1985 - 83m.
Any movie that opens with a close-up of cleavage is fine in my books. When the cleavage is quickly followed by ninjas, the flick is a sure winner. B-movie mainstay Jim Wynorski's directorial debut delivers everything that you would expect from a Wynorski flick and is one of the best examples of the massive wave of exploitation flicks that bombarded video stores in the 80s and 90s. This movie has everything and goes from being a cop action movie to a women-in-prison movie crossed with Enter the Dragon to a finale that has a low budget post-apocalyptic feel. There is an abundance of scantily-clad women, cheesy dialogue, and awkward acting moments that I think even the most pessimistic moviegoer would crack a smile. This is a perfect movie for a b-movie night because it is so damn entertaining and never lets up.
Melanie Vincz stars as Angel Wolfe, a tough cop who doesn't play by the rules and has an affinity for skin tight bodysuits. Wolfe's cop sibling (Bill Thornbury - the older brother from Phantasm) has been wounded while on duty and gives her a clue before he dies as to who is behind the robbery that he was attempting to stop. This clue leads Wolfe back to the scene of the crime where a magical jewel called the Eye of Avatar makes its way into her purse. Hellbent on revenge for her brother's death, Wolfe and her 80s-coiffed moustached boyfriend (Paul Coufos - Busted Up) figure out that there is a connection with an evil dude named Sin Do who wants the Eye for himself. Wolfe learns that if she can get a team of three girls together she can then enter a tournament that will get her close to the villain and her revenge. She recruits a Native American named Whitestar (Raven De La Croix - Russ Meyer's Up) and a gum chewing prison inmate named Heather (Angela Aames) and together they head off to the island where they discover a diabolical plan that involves slavery, nudity, and a skull monster.
This movie is loaded with action, comedy, and lovely ladies. As this was Wynorski's first film, it is like he was trying to fit in every influence and cool scene he could think of into a scant 80 minutes. It was his first break as a director and he clearly wanted to show that he could pack everything he loves into a single movie and reference as many subgenres as possible. There is a women in prison scene, a run-in with rednecks, the aforementioned ninjas, a robot tarantula, a shower scene, a giant laser weapon that looks like it should be in Flesh Gordon, a gorilla, a groovy title sequence, and even a beheading. The dialogue in itself is worth the price of admission with references to pop culture, some cheesy one-liners, and some very unapologetic not politically correct quips from Whitestar who manages to fit the words powwow, warpath, and reservations into a couple of sentences. Wynorski also provides plenty of titillation for the horny male viewers with Vincz's tight wardrobe and the loincloths that are donned when the girls go into warrior mode. De La Croix and Aames both remove their tops along with a female prisoner who is accused of being a spy.
In his first ten years as a director, Wynorski made some awesome movies and is a key player in why I have developed such a passion for this type of moviemaking. I love how it seems like they had so much fun making this and I love how a totally random scene can appear out of nowhere and totally catch you off guard. This flick is full of things like this making it unpredictable and a joy to watch. Another cool thing about this flick is that the cast is loaded with all sorts of actors that cult movie fans will get a kick out of. The sleazy cop Prager is played by the father of Anthony Kiedis from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kenneth Tobey (The Thing from Another World) makes an appearance as the police chief, Angus Scrimm (Phantasm) plays Sin Do, Robert Tessier (The Sword and the Sorcerer) is the main henchman with the awkward eyebrows, Linda Shayne (the boobs on the window girl from Screwballs) is the prisoner with the injury that comes and goes, Angelique Pettyjohn is the dominatrix prison inmate, and classic porn star Tracey Adams is a recruit who is laying topless during the examination scene (not the "spy"). The music score is by Alan Howarth who frequently collaborated with John Carpenter during the director's classic era. (Josh Pasnak, 5/28/14)
Directed By: Jim Wynorski.
Written By: Jim Wynorski.
Starring: Melanie Vincz, Raven De La Croix, Angela Aames, Paul Coufos.