Sunday, June 29, 2014

Virgins from Hell (Ackyl Anwari, 1987)

Did I just watch a film that basically contains ninety straight minutes of hot Indonesian women firing makeshift machine guns in leather shorts, leopard print leotards and frayed mini-skirts? Let me double-check, as this sounds more like a recurring dream of mine than an actual movie. Holy shit!!! This movie is real. And get this, it's technically a women in prison flick. That's right, the hot Indonesian women I mentioned less than ten seconds ago spend the bulk of the film's running time locked in the dungeon belonging an evil aphrodisiac manufacturer with a thing for kinky/rough sex. And not only that, it's got hellcats in headbands on motorbikes and a revenge-based storyline. It's also–and I can't stress this enough–the movie to see if you like to watch leggy Indonesian chicks in colourful outfits blowing away tons of bumbling, red jumpsuit-sporting, saucy black beret-wearing henchmen with funny-looking machine guns. In fact, the film, directed by Ackyl Anwari, is so replete with the thing I just mentioned, I felt a tad guilty afterwards. Here I am, basking/wallowing in such an egregious form of cinematic awesomeness, while there are literally millions around the globe right this minute fighting one another over petty nonsense. I say, why kill people when you can watch leggy Indonesian women in headbands and leather shorts blast their enemies to kingdom come? The choice is simple, really. Stop the violence, and watch Virgins from Hell (a.k.a. Maiden's Revenge). Trust me, it's the right thing to do.

I know, the movie might look moderately, if not extremely stupid on the surface, but who says art has to be intelligent? This film has two, maybe three goals it wants to achieve. The first one, of course, is to entertain. And boy does it ever. Sure, some of the action sequences do get repetitive after awhile, but the film has nary a dull moment.

The second goal is definitely to titillate. For a country with a reputation in the West for being conservative, Indonesia has produced some of the sexiest movies ever made. Now, some of you will point out that this film has no nudity whatsoever. Well, I say to you, who needs nudity when you have unclothed lady leggy legs lounging up a storm in almost every scene?

Lounge leggily, you lascivious hosebeats! Lounge, I tell you! Lounge!!! It's good for what ails you.

While it has produced some of the sexiest movies, Indonesia has also produced some of the weirdest. And that brings me to goal number three: Freak out white people. Of course, I can't prove that it was the intention of the makers of these films to freak out white people, as they probably had no inkling that white people would be watching their films some twenty years after they were made. But deep down, I like to think freaking out white people was one of their goals when they set out to make these films. And by "these films," I'm referring to stuff like, Lady Terminator and Mystics of Bali.

In desperate need of cash, Sheila (Yenny Farida), leader of an all-girl biker gang, targets a local casino. Now, why Sheila felt the need to go undercover as a whore is anyone's guess, as it didn't seem to add or take away from the execution of their plan. But it does lead to a pretty awesome scene where Sheila pretends to take off her red boots. Interrupted mid-pretend zip, Sheila fights off the advances of a sleazy gangster by employing a ceiling lamp to great effect.

After finishing him off (she blows him away with his own gun), Sheila signals to her fellow bikers to attack the casino. You see, why did she have go undercover as a whore? I mean, their plan seemed simple enough: Step 1: Attack casino. Step 2: Neutralize the lead gangster. Step 3: Smash shit up. Step 4: Grab the cash. Posing as a whore was completely unnecessary. Unless, Sheila had a grudge against the sleazy gangster she ends up killing that I didn't know about. It's the only theory that makes sense.

Riding back to base, occasionally shooting their guns in the air in a celebratory manner along the way, Sheila is in a good mood. And why shouldn't she be? With enough money to buy all the ammunition she needs for her and her gang to storm the compound of the ruthless Mr. Tiger (Dicky Zulkarnaen), Sheila is so close to getting revenge, she can taste it. Not so fast, Sheila. It would seem that not all the members of your all-girl bike gang agree with this course of action.

A couple of them, specifically, Julie and Lisa, aren't down with the plan at all (they had hoped to spend the money on more important things, like, leather shorts and shock absorbers).

