) about her involvement of the murdered body in the crate and how she tried to cover it up by putting the body in the lake. Since the body has been discovered, she has no choice but to kill everyone who saw it. She then goes after Nina with a machete, but Nina fights back and defeats her attacker with a machete blow to the heart (I guess the filmmakers couldn't afford a decapitation).

This slow-moving horror film, directed by Sisworo Gautama Putra (PRIMITIVES - 1978; THE WARRIOR - 1981), takes forever to get moving and when the killings finally happen, Putra pulls away instead of showing the violence, which is strange considering the graphic bloodshed shown in his other films. Kristy's death by axe is only shown as shadows on a wall, Bonno's head-crushing is viewed only in a long shot and when the Boss is run over, we only see a close-up of his face with blood coming out of his mouth. Though we do not actually see Barry Prima (THE DEVIL'S SWORD - 1984; REVENGE OF NINJA - 1984) get killed, we do see his body impaled on a pitchfork later on. As with most Indonesian exploitation films, there are a couple of "What The Fuck?" moments, one of them being when Nina and Kristy begin fighting each other like two kung-fu masters (complete with exaggerated sound effects) for no apparent reason that I could discern (again, I don't speak the language, so I could have missed something). That scene does set up the finale, where Nina takes on the mystery woman. I dare you not to laugh at Nina's sudden changeover from victim to victor. After being uncerimoniously slapped around and abused, she then takes a martial arts stance and proceeds to beat the crap out of her attacker and then stabs her in the heart just to make sure we know she means business! The ending is a scene-by-scene steal of the original FRIDAY THE 13TH shock coda, complete with Nina in a canoe out in the middle of the lake, the police waving her in and a Jason-like creature jumping out of the water to grab her out of the canoe, all while a faux Harry Manfredini score plays on the soundtrack! If you don't mind derivative filmmaking and can watch a film in a strange language with no English help, SRIGALA (when translated, means "Fox") may be worth a few chuckles. Just don't go in expecting the graphic bloodletting normally associated with films from Indonesia, because you will be disappointed. It's not exactly dry, but it's not as wet as it should have been since it was made made for Rapi Films, Indonesia's premiere purveyors of sleazy entertainment. Also starring Lydia Kandou, S. Parya, Siska Widowati, Dorman Borisman, Rudy Salam and Meike Wijaya. I couldn't make out any other credits because the fullscreen print I viewed was severely cropped and projected dead-center, cutting off all the credits on both ends (the film's title only shows "IGA" on-screen!). Video label unavailable.

Tarzan Raja Rimba (1989)

1989 - Tarzan Raja Rimba (Kanta Indah Film PT)

Director Ackyl Anwari Cinematography Subakti Is

Cast Barry Prima (Tarzan), Machfud Abud, Alex Bernard, Panji Dharma, Yongki Dp, Yoshep Hungan, Ziela Jalil, El Koesno, Yurike Prastica, Donny Sabella, Rama Soedin, Joes Terpase, Rudy Wahab, Tonny Yusuf

Todd Stadtman’s review from his Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! blog:

1989’s Tarzan Raja Rimba looks even more promising for the fact that it stars the great Barry Prima, and was helmed by the director of the riotous Virgins From Hell, Ackyl Anwari. This was the first of two turns by Prima in the Tarzan role, the second being in the following year’s Tarzan Penunggu Harta Karun directed by M. Agnar Romli.

In the grand tradition of Tarzan films, Tarzan Raja Rimba shows our hero coming up against destructive forces from the civilized world, in this case a corrupt logging crew that is chainsaw-ing its way through the Indonesian rainforest like there’s no tomorrow. Of course, while this is a Tarzan film in name, it is, more importantly, a Barry Prima film, and so we get a version of Tarzan who gorily kung fus people to death. Yay! Tarzan’s favorite method of dispatch is to toss an opponent onto a convenient bamboo spike or pointy tree limb, but the logging aspect of the story also provides a generous supply of nasty hardware to further the carnage, including a band saw which Tarzan tests against the villain’s neck during the climactic fight.

