Sunday, August 14, 2011

LA GUERRERA VENGADORA (1988) - an "avenging war-lady" has been pushed to the breaking point, assuming my high school Spanish isn't failing me

Rosa lives the humble life of a teacher. She responsibly rides to work in a moped rather than a gas guzzling SUV, doing her part to save mother earth. She dutifully teaches these young people not only lessons that will help them earn a respectable job, but also life lessons that will help them earn a respectable life (words of inspiration, I know). She even takes in a student who is having personal problems, extending her warm home to soul left out in the cold. Not only that, she has big teased red hair and is royally stacked, rocking dresses made out of denim, black leather, and yellow polyester. She goes above the call of duty in order to inspire the minds of sexually frustrated young males, thereby assisting them in relieving tension so they can better devote their minds to success going forward. This, my friends, is a hero.

It should come as little surprise that when her student friend is murdered, and his girlfriend raped by one of those roving leather jacketed gangs so prevalent in 80’s action cinema, she takes it upon herself to seek justice against an endless army of ruffians armed with machine guns. Brutally murdering a dear friend of Rosa will earn your ass a spot in permanent after school detention. It'll earn you a D in the class, and “D” stands for “deceased”. You get the idea.

Truth be told, she does have help on her quest, as a single mild mannered teacher, no matter how caliente, can’t wipe out an entire criminal operation armed to the teeth by herself. Thankfully, her roommate (?) is a crafty dwarf who proves a rather useful sidekick. For example, Rosa dresses him up as a baby and sticks him in a stroller and rolls up on two police officers. While they are hypnotized by her fuego-ocity, the dwarf steals two police issue walkie talkies right off of their persons. After all, if you’re gonna destroy an endless army of thugs, communication is key. If you think a dwarf would not physically fare well in combat, you'd be selling him short. There’s a bit seemingly out of the game "Road Rash" where the dwarf is on a moped, combating a thug on a bike swinging a chain. His lack of height becomes an advantage, as the thugs repeatedly tries to hit the space where a normal sized man’s head would be, but just hits air instead. Later, a muscle thug picks up our little friend, no doubt looking to shotput his little ass into the afterlife, but the dwarf just does the three stooges eye poke a couple of times to break free. That eye poke thing works pretty damn well if the other party does not know that hand block maneuver.

Oh yeah, I left out something important. She has a Kawasaki motorcycle souped up for warfare. We’re talking two double barreled shotguns in front, an endless supply of hand grenades, and a muffler that doubles as a rocket launcher. Rosa also dons a fuego-infused version of the Evel Knievel jumpsuit and helmet which apparently renders her invincible against gunfire (either that or her enemies have dogshit aim). There are plenty of rad jumps in slo-mo (including the requisite Knievel canyon jump), mannequins on motorbikes getting blown sky high, and even an amazing homage to the Odessa Steps sequence from Battleship Potemkin, where the baby carriage is replaced by a girl in a wheelchair. Rosa kicks ass, takes names, put those names in a hat, blows up the hat with a grenade launcher, and kicks some more ass. Frankly, if watching a muy caliente pseudo Ann-Margret go Rambo-Knievel on the entire criminal element of Mexico doesn’t entertain your ass, your ass must not want to be entertained.

The “hottie on a motorcycle armed for warfare” plot was used in the previous year’s Cyclone, directed by one Fred Olen Ray and starring Heather Thomas. La Guerrera Vengadora may be a ripoff of said movie, but I’d like to think that they were created independent of one another, separate bouts of brilliant inspiration. Either way, this slab of mexi-foolishness aims to elbow smash you in the prostrate with explosive entertaiment, and boy does it succeed. At the center is a female hero lying in obscurity, ready to provide inpiration to both men and women, latinos and non-latinos. Granted, she’s a bit awkward with ther stunts, and frankly sucks at hand-to-hand combat, but the magic of editing helps cover this up. Or, to put it another way, la guerrera vengadora lucha fuego con fuego, y tengo caliente in mis pantalones a causa del fuego de este mujer. Aye papi!

P.S. Some kind soul has uploaded the film to Youtube, along with the sequel. YES, THERE’S A FUCKING SEQUEL. I will need to watch that one.

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