Realizing that she might have an insurrection on her hands, Sheila gives a rousing speech, one that includes a reminder why she's doing all this in the first place. As she's talking, we're shown what happened on the day Mr. Tiger killed her parents and turned their house into a fortified drug lab.

You can tell why Sheila is their leader (she even throws in a "as God as my witness..." during her speech) and why Yenny Farida was cast as such by the producers just by watching this scene. Sure, her voice has been dubbed by another actress, but Yenny's intense facial expressions are all Yenny. I know it's only a movie, but after listening to her speech, I wanted to lend a hand and help her destroy Mr. Tiger's criminal syndicate.

Meanwhile, in the subterranean lab located underneath his compound, Mr. Tiger is testing the aphrodisiac he is forcing one of his scientists to produce on Dutch, his fiercely loyal, heavily tattooed, lesbian sidekick. When the potion fails to produce any orgasmic writhing whatsoever, Mr. Tiger has his male henchmen kill the scientist.

Just as Larry, a younger scientist, is starting to work on Mr. Tiger's aphrodisiac, Sheila and her gang launch their attack.

Despite suffering mass casualties, Sheila and her gang manage to get to the front door of Mr. Tiger's compound. In fact, they're standing on the very stairs Mr. Tiger killed Sheila's parents. Unfortunately for Sheila, Mr. Tiger had a trap door installed. Meaning, when Sheila and most of her army approach the door, they fall through the floor and into the murky embrace of his dungeon.

Grabbing the leggy cutie in the green and pink outfit, Mr. Tiger instructs Larry to inject her with the aphrodisiac he's been working on. Writhing in chemically assisted orgasmic pleasure seconds after receiving the shot, Mr. Tiger is giddy and says that he plans to take over the world wide aphrodisiac market with this concoction. Boastfully claiming that every man the world over will want to own his product, Mr. Tiger contacts his middlemen; who test the quality of Mr. Tiger's love potion (set a song that sounded an awful lot like, "Nights in White Satin") by violating the organic structure of the leggy cutie in green and pink outfit.

Will Sheila and her gang of colourful vixens be able to extract themselves from this sticky pickle of a situation? I mean, let's be blunt, they probably will. Things usually turn for best for chicks who wear red leather shorts and leopard print leotards, it's a matter of simple physics.

However, the same can't be said for those whose loyalty to Sheila isn't steadfast. That's right, troublemakers Julie and Lisa sell out Sheila and join Mr. Tiger's forces. Though, Sheila shouldn't be surprised, those two have been undermining her authority from the get-go. In other words, Sheila should have given them the heave-ho long ago.

Thinking they made the right choice by switching sides, Julie and Lisa end up becoming Mr. Tiger's sex slaves. Forced to dance (dance oddly, mind you) to Italo Disco music in pink and yellow dresses for Mr. Tiger's amusement, Julie and Lisa must be kicking themselves as they awkwardly boogied in front of a pink wall covered in tiger posters. Unless they get off on being whipped, handcuffed and having their thighs grabbed with more gusto than usual.

It doesn't say in the credits who's responsible for the costumes in this movie, but that doesn't mean their marvelous work should not go unnoticed. Giving each character her own colour or, some cases, they're own animal print, the costume designer clearly put a lot of thought into the design of each outfit. Never once did I get confused as to which gang member was which. Go ahead, try me. (Okay, what colour was Lisa's shorts and/or skirt?) That's easy, they were black. You see, I knew the ins and out of each gang member's ensemble like the back of my hand.

Culminating with an epic battle pitting Sheila, Larry (you know he's a hip scientist by the fact that he wears Nike's with his lab coat) and what's left of her gang against Mr. Tiger, his henchmen, that "lesbo" Dutch and turncoats Julie and Lisa, the film contains more shoot outs, more leather shorts, more torture, more explosions, more cat fights, more headbands, more kooky dancing and more leggy writhing than the average person deserves in a single serving. Need I say more? (Let me see... Leather shorts, orgasmic writhing, Italo Disco... Nope, you've said plenty.) Oh, and don't forget to put another a leggy Indonesian babe on the barbie; hardcore Virgins from Hell fans will know what I mean.


  1. This one rules, I think of the main villian as Capt. Valentine's Day. There's so much simulated sex because of censorship laws, I guess?