Much like the many Indian takes on the Tarzan story, Tarzan Raja Rimba puts an emphasis on the irresistible sexual pull that Tarzan exerts upon any woman in his orbit. Early in the film, Karina, a female member of the logging team, is shown tossing restlessly in her bed, consumed by thoughts of the muscled jungle man. (And, after all, this is Barry Prima we’re talking about –- and he does look amazing in his loincloth and little leopard skin boots –- so who can blame her?) Later, she somehow falls afoul of her crooked colleagues and is forced to flee the camp. The expected menu of jungle perils follows, and she is ultimately driven into the protective arms of Tarzan. However, Prima’s Tarzan is not the thick-skulled, unwitting sexual catalyst that we see in, say, the Zimbo movies, but is rather played by the star as being articulate, authoritative, and not a little bit arrogant.

While making some concessions to the film’s tropical setting (when Tarzan forages for Karina, he returns with watermelon), Tarzan Raja Rimba still manages to deliver on at least the minimum of those ingredients that are internationally agreed upon as constituting a Tarzan movie. The most notable change in this regard is that, rather than an ape, Tarzan’s faithful animal companion is instead a bear –- and a bear played by a man in a very obvious bear costume, at that. (In fact, I think we may be seeing here an early appearance by the Masturbating Bear, back in the days before he succumbed to compulsive onanism). This bear leads the climactic elephant charge upon the villain’s camp at the movie’s conclusion, and also gruesomely mauls to death one of the female bad guys. At least, I think that’s what he’s doing.

Still, if you put these Burroughsian –- or Weismullarian? -- trappings aside, Tarzan Raja Rimba is pretty much indistinguishable from one of Prima’s Jaka Sembung movies, though sadly one without all the mystical flying around and modular body parts. There’s the “tournament” style scene, where Prima’s martial arts skills are tested against a towering, carnivalesque goon in the bad guys’ employ, who seems to have been hanging around in the wings for just that purpose. And then of course there is the requisite tableau of martyrdom in which Prima is chained and abused before dramatically freeing himself to wreak havoc upon his oppressors. All of this, in sum, means that, if you are a Prima fan –- as I most certainly am –- this will probably be the best Tarzan movie you’ve ever seen.

War Victims (1983)

1983 - Kamp Tawanan Wanita (P.T. Parkit Films)

[International title “War Victims”, also released as “Day Of The Escape”, “War Prison Camp Series 4” and “War Victims Of Kamp Tawanan Wanita”; released in Spain as “Vítimas da Guerra”]

Director “Jon Bierium”/Jopi Burnama Writers Piet Burnama, Raam Punjabi Producer Raam Punjabi Cinematography H. Asmawi Music Gatot Sudarto

Cast Marissa Haque (Amelia), Boy Tirayoh, Mangara Siahaan, Farida Ciptadi, Jeffie Sani, Ivina Anwar, Avent Cristy, H. Usman Effendi, Lina “Bodiart”/Budiarty, “Watty”/Emawati Siregur, Indah Fadjawarti, Emmy Husein, Loli Temple, Baby Silvia, Torro Targeno, Anen Widjaya, Welan Gerung, Djoko Warok, Henky Nero, Simon P.S., Esther Sumampou, Ita Agusta, Yetti Loren, Sherly Sarita, Eva Widowaty, Ratih Moortry, M. Yusuf, Irmanaty, Leni Menado, Grace Suwandi

Fred Adelman’s review from his Critical Condition Online website:

