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Case Number 03614: Small Claims Court

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Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters

Troma // 1983 // 93 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron (Retired) // November 22nd, 2003

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All Rise...

The Charge

Asian chicks kicking the soy out of each other…I think.

The Case

Okay, here's the story with Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters. The movie begins with some Asian women wrestling. There's a kid filled with sickness coughing up a lung while watching the match on TV. And then…well, then some more Asian people talk about diseases and one of the actresses discusses making money as a grappler. Then…the mob, or Yakuza, or some Eastern version of the mafia…the syndicate, that's right, the syndicate shows up and they control all the wrestling in Malaysia, or wherever we are and…it's Indonesia, that's right. Well, the crooks threaten people. So an Amer-Asian man helps the main female fighter to…um…fight. And then there is some more fighting. There is a subplot involving gambling or some manner of match fixing, and then we learn that the little boy from the beginning of the film needs a major medical procedure or his brain will explode, or something. All the while the syndicate is trying to control the sport and business with hired goons and…oh yeah! Right! There's also an undercurrent of unspoken lesbianism in the female mat world (imagine that) since a weird woman leader of a rival gang of wrestlers keeps giving our leading lady big moon eyes. A character or two gets tortured and there is a sex scene and…what was the name of this movie again? I think I've forgotten.

Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters is one of those movies that is so blatantly incomprehensible that you could watch it a hundred times with pad, pencil, and several copies of Asian Actors Illustrated and you'd still find yourself swamped in dead-end plotlines, strangely circular dialogue, and the random insertion of scenes into the story for no other reason than their sexual or action/violence content. You think David Lynch's Lost Highway is confusing? Still scratching your head over that metaphysical gross-out art piece known as Begotten? Those stylized puzzlers have nothing on this Indonesian conundrum. Obviously, the movie portends to follow the familiar formula of a skilled athlete rescuing her ill brother from certain death by playing within a corrupt but financially viable system. But occasionally, the movie throws this foundation out of focus by highlighting weird suggestions of potential girl-on-girl grinding, introducing incomplete ancillary character backstories, and editing action scenes with a bushido blade. On the Hong Kong scale of successful chop sockey cinema, this rates right below The Adventures of Milo and Otis for fun kung fu fighting, and your average Russian cattle porn has more linear narrative threads. The girlie wrestling is as suggestive and sexual as having a boil lanced, and just when you think you've got everything correctly figured out, another cracked curveball comes meandering over the frame to flummox you all over again. Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters, besides having nothing to do with liberty or rage, can't figure out if it wants to be a wrestling pic with kickboxing or a kickboxing flick with women in unitards. Either way, it's boring, bland and baffling.

So what does Troma do when they pick up this paltry poverty row reject? Do they simply offer it up as a sample of foreign filmmaking at its most flabby and say, "Sorry folks, but it is kinda stupid, huh?" No, what the do instead is make it a billion times more incredibly asinine by letting founder Lloyd Kaufman's brother Charlie take a What's Up, Tiger Lily? crack at comedying up the crap. Indeed, with the new "funny" overdubbed soundtrack he makes it worse! That's right, when it was simply a sloppy wrestling women movie with unfathomable narrative flubs, it was a forgivable cinematic fart. But when Charles Kaufman tinkers with the tale, he really lets one fly, and the stench spreads like a degenerative case of olfactory awfulness throughout your system. Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters, the dumber dubbed version, is a crude, lewd story of implied incest, infant penile dysfunction, and incredibly raunchy retorts. Kaufman's royal blue humor startles and soils you in a way that, at first, is mildly amusing, but over the course of 90 minutes grows crass and tasteless. For example, the made-up malady for the sick little boy in the film is some strange anatomical idea that his vas deferens runs from his testicles into his head. So he is not supposed to be aroused, lest his skull explodes with sperm. Hardy har har. I mean, the kid is like eight! If you don't think Chuck can draw out multiple gags out of that little bit of biology, you are dead wrong.

In addition, crude crap and dick remarks are slathered on in overkill fashion, and just when you think the revelry can't get any more retarded, the male Ameri-Asian lead is turned into an Elvis impersonator, and a very bad one at that. Unfunny voices, near incomprehensible dialogue exchanges, and a plethora of bodily noises create a cinematic experience even more painful than trying to decode the original's intentions. You'll need a shower with real lava to cleanse your carcass of this crusty caca. Re-dubbing a movie has never really worked: Allen's Lily is limited, Kung Pow: Enter The Fist, is just cow dung, and without Godzilla or Mothra around to geek things up, there is no real reason to see or hear Asians speaking sans their natural language. It has been known to be funny in small snippets, but "the hilarious 'Tromatized' post-synchronization" on this film is a consistently flat failure.

As for the DVD offering from the mighty mad minds at Troma, Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters is fairly low grade. The image is mediocre, faded and full screen. The soundtracks swings between muddled and ear piercing. The introduction by Lloyd himself is entertaining, as usual, and the promotional material from Troma is always good for a laugh. Too bad the movie it's supporting is so stupid, in either format.

Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters is the kind of movie you'll watch hoping it delivers on its promising setup and title titillation. But the minute you've suffered through the un-dubbed dyspepsia of the original version or the complete vulgarity of the "reimagined" dialogue, you'll want to wash your brain out with Drain-o. No amount of broad butt kicking and/or gal-on-gal mat mambo can make up for the ridiculous, repulsive movie plot here, whatever it is.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 20

Perp Profile

Studio: Troma
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English, "Tromatized")
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Indonesian)
• English
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 1983
MPAA Rating: Unrated
• Bad
• Exploitation
• Martial Arts

Distinguishing Marks

• New DVD Introduction by Lloyd Kaufman
• Original 1997 Introduction For The VHS Edition By Lloyd Kaufman
• Dual Soundtracks! Watch The Film With Its Original Indonesian Release Soundtrack Or The Tromatized Soundtrack Written By Charles Kaufman
• Promotional Trailers


• IMDb

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