Some may view this as a standard Indonesian sleaze epic, but they would only be partially correct. This film actually makes a strong political statement about patriotism and the willingness to suffer greatly for your cause. During World War II, an Indonesian girl named Amelia (Marissa Haque) is sent to an all-female P.O.W. camp, run by brutal Japanese soldiers, after watching her rebel opposition boyfriend get riddled with bullets by the Japs. Once at the camp, she and the other women are subjected to sadistic torture and sexual abuse by the male guards. Amelia, who is pregnant, loses her baby during one such torture session, but she refuses to give up hope (She says, "Freedom must be earned. We must be willing to sacrifice everything else in our life for it."). When the Allies bomb the camp from the air (and accidentally kill one of the women), a visiting Japanese General theorizes that one of the female prisoners must be a spy (it's Amelia) since the camp is also a secret ammunition depot (One of the female prisoners steps out of formation, rips open her blouse and shows the General her hideously deformed breasts, the product of the camp's torture techniques. The General is so disgusted by what he sees, he orders her to be shot! His orders are carried out immediately.). Amelia is raped the next day by the camp's most brutal guard, Sgt, Tukigawa. When she reports it to the camp's commander, Nokamura (the only Japanese soldier here depicted as having anything close to a conscience), he tells Amelia that without corroboration, there's nothing he can do. When two of his guards are killed by mistake (one is shot and killed by his own buddy when his gun discharges accidentally), Nokamura has no choice but to force the women to stand in the blazing sun with no water. One of the women goes mad with heatstroke and is shot dead trying to escape by climbing over the camp's barbwire fence. Amelia and most of the women come up with a plan for escape and attempt it one night when Nokamura is away (He's actually at headquarters pleading for better treatment of his prisoners!). They fail miserably, as some of the women are shot, one is attacked by a huge snake, another steps on an explosive boobytrap and some are electrocuted on the camp's fence. Amelia then becomes Nokamura's lover, which pisses-off the rest of the female prisoners. Is Amelia simply pretending until the right time comes along for her to strike or is her love for Nokamura real? It seems it's a little of both, as Amelia ends up pregnant with Nokamura's baby, but when the rebels storm the camp and free the women, Nokamura commits hara-kiri rather than being captured. Once again, Amelia is left alone and pregnant, only this time she can raise her child in freedom.

WAR VICTIMS (a.k.a. KAMP TAWANAN WANITA) will find no favor with Japanese viewers thanks to their depiction here. All the Nippons, besides Nokamura, are portrayed as maniacal laughing rapists who view the women in the camp as disposable playthings to be used, abused and then killed with hardly an afterthought. The scene where Nokamura leaves the camp to plead with his superiors for humane treatment of his female prisoners, only to be rebuffed, shamed and then told that these women are nothing but cattle and are the spoils of war for the Japanese soldiers to rape, cements the film's political agenda. Director Jopi Burnama (FEROCIOUS FEMALE FREEDOM FIGHTERS - 1982; the amazing THE INTRUDER - 1986), working with a script written by brother Piet Burnama, doesn't skimp on the sleazier aspects of P.O.W. life (there's rape, humiliation, whippings, hangings and brandings), but there's more to this film than sleaze. Burnama shows what it really means to suffer for freedom (most Americans could learn something here), even if the beginning of the film is a little overblown, where we hear a bombastic narrator say, "War is a thrilling and glorious thing only to those that have never experienced it in reality!" and he then goes on even longer giving us examples why! The film closes with the same narrator saying, "And this is war! A Hell on Earth! Will the madmen of the world ever learn this lesson?", followed by a stream of children dressed in white walking across the landscape while "The Beginning" is flashed on-screen. A little heavy-handed? Yes, but it does make it's point rather effectively. The script has a little more meat on it's bones than most Indonesian genre films, but it doesn't sacrifice those ingredients we've come to expect from out friends in the Far East: Namely, outrageous pieces of oddball dialogue ("You're a horse's ass, Mr. Stallion!"), graphic violence (bodies explode; a woman has a sword hammered through her torso while she is tied-up) and nudity. Worth searching out. Also starring Boy Tirayoh, Mangara Siahaan, Farida Ciptadi, Jeffi Sani, Ivina Anwar, Advent Cristy and H. Usman Effendi. This was once available on VHS in the U.S. from Video City Productions with the nudity optically fogged. The print I viewed was sourced from a Greek-subtitled VHS tape which, in turn, looks to have been sourced from a Japanese print since all the nudity is optically fogged-out and a black band covers the bottom fifth of the screen, blocking out the Japanese subtitles and superimposing the Greek subtitles overtop them!